10 Reasons to Teach Cursive Writing First Before Print
- Cursive writing can be used as a learning tool. Writer speeds up and focus more on content.
- It is not hard to learn cursive first, you can develop good print style later.
- Cursive encourage large motor activity versus fine motor activity required by print.
Since 1941, schools used the “ball and stick” manuscript or print. As a consequence, we have a generation of handwriting disasters. Children write with words so close together. Common letter reversals and confusions with patterns of “b and d”, “m and w”, “d and g” are so rampant among school children until middle school. Thus, many students are diagnosed with learning disabilities including dyslexia.
Proponents of teaching print first point out to the possibility that children will have difficulty reading books since it is not in cursive. They also claim that teaching cursive requires more complicated strokes. They argue that the resulting poor handwriting of the present generation can be solved by technology through the use of computer devices. Thus, cursive writing is a lost art that is replaceable by new technologies.
If the benefits of teaching cursive first is understood, many parents will delay the introduction of print in later years of childhood and focus on teaching cursive first in preschool to first grade.
10 Benefits of Teaching Cursive Handwriting
1.Relative ease in introducing cursive penmanship to preschoolers.
Contrary to common beliefs, it is very easy to teach cursive handwriting. It only requires 3 movements: undercurve, overcurve and up and down. Print handwriting necessitates an even more complex stroke of straight lines and perfect circles.
2.Prevents reversals and confusion of letters
The letters “b and d”, “f and t”, “g, q and p” are confusing for young children. In cursive, writing the letter “b and d” require a huge difference in directionality.
3.Enhances spelling ability
In cursive, children learn to spell correctly since hand movements create some muscle memory that retains the spelling patterns.
4.Develops internal control systems that can be used as tool for learning
In a cursive writing, the incorporation of movement, pressure and visual processing is a bit multifaceted. This augments visual spacial and coordination skills. In writing lowercase letters in print, six strokes are required against three movements in cursive writing. Fluent movement is developed. With cursive writing practice, the neuron connections in the brain, responsible for organizing other kinds of information and skills, are greatly strengthened.
5.Potential for errors are diminished
Cursive handwriting reduces errors because of the continuous flow of writing. In print, the child picks up the pencil from the paper to start a new letter in a word, thus the potential for mistakes is higher.
6.Improved reading skills
The goal in reading is to read words instead of letters at a time. Cursive writing promotes reading words, instead of a distinct letter. After words, reading will move to sentences. Thus, remedial support for comprehension and reading of words are occurring less. The child reads what he or she writes as “whole words” rather than as individual letters.
7.Enforces the skills for patterns in reading and writing
Unlike print writing, lower case cursive writing starts from the same beginning point. In print, various letter start from the top, down, middle and many different positions . Letter inversions and reversals are eliminated.
8. Prevents erratic spaces between letters and words
In cursive, the flow of writing moves from left to right. It teaches spatial discipline. In print, the child’s handwritings are difficult to discern. The spaces between words are so tight. It is hard to tell where the words begin and end.
9. Helps Left Handed Children
In print, the left-handed child proceeds to write printing from left to right but will cover what he has written with his arms. This is called the hook position. In cursive writing, the left-handed child learns to write from bottom up and turns the paper clockwise causing great comfort and legibility.
10.Use as a tool to put thoughts on paper quickly and easily
Mastery of cursive will be to the advantage of any student in the long-run. The child will be able to write faster. The student can get his or her ideas on paper quicker. It can also be advantageous in taking notes from lectures.
The handwriting of our present generation is pathetic. The generation of our grandmothers are proud of their cursive handwriting because they labored to perfect the art of cursive handwriting. With print being taught first in schools and many home school curricula, bad habits are acquired that are difficult to break. The shocking proportions of learning disabilities including Dysgraphia and Dyslexia in our generation may be to a certain extent, be related to print handwriting.
Samuel L. Blumenfield, “How Should We Teach Our Children to Write? Cursive First, Print Later!”
This past semester was really hectic and incredibly busy. We had a play (Alice in Wonderland- which I directed) and we hosted the Chiang Mai Model United Nations for all the International Schools in Chiang Mai (and I coordinated the hosting of this event), plus we had about a million other activities (Loy Kratong, many royal holidays, etc)…all in all, it’s a wonder that we got any work done at all!
Nonetheless, here are some pictures of some of our projects (Years 7,8 and 9 make up what the Brits call Key Stage 3, FYI). Luckily, I was able to adapt the projects to the play I was directing and so, as you will see from our play program, those studying graphic design designed posters for the play, while others designed stencilled shirts or helped to design the scenery. Finally, year 9 created a mural to celebrate and commemorate the play.
Here is the website for the play (which opened on 18th November 2012 at the Kad Theater): http://minalwaywin.wix.com/minx
And here is the website for the Model United Nations Event on 28th November 2012: vmun.varee.ac.th
Anyways, here are a few pics! In a previous post I have already shown some of the cubist work done by Year 8 in August 2012.
Yep, believe it or not, art CAN be tested (in one way or another, that is).
In Da Vinci’s time, when the Pope wanted to pick who his next painter would be, he would he would have the artist draw a perfect circle free-hand. This was considered the mark of a master painter.
In OUR time, it’s a little bit more complicated…
The IGCSE stipulates that students who are going to take the Art and Design IGCSE must have an 8 week preparatory period followed by a total of 8 hours of test time in which to MAKE their final piece. They are allowed to bring in to the test two A2 sized pieces of paper which they can fill with all their preparatory sketches which they have done over the past 8 weeks and then from those sketches they create the final piece. During the prep period the teacher is allowed to aid the students in skill matters but obviously not in coming up with the actual project. The students are graded to the degree on which they accomplish five Assessment Objectives (Research, Experimentation, Aesthetics, Use of Media and Personal Vision) which should be evident in their preparatory work and in the final piece. Planning is also evaluated, since an unfinished project will cause the student to lose many points due to poor planning and lack of previous practice. These sketches and the final piece are then shipped off to Cambridge where they are graded and a few months later the students know their grades (on a 0-100 scale).
Well, our Year 11s will have their big test April 2013 so this December I gave them a practice test with all the conditions as if it were the real one. And to the fresh Year 10s I gave a quarter of this test to begin to prepare them.
Here are some pics of the Year 10′s Test and some of the finished pieces (done in 2 hours after 2 weeks prep).
Here they are working during the two hour test period (incredible concentration!):
And here is some of the art work they produced (one example of their prep work and their final piece, each, and not in order):
And here are some examples from Year 11′s 8 hour full Mock IGCSE:
I have not been publishing much on the art site lately since I have been so busy directing the school play, but soon, updates will follow, especially since KS3 and KS4 students are finishing their second projects!
For the time being, check out our Alice in Wonderland VCIS style site: http://minalwaywin.wix.com/minx#!home/mainPage
Created by Min, Year 9.
Another way to access this site is through our international.varee.ac.th site and by clicking on “about the school”
Also, coming up: Updates on the Model United Nations which I am also organizing (vmun.varee.ac.th). This will be the second time we host the Chiang Mai Model United Nations with (almost) all the international schools in Chiang Mai participating, plus the Chiang Mai University MUN club (which I helped launch last year) and our Mattayom 6 high school students participating for the first time as well! November is a BUSY time for me! (also my birthday month, Nov. 24 in case any one wants to send a gift my way ; )
Busy but fun!
Last Friday14th September Naomi Lewis was gracious enough to visit our school and give a 1 hour and a half coaching lesson to all of our students. Her visit was extremely helpful. It is a shame that she needs to go back to England so soon and was unable to return for more sessions.
We will work with what she advised us!
See you at the opening on 18th November at Kad Theater!