Every so often, an anti-cursive handwriting article pops up in the news cycle. The main argument against cursive is that most people communicate through electronic means, such as text messaging, email, or social networking sites. You can’t Tweet in cursive!
Some experts believe that it’s more efficient to concentrate on typing skills, rather than cursive writing. Not to mention, there’s no cursive portion on the state tests and if your school is teaching to the test, there’s no room for cursive in the curriculum.
Fortunately for homeschoolers, it’s not an either/or proposition. There’s no reason a child can’t learn to type and also have good handwriting.
Learning to read and write cursive is important, and the skill may give your child an edge in the job market, especially if public schools no longer offer handwriting instruction. Here are a few reasons why I think learning to read and write cursive is important:
- Bosses, teachers, and relatives will continue to use cursive when not using electronic communication. Is a boss going to keep an employee who can’t read his Post-its?
- Older documents are written in cursive, including genealogical reports, scientific papers, and even older patient notes in medical files. Being able to read pre-21st century communication is a valuable life skill.
- People with neat handwriting are usually viewed as more organized or smarter than people with a sloppy scrawl. Cursive helps you have better handwriting.
- Handwriting is a crucial form of communication during emergencies. We experienced a major hurricane a couple of years ago. How easy was it to send an e-mail when the power was out for days and weeks? If another widespread disaster occurs, being able to pen a note or quickly and neatly write a letter to let loved ones know you are safe, or communicate your plans will come in handy. Yes, you could print – but what happens when your elderly next door neighbor leaves a note written in flowing script, the beautiful handwriting of an elder woman, on your door?
Teaching penmanship is easy. Simply practice, practice, practice! Yep. No shortcuts to improve hand writing. You just have to practice.
You can purchase a cursive writing workbook, or print off sheets for free off the Internet. ESL Wizard lets you type in a phrase, then converts it into a handwriting worksheet. That’s a great way to incorporate other subjects into your penmanship program!
Children can practice their handwriting while writing out historical facts, definitions, poetry, or even Bible verses to memorize. We’re currently writing out the Ten Commandments in our school.
I joined Learning Page (free for all members) and they have alphabet pages. I printed out one for each letter, and slipped them into page protectors for a reusable handwriting book.
Do you teach cursive? Why or why not?