As children, a lot of us struggled with bad handwriting.
Fluent and neat handwriting doesn’t come naturally to most, although it is a skill that can be mastered with proper practice and guidance early on.
This is why it’s important that schools allocate the time and resources to the teaching and practice of cursive handwriting to students at a young age.
Nowadays however, the emphasis on teaching cursive handwriting is being overlooked, especially as children today type more and write less.
So why should we teach our children cursive? According to Suzanne Asherson, Occupational Therapist and National Presenter for Learning Without Tears, “learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory; cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing”.
Cursive handwriting has also proven to help students with dyslexia.
According to The British Dyslexia Association, the continuous movement of cursive writing improves writing speed and spelling and helps dyslexic students with letters that can be easily confused such as “b,” “d,” “p,” and “q”.
If this information isn’t convincing enough, cursive handwriting has proven to have a positive impact on grades as teachers are able to comprehend answers better on a test sheet; it is also visually appealing and presents content in a neat way that captures the attention of the reader.
One unfounded myth about cursive handwriting is that children find it more difficult than print.
After all, all letters are made up of shapes, and the only difference between cursive and print is the formation of these shapes.
If anything, teaching children cursive handwriting at an early age ensures they’re capable of both reading and writing cursive script without any hassle later on.
As teachers, we can help students master cursive handwriting by:
- dedicating adequate time to the teaching of handwriting every week.
- demonstrating correct letter formation at every opportunity.
- upholding high standards and expectations for presentation of written work.
- making provision for left-handed children where necessary and monitoring the progress of all students.
“At GIS, we teach continuous cursive handwriting throughout the school from the Early Years Foundation Stage, said Alan Archer, Year 6 teacher, Primary Writing Subject Leader.
“We believe that the early adoption and mastery of this handwriting style benefits all children both in spelling and the mechanics of writing.
“The continuous cursive handwriting style is easy to learn and – once mastered – is neat, legible and fast.”