Should cursive writing be taught in school?

Image of cursive writing




What is cursive writing?

Cursive writing is a style of writing in which a number of characters are written in a conjoined flowing manner, with the aim of making writing faster. Nonetheless, not all cursive writing joins letters.  Formal cursive handwriting is normally conjoined, but casual is a mixture of joins and pen lifts. It is can be divided into three subclasses – looped, italic or ligature.

  • Ligature 

This is where one writes the letters of a word with lines connecting the letters so that they don’t pick up the pen or pencil in between letters. In most cases, letters appear to have been looped to achieve some connection.

  • Looped 

In this type of writing, some ascenders and descenders have loops which provide for joins.

  • Italic cursive

This type of writing uses non-looped joins or no joins. For instance letters such as g, q and y among others are written without joins. Many, but not all letters are semi-cursive. The term ‘italic’ should not be confused with italic typed letters that slant forward.

Why is Cursive writing important?

Computers are emerging to be the primary source for writing in schools. Many teachers think that teaching cursive writing is not really necessary. Teachers also believe that time used in teaching cursive writing can be better spent teaching other skills like how to use a computer keyboard. However, many students and parents still feel that teaching cursive writing in school is necessary. The following are some of the reasons why they feel cursive writing is important:-

  • Develops Motor Skills
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Cursive writing is different from print writing. It requires a much different skill set. It involves the coordination of hand muscles and brain. Children should be taught cursive writing at the age of 7 or 8. That’s when these skills can be very beneficial in developing their motor skills.

  • Reinforces Learning

Students are taught the English language in one form and may only get one chance to learn and memorize the letters. Cursive learning reinforces print writing. Additionally, students get another chance to fully understand the alphabets. the handwriting also gives learners a clearer perspective of how letters are formed. This eventually improves their print writing skills as well.

  • Signing Legal Documents

Learning cursive writing assures students that they will be secure when signing legal documentation. A cursive signature is the most commonly required thing when endorsing a legal document. Signing cheques is another good reason learning cursive is important. It has historically been the only standard style of authorizing payment cheques.

  • Help Students with Disabilities

Disability can be a hindrance when it comes to learning. For example, students who suffer dyslexia. Dyslexic students can have a hard time in print writing because many letters look almost similar, like b and d. Cursive is different from print letters and this gives dyslexics a chance to improve on their abilities.

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So, should cursive be taught in School?

Today’s world requires that everyone should learn to type, however, cursive writing has its own benefits too. It can be challenging to learn it, however, the benefits so are many; it teaches good organization skills and helps children in coming up with their original thoughts and ideas. For students struggling with dyslexia, cursive handwriting can be part of their treatment plan.  This is because it helps in improving hand-eye coordination and also increases memory. It also alleviates vision related difficulties. Instead of letting it die, this handwriting should be an important part of a school curriculum.  Including it in the education system will help children improve their cognitive and visual skills.




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