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Cursive Handwriting: Too Good to Lose

Last updated 4 years ago

Do you remember practicing handwriting in elementary school? What we didn't know back then was that those writing exercises were laying the groundwork for bigger and better things.

In their article "Cutting Cursive, The Real Cost," Alexandra Beer and Candace Meyer explain that practicing cursive handwriting builds the "neural pathways" and stimulates the activity in our brains that we need to learn how to think, read, play games, do everyday hand movements, and interact socially.

Along with helping us develop cognitive, fine motor, and sensory skills, cursive writing has many other benefits.

Boosts writing confidence
Cursive writing allows us to write faster and with more ease. In printing, it takes time to form a letter, then stop and move to the next one. The fluid motions of cursive writing eliminate these breaks within a word and allow a more consistent rhythm to develop in writing.

Improves spelling
Connecting letters allows us to write and see whole words rather than individual printed letters. It may also assist in memorizing patterns of spelling ("I" before "e").

Enhances writing skills, memory, and creativity
Studies have shown that writing, printing, and typing involve "distinct and separate brain patterns." In one study, children who wrote by hand "not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas." They also showed better memory, thinking, and reading skills.

Offers options for challenged readers and writers
Some people with dysgraphia can write only printed letters; others, only cursive. In the same way, some who develop Alexia can read only cursive, others only print.

Those with Dyslexia or A.D.D. may avoid the inversion of letters more easily because the fluid connecting motions of cursive help writers and readers distinguish between similar letters such as b and d, q and p.

Emphasizes our individuality and self-esteem
Handwriting is self-expression. Some of our sense of who we are is reflected in our handwriting and our signature.

Cursive writing is too valuable to lose. Let us know what you think the next time you visit The Literacy & Language Center.

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