Should Homeschoolers Focus on Cursive Handwriting?
This guest article is from Zaner-Bloser, publisher of research-based reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary programs for teachers and homeschoolers. Read on to find out about the free printables available on their web site, and a discount code for a premium program.
Homeschoolers face decisions every day as to what should be on the lesson plans for their children. Obviously homeschoolers want to make sure to keep on track with appropriate educational goals for their age; however, there are some “extras” that that can be added in at various times. Those subjects can include different levels of music, art, and cursive handwriting, to name a few.
More and more public schools are removing cursive handwriting due to a reported lack of time in the daily schedule, most likely due to an ever-increasing focus on standardized testing preparation. Homeschoolers however, can adjust their teaching schedules to include topics outside the standard core subjects. They have flexibility to include what they believe to be important to the educational, emotional, and psychological development of their children. Many homeschoolers believe by eliminating topics like art, music, American history, cursive handwriting (basically anything that does not have a standardized test attached to it), and civics from the school day, school systems are forgetting what makes each student a unique individual as well as eliminating subjects that teach creative and critical thinking skills.
Many believe that cursive in no longer necessary due to an increased use of computers and technology. That school funds would be better spent on a teacher who will instruct students on keyboarding skills as opposed to cursive handwriting. This has even been a point of debate in the New York Times.
Many homeschoolers, however, believe that cursive handwriting is an important skill to both teach and learn. There are many programs available to help teach children cursive handwriting such as the one from Zaner-Bloser. Research has shown that improved handwriting skills can benefit cognitive development and motor skills, which can ultimately lead to better writing skills as well as improved reading comprehension. According to information found in Psychology Today, scientists are discovering that learning cursive is an important part of cognitive development, specifically in helping the brain learning “functional specialization.” Cursive writing also helps in fine motor control that is needed to move the fingers. Additionally, brain imaging studies have shown that cursive activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding. Students need to focus on what they are doing.
So despite the decision of many public schools to eliminate cursive writing, many homeschoolers plan on keeping it as part of their homeschooling plan.
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Disclosure: This guest article is from Zaner-Bloser. I was not compensated for this guest post. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours.