01 July 2013

Do You Teach Your Children Cursive?

I do!  But I admit that I allow my homeschoolers to print if they'd prefer when they complete most everyday assignments.  So far, everyone likes printing better.  I know Emperor gets mixed up on what he was writing and repeats blends in words ("Empereror" instead of Emperor or whathaveyou).  It's almost as if he gets stuck and it takes a minute to move on. 

But scientific studies show that learning cursive, even for young children, helps their brains develop.  And cursive uses areas of the brain not exercised when typing.  I wish I could use this amazing power and swoosh awesome penmanship across the page at 60 WPM, but I'm not that talented and/or I don't think that quickly.

Perhaps cursive makes us slow down just enough to compose our thoughts well.  I use a fair bit of backspacing and re-reading in my work, but I do remember that when I used cursive it wasn't so.  There wasn't much opportunity for correction, so essays had to spring fully-formed from my brain Athena-style.

One concern some educators and scientists have is that the new Common Core standards don't require a working knowledge of how to write in cursive fluently.  I can't say that teaching my children cursive was necessarily worth the time that it took.  I'm not sure.  To do a decent job at it, it takes a fair bit of work and practice, and increasingly we're finding that children are unable to read even neatly-written cursive letters, which means increasingly we're unable to use the cursive we learn in our day-to-day writings.

It's a shame, really.


6 comments:

  1. My kids learned cursive in school, sort of. The eldest learned and by the time the second was learning, they were teaching a "modified cursive" style, which didn't go down well with new teachers when we moved to another state where real cursive was being taught. once they got to high school, all essays and other assignments had to be typed anyway as teachers often had trouble reading some of the handwriting.

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    1. See? But when I was younger nothing needed be typed. Cursive was what was required. Most people didn't own PCs in the 1980's, let alone a printer.

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  2. I introduced cursive and the children acknowledged it and kept on printing. Each child, at a different time, came back to me and requested cursive books and practiced on their own. Their cursive is decent, but since we are all tech heads, formal instruction in handwriting was certainly an afterthought

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    1. I love looking at other people's cursive but can't write it well myself. I learnt to write in America and Australia, and there are two different sorts of cursive. :/

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  3. Yes, once the kids reached 4th grade, we learned cursive. Once they reached 6th grade, they were to turn in assignments in cursive. Journaling and notes can be printed.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. My children both learned cursive in fourth grade. They do not use it today, but they did learn it. We plan to have children who have not already learned cursive use Handwriting without Tears to learn it. Maybe italics for those who have.

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