Spotlight on the Crew — Cursive Handwriting

{This week’s Spotlight on the Crew article is brought to you from Jennifer, at  a glimpse of our life

A friend recently shared that when she took her son for his driver’s license permit, she noticed that he printed his name on the signature line. Cursive was not prioritized with him, so he was unable to use that skill.
Many times I have been asked if cursive writing is necessary. It is not necessarily an easy skill, and as our children’s teachers we have some freedom to change up what we teach. My answer, though, is yes, unless your child is physically unable to write, then you should teach them how to write in cursive even if they do not use the skill often.
Think about the last time you used cursive writing. Bank checks, the authorization for credit and debit cards, legal papers, medical papers, and even when you pick up medication are just a few examples of times your signature is requested. Even if you choose not to work on any other cursive writing with your children, help them perfect their cursive signature.
Sometimes young children have difficulty reading cursive. I can remember times when all of my children were younger and unable to read notes from Grandparents. As they practice forming letters themselves, interpreting them for reading becomes easier as well. Recently we studied a reproduction of our nation’s constitution. If my children did not have an understanding of cursive writing they would have had even more difficulty deciphering the document’s fancy script.
Some handwriting programs actually begin with teaching cursive letter formation before printed letters. Several have said that their boys have learned better that way. I prefer to focus on it after letter formation of printed letters has already been learned; it is a natural progression to a more complex method of writing.
As you teach your child cursive letter formation, remember to work on small amounts at a time. Focus on one letter or one stroke and let them practice that for a day or more before moving on. Keeping the lessons short will help prevent them becoming overwhelmed with their new skill.
As with print, there are many different styles to cursive, too. Remember that your child will imitate you, so be sure that you are consistent with writing the same way that you have taught them. Make time to purposefully demonstrate cursive letter formation in a relevant task such as incorporating copy work with a lesson from science or literature.
Jennifer is an Occupational Therapist with 18 years experience working with children. With the support of her husband, she currently homeschools their three children. She has been a part of the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew for 4 years. Visit her blog  a glimpse of our life.

1 thought on “Spotlight on the Crew — Cursive Handwriting”

  1. A friend of mine and I recently had a discussion about this. Although a lot of our fellow home schoolers aren’t planning to teach cursive, we both feel that it’s really important and useful. One thing my friend pointed out is that if a child ever plans to go into history/archeology, a lot of old documents are written in cursive.


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