The Importance of Cursive Handwriting in Today’s Education
I have been observing this “problem” for over twenty years, and actively studying and developing a solution to it for the past 10-15 years. Firstly, children today do not have proper pencil grip… and schools are not prepared to teach it, let alone cursive writing. As a children’s literature author and illustrator of over 30 titles, I spent a lot of time in schools drawing with children. I have always been astounded at the challenge writing and drawing and yes, cursive, presents to kiddos. Therefore, we are tackling this problem at DrawnToDiscover. The science, research, and academic success that follows handwriting, proper pencil grip, and the fine motor skills these aptitudes deliver are unquestionable.
The Disappearance of Cursive in Common Core
Cursive writing was dropped from Common Core standards in 2010. Since then, nearly half of the 50 states have reintroduced cursive in elementary schools. Cursive is being re-mandated because research has shown the importance of cursive in motor skills, letter association, and brain development.
The motor planning and fine motor skills involved in cursive activates the region of the brain where visual stimuli becomes letters and written words. Therefore, writing cursive requires using parts of the brain where visuals and language come together. Cursive is correlated with both improved spelling and composition of sentences. At Drawn to Discover, our programs draw kids into reading and writing by laying the foundation with fun follow along lessons.
Connections Between Drawing and Cursive
Drawing is an important precursor to cursive writing because it teaches kids the sequencing of strokes necessary for letter formation. Sequential steps in writing are a motor area which with rote learning becomes automatic. Before moving on to writing, children need to learn the nine pre-writing strokes: vertical, horizontal, plus sign, slant, diagonal, x, circle, square, and triangle. With Drawn to Discover, Ms. Wendy and our instructive videos teaches kids the fundamentals through drawing. Through drawing, we teach kids pre-writing strokes, motor planning, and sequential steps. Additionally, drawing has proven beneficial to cursive writing. The strokes fit together to make a picture the same way the strokes will fit together to make a letter.
All in all, cursive is coming back and it’s not just a trend to be taught in calligraphy class. Research connects cursive with word and letter formation, the basis of language instruction. You cannot build on a cracked foundation, which is why development of motor skills and pre-writing strokes are the first step. Drawn to Discover offers a cursive program along with other drawing programs that builds the foundation of reading and writing for kids.
~Caleigh Cramer and Miss WEndy
Reference Source: “Is Cursive Writing Coming Back? It Looks Like It”