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Dispelling the Myths About Cursive: Is Cursive Necessary?

In the age of digital communication, one might wonder if learning cursive is still relevant. Cursive handwriting has long been a staple of education in former years, but many myths have arisen surrounding its necessity more recently.

Let's debunk 4 common myths about cursive and discuss whether it is worth the effort is today's world.

1) Cursive is outdated.

One of the most prevalent myths about cursive is that it is outdated. With the access to computers and smartphones, it's easy to to see why some might consider cursive a relic of the past. However, the truth is that cursive remains relevant for several reasons. It fosters cognitive development, encourages better hand-eye coordination, and research shows it improves both spelling and written composition (Berninger & Wolf, 2016). Moreover, it's important for reading historical documents as they are often written in cursive.

2) Cursive is too hard to learn.

Another misconception is that cursive is too difficult to master. While it may seem challenging initially, like any skill, cursive can be learned with practice and quality instruction. Once acquired, cursive writing often becomes faster and more fluid than printing. Dr. Taneri & Dr Akduman (2018) found that students actually like to write in cursive. It all comes down to explicit instruction and quality practice.

3) School doesn't teach cursive so why should I care?

It's true that in years past, some schools have reduced the emphasis on teaching cursive handwriting. But more recently, states are looking at the research and starting to bring cursive back into the curriculum. We are realizing that cursive remains an essential skill for personal and academic reasons and can be a valuable asset, particularly for students who struggle with writing in print or who have dyslexia or dysgraphia, as you'll see below.

4) My kid already struggles with writing, won't cursive be too hard?

If your child faces difficulties with writing, the prospect of learning cursive might seem daunting. However, cursive can actually help some children overcome writing challenges. It encourages smoother, more continuous movements that can be less fatiguing than printing. Additionally, the unique flow of cursive may make it easier for some students to grasp the concept, particularly if they are burnt out or frustrated with printing.

So what can we take away from this?? Cursive is far from being obsolete. It is a skill that carries numerous benefits, from improving cognitive function and academic output to being able to read grandma's note. While it does require some effort to learn, there are so many tools and curriculum and strategies that can teach students in a fun way. Even if schools place less emphasis on it, cursive remains valuable in our modern world. If your child struggles with handwriting, consider that cursive might be a helpful alternative to traditional printing.

Did you know that we offer cursive handwriting instruction and remediation? We have clients that have gone from illegible writing to absolutely beautiful cursive. Let's chat to see how we can help.

For more research on cursive, click here!

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