Handwriting Experts Caution There Are Much More Important Subjects Than Cursive Writing For Public School Students To Be Entirely Unable To Master First

Is our childs lerning approach tried at Maine schoolsThe Aug. 6 Sun Journal editorial continued an ongoing discussion of cursive handwriting, “New ways to write right, but not in cursive.” A lot of people have been making noise about the death of cursive handwriting. They don’t want cursive to die. Handwriting matters, but does cursive matter? Research by Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger and Naomi Weintraub in “The Relation between Handwriting Style and Speed and Legibility,” in the Journal of Educational Research, shows that the fastest and most legible handwriters join only some letters, not all of them; making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. Reading cursive matters vitally — but even children can be taught to read writing that they are not taught to produce. Reading cursive handwriting takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn — much less time than to learn how to write the same way. Reading cursive can be taught to five- or six-year-olds, as soon as they have learned to read. The value of reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing in cursive. Why not teach children to read cursive handwriting, along with teaching other vital skills — such as a handwriting style that is actually typical of effective handwriters? (read more, if you can read, at Lewiston Sun Journal)