Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Art of Cursive

My mom had the most impeccable cursive I have ever seen; I wish I could share a sample of it with you. Severely dainty. Consistently legible. And incredibly flourishy. I couldn’t wait to write with the fancy, loopy letters like grown ups. And that’s exactly how third graders feel as we begin working in the “Writing Our Catholic Faith” Handwriting book to learn cursive writing each year. 

 “I love that they are learning cursive! I thought cursive was no longer taught.” ~ ASA parent 

Cursive seems to be a lost art. The unfortunate part of losing this “art” is that research identifies great benefits of learning handwriting. Scientists have recognized cursive writing (and drawing) activates the brain in ways that are integral for memory and retaining new information. Cursive actually will “provide the brain with optimal conditions for learning.” According to the same research, similar learning potential was not observed in typewriting or keyboarding (Frontiers in Psychology,  Whenever we can include movement with learning, more of the brain is stimulated, leading to better learning and higher retention (Van der Meer and Van der Weel, 2017). 

The third grade “Writing Our Catholic Faith” book uses faith-based words, sentences, and Scripture for instruction and practice. As third graders learn cursive formations, there’s always a Bible or Church lesson to correlate with each page. Once the final page is complete, we celebrate with a small graduation ceremony. Pomp and Circumstance can be heard in the background as full names are bellowed through the room in recognition of a job well done! 

 “Cursive makes me smart!” ~James
“Cursive looks cool.” ~Quinn
“Cursive is fun!” ~Alina
“I like it because it’s faster than penmanship.” ~Pete
“It helps me expand my handwriting.” ~Rowan
“It’s faster to write and looks exciting.” ~Zack
“It is faster!” ~Clara
“I like learning and using cursive because it’s fancy!” ~Sienna
“I like cursive because it’s easy. ~Lucy
“I like learning new things and it’s faster writing.” ~Jenna
“Cursive is cool because I’ll be able to write my name in cursive.” ~Beckett
“It looks very fancy.” ~ Henry
“Cursive is fun.” ~ Isaac

 As we all know, whenever learning is fun, the motivation to continue learning increases. Whether it’s because of the loops and flourish or it’s just more efficient to communicate with cursive, the kids love learning cursive from the first page, and they are very excited to begin using their new skill in their school work soon. 

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