Friday, May 9, 2014
The American Handwriting Analysis Foundation's Campaign For Cursive held a writing contest in the first months of 2014 for students in first through 6th grade with separate prizes for boys and girls. They had entries from 12 states and one teacher was interested enough in the project to make it a class assignment. What I found most interesting is the children themselves gave the best reasons for teaching cursive. If they understand this why do the adults have such a hard time with the concept. Each child was given three questions to choose from for their response. If you could get anyone's autograph whose would you like to have? What do you like about cursive? And what do you do cool with cursive? The answers on why you like cursive more often than not said it is faster because you don't need to lift your pen from the paper until you reach the end of the word. Another often heard was the loops mean the writing flows easily across the paper unlike printing with it's starts and stops. A few said it's faster because you don't have to go back and fix backwards letters. One boy even commented that people value you more when you can write cursive. An interesting observation for a child. When it came to the question on autographs one child said he planned on being an athletic star someday so he planned to practice his signature until then. Another said they wanted to be able to read cards or letters from grandparents and historical documents. Those of us who study handwriting know it activates other parts of the brain, is faster and promotes fine motor skills. The students also understood this but teachers and politicians do not. They claim because of technology handwriting, especially cursive, is irrelevant but they are so wrong and the students know it because they feel it when they write. Quite a lot of the entries were from homeschooled students and their writing was really good.