The use of cursive handwriting has slowly declined since the 1970’s. It is seldom taught in our schools today. Although it is no longer included in the Common Core State Standards curriculum, teachers can make a decision on a local level as to whether or not to teach their students cursive writing. Some say it is no longer relevant in this digital age of technology. Other educators have chosen not to include this as a required subject due to feeling the pressure of leaner school budgets and limited class time.
The Benefits of Handwriting
1) Functional brain development and improved brain function by helping with neurotransmitter brain stimulation and coordination.
2) Stimulation of brain synapses (structures that permit nerve cells to pass signals to each other) between the left and right brain hemispheres.
3) Memory retention. The slower pace of handwriting is believed to help us process and conceptualize information as we write, enhancing retention and recall of the learned material. (Some students using cursive in their essay portion of the SAT were found to score slightly higher than those who printed. This may be due to their ability to focus on the cohesion of ideas with the speed and efficiency of the connected cursive stroke.)
4) Development of fine motor skills.
5) Improved reading and learning capability. Improved learning of letters and shapes. Improved idea composition. (Rand Nelson of Peterson Directed Handwriting noted that the act of cursive handwriting may help children overcome motor challenges through the process of holding the pencil and forming the curls and connections of the letters.)
Help With Dyslexia?
According to Marilyn Zecher, a language specialist at the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center (ASDEC) in Rockville, Maryland, cursive writing “can help them with the decoding process because it integrates hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and other brain and memory functions.” She indicates that the learning difficulty in dyslexic children arises from an inefficient association of sound and letter combinations in their brains.
If you desire to learn and/or teach cursive handwriting, there are Internet websites available that provide instructions and practice sheets.
In Revelation 21, there is a description of the New Jerusalem. It is a place only for believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – those whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is one case where handwriting truly matters! Has God written your name there? If not, please settle the matter and make that decision today.
“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27 / NIV)
What are your thoughts on whether or not children should be taught cursive handwriting in school?