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Cursive Writing

Is cursive writing still taught? Learn more about the arguments of whether cursive writing should still be taught in schools today. Some feel typing skills should replace cursive writing skills and that cursive writing is a dying art.

While some consider cursive writing to be a classic art form of the written word, others find it unnecessary and a practice that is slowly becoming extinct. In fact, many schools throughout the United States are no longer requiring students to learn the long hand version of cursive writing. While some states are maintaining this requirement in elementary school, other states are not making it a mandatory part of the schools' curriculum. However, many parents and teachers still want their children and students to learn this craft.

Why cursive is dying:
Many feel that cursive writing is becoming a way of the past, which is why many schools are not requiring that it be a mandatory part of the lessons kids learn in the classroom. With the increasing dependency on the computer and on typing, many educators and administrative members believe it to be more important for children to learn how to increase their typing skills rather than their writing skills. Many educators would rather spend their time teaching their students computer typing skills in a computer lab than encouraging the students on how to memorize cursive letter characters and practicing writing words in cursive over and over. There are about 41 states in the country that have so far adopted the new Common Core State Standards for English. This core standard does not require students to learn cursive. This curriculum guideline provides the outline for what students should have a comprehensive understanding of before they go to college or some form of higher education. These states that have adopted the standard do have the option to re-include cursive writing learning if they so choose. The requirement to know how to write in cursive is also not on the tests that rate the school under the No Child Left Behind Act. However, is taking out cursive entirely the best route to take when it comes to education? Studies are beginning to indicate otherwise. 

The benefits of learning cursive:
According to a recent study involving an experiment with two groups of adults where the participants were taught a new, foreign alphabet. One of these groups learned the characters by hand, but the other group learned to recognize the characters only on a screen with a keyboard. The results of the study showed that the members of the group who learned the characters by hand did a better job of recognizing them when they were tested. Brain scans of the two groups also showed greater activity in the part of the brain that has control over language comprehension in the group that learned the characters by hand. This group also demonstrated better motor-related processes and speech associated gestures as part of controlling that portion of the brain. Other studies have also shown that reading and writing have a greater impact on overall brain development than in comparison with digital technology. This is why many researchers are encouraging teachers to still include the handwriting and cursive learning part of the curriculum in with regular lessons in the classroom for their students. Despite the digital technology take over, it is important for students to learn to not allow that ease of technology to take over that thinking process for them. Learning cursive is also important because there are so many historical documents that are written in cursive writing. If students do not learn how to recognize characters written in cursive, they will be unable to understand what is written. It is also important because every adult needs to know to write their own signature for important documents. Cursive, or some version of it is essential for these matters.  

Learning cursive resources:
If your child is still required to learn how to write in cursive by the school's curriculum, or if you simply want to teach them yourself, there are plenty of online resources to help you teach your child how to write in cursive. There are free online templates and free online worksheets that can help your child learn cursive writing. Practice makes perfect when it comes to writing in cursive. Take time after other homework assignments to sit down with your child to help them learn to memorize the cursive written characters so they are able to easily recognize them and therefore read better when it comes to reading something written in cursive by someone else. It is also a good idea to encourage them to practice reading documents that are written in cursive. This can help with their character recognition. Continue writing in cursive and encourage your child to write everything they have to write out, versus type, in cursive handwriting. This will help with practice and consistency in learning how to write in cursive. 

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