Cursive and history = important pair
Cursive and history go together
Blame it on Common Core – cursive is dying. In many classrooms across the country, cursive is not a part of the day anymore. There are many who think this is OK and cursive is a dinosaur and should be left to wither and die. While it is true we can get along without it, considering how much communication can be done on a computer or iPhone, but just because you CAN get along without something doesn’t mean you should.
For example, humans can get along without chocolate, wine, and bacon, but ask around and see how many people want to give those things up just because they aren’t necessary.
Humans love flourish! We love color and decoration. We tattoo and pierce our bodies to show the world a piece of ourselves at a glance. Are the throw pillows you use to brighten your living room necessary? Not really, but isn’t it nicer to have them? Those earrings dangling on your ears right now…can you live without them? Of course, but don’t you feel happier wearing them? What about that little umbrella in your drink – doesn’t it taste better with it? I sure think it does! And, everything tastes better off of the ‘good’ plates.
Cursive. Is it necessary? Well, that depends. Do you want to read the love letters your great-grandfather wrote to his sweetheart during the war? Even if you never really want to read the words in historical documents like the Declaration of Independence shouldn’t you be able to? What about your signature? Completely 100% yours, so much so that it stood for your word for hundreds of years and still does. Those who couldn’t sign had to ‘make a mark’ in front of witnesses. Cursive is like another language that will be lost to time if we don’t bring it back into our children’s classroom.
Social and personal histories from the past were recorded in loving script like The Diary of Anne Frank, and some in not so famous ones but surely even more valuable like your great aunt Tessie’s journal or the family bible. Their nuances might be lost forever to the upcoming generations. How very sad.
But there is more to it than that! Research shows that writing in cursive can help children become better readers:
1. Cursive helps stop the confusing letter reversals like b and d.
When you print the letters b and d they are easily confused, but when you write them in cursive they are completely different. You start a cursive d and move your hand to the left, while you move to the right when creating the letter b in cursive. This helps young kids become more successful readers!
2. Cursive promotes a stronger memory of spelling.
When you use the fluid motion of cursive to practice spelling words, your muscle memory helps you! Children will retain those spelling words easier and longer if they use cursive to practice them.
3. Cursive fosters increased fluency with reading.
The goal to fluid reading is to be able to read whole words at a glance instead of sounding out every single letter. Think how slowly you would read if you had to sound out ‘the’ and ‘and’ for example. When you write in cursive each word becomes a unit as you don’t pick up your pencil until you are finished with the word.
One of the many reasons we travel with the kids is to learn the history of a place. Cursive is one way to keep that history alive for the next generation of children. If your school excludes cursive consider teaching your child yourself. You can find resources where we find everything else these days – online. Kidzone is a great spot for resources. Or, have your grandmother teach a lesson – connecting her past to your children’s future.
Happy literate travels!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist