There is a big debate these days about teaching children cursive writing. Recently the media has published several articles about the fact that Cursive Handwriting is a dying art. Schools are barely teaching cursive handwriting anymore since it is not included on end of grade tests. While students may receive some instruction in Cursive writing in the 3rd grade, without practice it does not become an automatic and proficient skill for many children. There is also no requirement to use cursive writing in many schools so students revert back to printing, which is easier for them. There is also the argument that this generation of students will use the computer for much of their writing. So, why is cursive writing still important?
The small muscles in the hand develop as we use them for precision skills. Handwriting is one of those precision skills. We use different sets of muscles to hold the pen correctly with a tripod grasp than with a less refined grasp. Cursive writing is usually taught later than printing because we need even more muscle control to guide the pen smoothly across the page as we connect the letters to form words. The stop and start movements in printing do not encourage those muscles to develop endurance or "flow" as cursive writing teaches. These same muscles are the ones that help children with manipulating clothing fasteners… can they button and tie their shoes well? If we raise a generation of children that don't fully develop their dexterity then who will take over the jobs later that require fully developed fine motor skills such as surgeons, scientists or computer technicians.
Many parents feel we should not handicap our students by not allowing them to fully develop their motor and visual coordination skills. Cursive handwriting practice does so much more than take up precious time to learn in the schools, but actually enhances skills in many other areas.
If you are one of those parents, here are 3 clip art printable pages. A blank practice writing sheet you can print and use for practice as well as a printing and a cursive practice sheet children can use as a guide.
Page 2 - Printing Practice Sheet
Page 3 - Cursive Practice Sheet
Page 4 - Blank Printable Sheet