In the ongoing world-wide cursive debate we reached out to the experts and found 17 reasons cursive is important and why children should learn it.
While cursive handwriting for kids may not seem as essential as it once was to communicate in letters or memos, the world’s experts maintain that there are significant body, brain, learning and memory benefits when writing in cursive.
The director of CognitionSF, Melissa Holman-Kursky, says “Cursive still has great benefits.”
Donna Whittaker, vice president of Curriculum and Education at Big Blue Marble Academy headquartered in Auburn, Alabama, maintains that handwriting cursive builds strength in muscles and fingers in a way keyboarding does not.
“Keyboards and touch screens require little or no finger and wrist strength,” Whittaker said. “Children use keyboards and swipe to produce letters versus handwriting” — which she said can result in “weak wrists and finger muscles.”
17 Reasons Cursive is Important
1. Cursive handwriting improves fine motor control and pencil grip
2. Cursive helps improve recall when note-taking because notes are synthesized
3. Cursive makes kids better spellers
4. Kids develop better abstract thinking skills using cursive
5. Children experience an increase in skills related to syntax
6. Cursive increases comprehension and participation in learning
7. Cursive helps increase more neural connections in the brain
8. Kids become better writers
9. Cursive improves brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory
10. Cursive helps increase writing speed through the connected words and sentences
11. Self-discipline improves when using cursive
12. Cursive helps improve student self-confidence to communicate freely with the written word
13. Cursive handwriting helps children improve their focus
14. Improves creativity
15. Cursive helps kids generate more new ideas because it uses a larger surface area of the brain
16. Stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between both sides of the brain whereas keyboarding does not
17. Cursive builds strong muscle memory and improves eye hand coordination thus enhancing learning overall
Cursive expert Pam Meuller and Daniel Oppenheimer, in their research study and article, The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard, note the many advantages of cursive over keyboarding. According to their research, keyboarding results in verbatim note-taking, which inhibits learning, and cursive note-taking results in the reframing of information, embedding it and making it your own.
When you consider whether or not to teach your child cursive handwriting, you may want to review these 17 reasons cursive is important and even consider using a cursive handwriting workbook for kids so they can practice at home.
Where is Cursive Handwriting Taught?
In the United States public schools, currently, 21 states require cursive handwriting for kids in their curriculum. Thousands of private schools including Montessori and charter schools still require learning cursive because of the significant benefits to overall child brain and body development.
Here are the states that require cursive handwriting and many schools, recommend that you get a cursive handwriting workbook for kids in order to supplement learning cursive at home: