Don’t believe the myth. Cursive hasn’t gone the way of the dinosaurs.
Handwriting might be facing a crisis, but it’s not extinct just yet.
It’s true. In the United States and all over the world, penmanship is being abandoned. In a fast-paced world full of touchscreens and artificial intelligence, many people find it hard to envision a practical use for communication via paper and pen.
Thankfully for those of us who believe writing by hand to be crucial to the next generation’s growth and success, the research is finally proving its value. The great debate over cursive handwriting could be solved before we know it.
What happened to cursive handwriting in the classroom?
Cursive handwriting, and writing by hand in general, has fallen out of favor. With class times getting shorter and the number of students per teacher climbing higher, the individual attention and repeated practice required for successfully teaching cursive can be impossible to achieve.
More importantly, teaching handwriting takes time, and many educators and school districts fail to see it as an important skill for kids to learn. Compared to the lightning-fast efficiency of typing, cursive can seem antiquated and impractical.
Though we wholeheartedly embrace technology in the classroom, we would argue that the ever-earlier introduction of tablets and laptops into the classroom makes early handwriting education even more valuable. As it turns out, that’s proven to be true.
Science shows that learning cursive is worth it.
Did you know that handwriting education research is a field of study? It is! Dr. Virginia Berninger is a leading expert in the field, and her work indicates that learning handwriting improves kids’ ability to think. Her studies have shown that, despite all the efficiency achieved by computers, kids are able to write more and faster by hand than with keyboarding!
Thanks to the work of researchers like Dr. Berninger, the merits of writing by hand are being proven, and those results are starting to influence policy. Requirements for cursive education have been written into law in 14 states thanks to recent research demonstrating its benefits.
Why does cursive handwriting matter?
The benefits of handwriting revealed by brain scans and other research methods include:
- Increased brain activity
- Improved long-term information retention
- Better thought organization
- Increased ability to generate ideas
- Greater focus
- Improved motor coordination
What’s more, the benefits of penmanship continue to blossom throughout our lives. They don’t end with the conclusion of cursive class. Handwritten thoughts make a deeper impression on the brain, and writing by hand makes it easier to connect with others – and to disconnect from our screens.
Whether you’re in the car, without power, or someplace where keyboard clicks are unacceptable, it pays to know how to write by hand. Plenty of jobs involve working with handwritten notes. Even if your child at some point leaves handwriting behind forever, they’ll at least know how to read an old letter, jot down a timely note, and leave the mark of a non-print signature.
Reliable Access to Cursive Education
Though the science around cursive writing is exciting, we don’t believe you should ever have to fight for your child’s opportunity to learn print or cursive – whatever the research says. Whether your school has decided to stop teaching handwriting or your child is just frustrated or struggling, our handwriting classes can help. Our proven K-5 curriculum empowers every child to be successful by using positive, kid-friendly materials and multi-sensory learning experiences.
If you want your child to reap the benefits of learning cursive handwriting, you’re not alone. More than 2 million children in the United States are using our Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to make learning cursive easier and more fun. When kids receive instruction from educators who truly believe in the importance of the skill, everyone wins.