Research has shown that kids who learn to write in cursive receive brain benefits they don't get from keyboarding or printing letters. Writing in cursive trains the brain the capacity for optimal efficiency or functional specialization.
As children learn how to read and write in cursive through repetition, consistency and practice, they need to integrate their fine motor skills with tactile and visual processing abilities. Cognitive development and function are supported through this multi-sensory experience.
There are six main reasons that cursive is easier and offers benefits over manuscript, according to Pedia Learning Inc. These include:
- It's not as fine-motor skill intensive.
- Each lowercase letter begins on the same baseline.
- Children can control spacing between and within words.
- The beginning and ending of words are accentuated by lifting the pencil between words.
- Letters like d's and b's are harder to reverse.
- Mastery over muscle memory will last a lifetime.
Research shows that writing in cursive and printing letters activate different sections of the child's brain. Fine motor skills are enhanced in children through writing cursive, and they can usually generate more ideas and retain information through longhand writing.
It's also been shown that children who learn cursive instead of just printing score better on spelling and reading tests. Once kids learn cursive, it's simpler for them to learn print. The same is not true in reverse.
Children who write in cursive can read print; however, if they only learn print, they can't as easily read cursive. Cursive handwriting is a crucial part of dyslexic children being successful students since it triggers different parts of the brain to interact, according to a former teacher, Marilyn Zecher, who is Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center's language specialist.
Unfortunately, kids are not being taught to write in cursive anymore by many school districts. For the school districts that do, they are abbreviating the lessons to provide room for newer standards.
If you interested in improving your child’s handwriting, reach out to a San Diego pediatric occupational therapist today.