The Benefits of Cursive Handwriting

The style of writing with pen or pencil in which all the letters in a word are connected is called cursive, longhand, script, or penmanship. Every person develops their own, unique way of forming letters even if they were taught by the same person using the same alphabet style. The benefits of cursive handwriting or penmanship range from practical life applications to artistic endeavors. The writer can take time to form thoughts, resulting in an increased range of vocabulary and higher quality, well-thought-out writing.

Once homeschoolers learn cursive, they can focus on learning spelling and sentence structure as there is no longer a need to concentrate on forming shapes, and the flow of continuous letters becomes automatic.

Cursive Handwriting is an Important Skill

Although some parents may think of handwriting as an elective, it is an important basic skill together with reading and math. Learning how to shape letters helps in developing and honing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Traditional electives such as sports (especially those which move an object like hockey, all racquet sports, lacrosse, soccer, and basketball) and playing music also develop eye-hand coordination, and together with mastery of cursive writing are all challenges leading to increased confidence in one’s skills.

When your children need to sign a document such as a driver’s license or an application form or legal documents (for example, loans, etc.), they will be able to sign rather than print their name. When there is no access to a keyboard or mobile phone, they can write down notes, thoughts, or points more quickly rather than take longer with printing. They will be able to read another person’s handwritten notes rather than rely on machine-printed records.

Knowing how to write cursive prepares the student for learning calligraphy. Then it is just a short step from moving on to fancy scripts such as copperplate which is used for engraving. Accomplished cursive writers will have the ability to prepare fancy/varied/creative signs or posters and consider graphic design possibilities or careers in fine art.

From Art to History: Cursive Handwriting

History is not the only subject which throws light on the past and provides students with valuable experience without having to live through the actual events. Learning to read cursive handwriting enables children to be able to read works in older or fancier scrips such as historical documents. Having access to these documents provides a connection to previous generations.

While not a universal attitude, some people judge individuals who cannot write or read cursive as less literate or not as smart. As public schools drop teaching the art of handwriting and deprive students of learning this valuable, practical skill, homeschoolers will have learned it as part of a well-rounded, thorough educational program taught at home.

Simple Ideas to Get Your Kids Writing

The most frequent questions about handwriting are

  • How do I help my child develop an interest in the cursive alphabet?

Use a dotted interlined exercise notebook (sheets with a dotted line between two solid lines) and group letters with the same shapes together. Teach vowels first and find three- and four-letter words to practice the simplest combinations.

  • How do I incorporate handwriting into other studies?

You can assign copying in cursive favorite hymns, proverbs, sayings, or select Bible verses, all of which will help in memorizing them.

  • I don’t feel confident teaching handwriting – my handwriting is terrible.

Find a script that you like on the internet (look for the cursive alphabet, click on the image for a free download, print one as your master copy, and make more copies to practice going over the shapes). Don’t worry that the alphabets do not have all of their letters as you were taught to write them. I have yet to see one sample where all the letters would look like the style in which I write.

Being able to write in longhand gives the writer more time to think things through, to achieve higher quality writing, and to become more confident in this basic skill set. Cursive practice will help in developing a graceful, elegant writing style for personal letter writing and works of art. These notes in cursive are especially thoughtful.

The Benefits of Cursive Handwriting


Barboria Bjarne is a freelance writer and artist. She has written, illustrated, and self-published two children’s books: Quanny and Danny (rhyme) and Grayson and the Crumbly, Grumbly, Rumbly Cookie (prose).

Barboria Bjarne lives with her family close to the Rockies – growing lavender on her urban homestead when not writing or painting.

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