In today’s age of iPhones and tablets, you may wonder why your child even needs to learn cursive handwriting. Chances are most people will simply be dictating and typing in the future, right?
Although electronic devices are making the writing process much easier and more convenient, evidence shows that using a pen and paper offers a number of benefits that typing doesn’t. In fact, researchers have even found that writing by hand helps with many things from critical thinking to memory and more. This research also reveals that children’s brains benefit from using pencil and paper instead of a computer keyboard. With that said, let’s go over the benefits of writing cursive.
Benefits of Writing Cursive
There are a number of benefits of having your child learn to write cursive. Some benefits include:
Develops Motor Skills
Writing in cursive demands a different skill set than printing. Your child uses their hand muscles in distinct ways. It also activates a different part of your child’s brain than print writing. Schools typically teach children cursive writing around the age of 7 or 8 years old and this is the age where it’s important to further your child’s motor skill development.
Writing in cursive encourages your child to be highly personal and artistic. It allows them to express their creativity and individuality. As your child develops their cursive hand, they will begin to personify their own unique form of writing that people will come to know and associate with them; it’s a crucial step to developing their own voice and style.
Teaching children to only write the English language in print writing only gives them one way of learning and memorizing the letters. When they’re also taught cursive writing, they get another chance to comprehend the alphabet completely. They also get a better understanding of how to form the letters which improve their print writing too.
A huge developmental feature is hand-eye coordination. Learning to write, either print or cursive offers the same features as throwing and catching a ball which helps your child develop hand-eye coordination. Writing also encourages thinking, something that doesn’t occur while they’re making the throw and catch movements. Cursive magnifies the thinking level because it requires specific hand-eye coordination that’s different for each letter in the alphabet.
Also, with cursive writing, the movements your child makes is continuously variable and demands more mental ability than making single strokes in printing. And, since cursive letters are more disparate than printed letters, your child can learn how to read with more simplicity, even if they’re dyslexic.
If your child is struggling with the fine motor skills that are essential for proficiency in handwriting, talk with their pediatric occupational therapist to see what you can do to help them develop these skills.