“Alright kids,” says the teacher to her 3rd grade class in 2003. “You’re going to have to learn cursive if you want to do well in high school and college. They’ll require you to write all your papers in cursive.”
Now, 17 years later, virtually every paper written in our high schools and colleges is written using tools like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. No cursive required.
So were the teachers of olden times wrong? Do kids no longer need to learn cursive?
The answer is:
It depends because “need” might be the wrong word here. Perhaps a better way to phrase the question is “what will my children gain by learning cursive?” And the answer to that question is a lot.
What follows is a list of the life skills and benefits your child will gain by learning cursive. Thus, if you want your child to achieve these skills and benefits, then the answer to “do my kids need to learn cursive?” is YES.
(NOTE: For a wealth of writing classes available to your child, click here.)
1. Research has shown that cursive helps children with brain development
Virginia Berninger, a researcher and professor at the University of Washington says that
“Pictures of brain activity have illustrated that sequential finger movements used in handwriting activated massive regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. Handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential finger strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding only involves touching a key.”
In other words, the finger strokes of writing in cursives activate the brain to think and make connections.
And in today’s world, helping your children connect the dots (solve problems) can be much more beneficial than merely collecting the dots (studying and passing tests).
2. Knowing cursive connects children to history
Physical writing is like telepathy. It’s like time travel, even.
Where typing gets lost in folder after folder of documents on your desktop, or buried deep within homework submissions of the last five years, cursive writing is timeless. You can frame it, reference it and look back at it.
Just ask historians: these professionals revel in the opportunity to thumb through journals and papers and letters from generations ago, uncovering what life was like for our ancestors. Without knowing cursive, it becomes difficult, even impossible, to look back and understand these historic documents. The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution…
You need to know cursive.
3. Cursive yields a higher quality signature
John Hancock’s cursive signature may be the most persuasive argument ever written in favor of cursive. And while it’s not often talked about, there’s a sense of pride, a psychological benefit that shows up when one puts pen to paper and shows off their cursive signature to the world.
Think about it: How many papers have you tossed in the world’s waste bins practicing your signature line?
4. Cursive increases writing speed and note retention
Researchers have found that writing notes helps you retain knowledge better than typing notes. And cursive helps you write those notes faster because the letters are connected. You don’t have to stop and start after each one.
(Plus, your paper notebook doesn’t distract you with Facebook notifications)
5. Cursive just might give your little ones greater self-respect
In a world where cursive writing (let alone pen-to-paper writing in general) is less and less common, those who know cursive have the self-respect of knowing they own a unique skill. These cursive writers are often complimented for the beauty of their handwriting, and that is an ego-booster by itself…
So, do your kids need to learn cursive?
No, they don’t need to.
But if you want them to have greater self-respect, retain more knowledge, have a confidence-boosting signature, be able to read and write documents that stand the test of time or continually develop their brain…
Then yes, they do need to learn cursive.
For a wealth of writing classes available to your child, click here.