Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Cursive Question

If your kids like worksheets, I highly recommend this worksheet generator site, called worksheetworks.  My kids like the handwriting helps.

Despite the fact that a lot of schools are eliminating cursive from the curriculum, we are continuing to learn it for a few reasons.  First of all, even if kids are spending more time on the computer these days, they will be faced with hand-written, cursive things to read at some point.  Heck, all of my kids' mother's journals are in cursive so they'd better learn it or they'll never find out the truth about her tattoo (tramp).

Secondly, there is evidence that suggests a difference in how the brain processes information that is typed or printed versus written in cursive.

Finally, writing in cursive helps to build vital parts of the brain (as opposed to all those un-vital parts) -- like memory and hand-eye coordination.

(When I hit a writer's block, I try and write a bit in cursive and it helps most of the time.  If it doesn't work, I start typing insignificant details in parentheses until I get a new idea).

There is a great article here that expounds upon the latter two reasons.

The how of teaching cursive is a little more tricky.  I have been lucky in that all three children have taken an interest in learning cursive, most likely because all of their trampy mother's notes scattered about the house are written in cursive.  They want to know what is on that perpetual shopping list on the refrigerator or the little reminders I scrawl while talking on the phone.  They also want to read my old letters and photo albums.

In our case, I have simply capitalized on this interest and encouraged them to write me notes in cursive.  Rhubarb grabbed a stencil we have and taught herself enough lettering to be able to do exactly that.  It has taken her a little longer to master the reading of cursive, but she can read mine fluently.  Eggplant has dabbled in his attempts at cursive over the years and has recently requested that I create worksheets from the aforementioned generator site, using his original stories.  So I type his stories into the site and it creates a worksheet that allows him to trace over the grey words -- his own grey words.  His cursive is improving.

Blueberry is starting to write some letters in cursive.   She also dictates stories for me to write in the handwriting worksheet generator.  Ironically, she does not have the best hand-eye coordination so cursive might prove very helpful to her.  She has been creating artistic renderings of portions of the Greek alphabet lately and that seems to be catapulting her printing of English into a more readable realm.

I like that my kids are interested in cursive.  I find hand-written notes to be quite lovely and often lament that my own cursive is steadily declining aesthetically as I spend more time on the computer.

2 comments:

Motherhood and More said...

Montessori teaches cursive first, before printing. I think the theory is the fluid movement is more natural for kids. I wonder if the other brain development stuff is part of their reasoning as well.

Maria said...

I decided against cursive but then just as you say the kids received birthday cards and such in cursive and couldn't read them. So we do it, ironically the boy who hates writing loves cursive and the girl who loves writing hates it. hmmmmm

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