The Importance of Teaching Cursive
In an increasingly digital world where cursive seems to be in a slow demise, it can be tempting to “write off” skills like handwriting, taking notes by hand, and perfecting your signature. However, multiple studies prove that handwriting goes far deeper than the words on the page–writing by hand is tied to memory, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and brain development. Check out this Homeschool Living for some great reasons and ways to teach cursive in your homeschool, encourage handwriting development, and more!
While there is an ongoing debate in many public schools whether or not to include cursive in the curriculum, as a homeschooler, you have the opportunity to incorporate important subjects into your lessons regardless of the stance of schools around you. Check out these 10 reasons to learn cursive from Memoria Press (a favorite exhibitor at the annual HEAV Convention). Aside from developing legible handwriting for communication purposes, learning cursive helps develop and improve fine motor skills, improves retention, increases writing speed, and builds self-confidence.
In this blog post, homeschool mom Jamie Gaddy shares a variety of fun ways she incorporates cursive handwriting into her homeschooling, as well as the benefits she’s been able to share with her children through handwriting.
Check out this article on the scientific links between our brains and handwriting. The best way to take advantage of the benefits of handwriting notes is to develop and practice clear, efficient handwriting and to use it!
While note-taking is a skill in and of itself, and I believe all students would benefit from some lessons specifically on that subject alone, this article from College Info Geek provides a nice overview of six different styles of note-taking, as well as tips on how to use their notes as part of study to get the most out of them.
One of the first–and arguably most important–things that a student might learn in cursive is how to sign his name. Having a distinct, legible signature is important for more reasons than just the obvious. Putting your name to something in a way that says that you have put time and thought into it means more than an illegible scribble. John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is the quintessential–and most famous–example of a distinctive signature in American history. This blog post reflects on the variety of legend-like stories surrounding Hancock’s signature and his reasoning behind it. It also inadvertently highlights another key argument for learning to write–and therefore read–cursive handwriting. The original founding and historical documents for our country were written in cursive English. There is a popular joke about younger generations not being able to read birthday cards from their grandparents because they are written in cursive, but the joke takes on a different tone when you apply it in the context of younger generations being fundamentally unable to read the documents which shaped our nation.
This collection of documents bears the signatures of various notable people throughout American history. Explore the variety of documents and note how ordinary some of them are. Some of these people probably didn’t even know they were making history at the time!
Check out these resources for teaching handwriting at home if you’re interested in more ways to incorporate handwriting into your curriculum.