Useful guide on whether cursive writing is required for preschoolers today
You are all probably familiar with this- a time when you sat down every day to practice each letter of the English alphabet on cursive writing worksheets. No matter how much, as a preschooler, you may have enjoyed cursive writing practice, it was the norm back then. It was a time when learning cursive writing was a rite of passage in the early years of schooling.
Not all schools today focus as much on cursive writing for kids. Cursive writing practice seems to have taken a backseat to either print writing or the use of the keyboard. A number of schools have taken cursive handwriting out of their teaching. Instead, they focus on print handwriting. That said, there are still a significant number of schools and teachers who consider cursive writing a to z and cursive writing 1 to 10 as an important skill. As they associate a preschooler’s learning development with the benefits of cursive writing, they feel it is crucial to introduce cursive writing for beginners of the English language, especially in preschool.
Though times have changed, the questions remain. Is cursive writing compulsory in this day and age? Is cursive writing easy as one makes it sound? Is cursive writing faster than print handwriting. With advocates for both styles of writing rallying around the benefits for their respective styles, the debate between print vs cursive handwriting rages on. And as parents, there begins our confusion. With so much information out there championing/ making a case for both styles of handwriting practices, it can be harder for parents to decide which, to begin with as handwriting practice for their little ones.
Understanding the impact of cursive handwriting on preschoolers:
Let’s look at how cursive writing can impact your preschooler’s development based on some of the existing arguments.
- Seen as a more natural way of writing
- It can be time consuming and frustrating
- Cursive writing rules can be forgotten if not used regularly
- Looks at words as a whole than mere parts
- Enables better understanding of how words are organized & combined to form sentences
- May improve spelling and reading abilities
- Cursive writing font can be less legible and harder to read
- 3 main strokes for cursive writing- under curve, over curve and up & down
- Prevents letter reversal and confusion
- Encourages spatial discipline
- More fluid approach to handwriting- lowercase letters begin from the baseline, it allows for greater continuity in letter formation
- Considered to be faster than print. However, some arguments say otherwise
Cognitive & Physical development
- Dynamic engagement of brain hemispheres
- Utilizes tactile and visual stimuli
- Fine tunes and strengthens motor skills
- Improves mental efficiency, muscle & thinking memory, and hand-eye coordination
- Requires more motor coordination due to greater complexity of letters
Though there is enough and more information out there on both styles of handwriting, the jury is still out on whether print is better than cursive writing handwriting. The debate on teaching cursive writing rules to a preschooler continues.
Historically, both forms of handwriting have been used over time to teach children writing. Both seem to have their benefits and drawbacks. However, irrespective of which style you choose to follow, do remember that it is critical to teach your preschooler to write by hand. This is what that’s most important- to start with, especially at a time when technology seems to rule our lives. Learning to write is important for your preschooler’s cognitive development and enhances early reading skills. We want our little ones to develop the ability to clearly express themselves in different situations and to a diverse audience. To enable this, in addition to speaking skills, they must increase writing fluency. The sure way to improve handwriting fluency is to engage them in lots of writing. So, what they communicate is probably more critical than how they transcribe.
Through Kutuki's certified online preschool program and unassisted self-paced modes of learning, Kutuki’s experts focus on the pre-writing skills, the lines and stroke patterns your preschooler needs to develop before they start writing. Kutuki’s personalized and immersive learning experience utilizes developmentally appropriate ways and activities to introduce writing to preschoolers. Watch the ‘finger tracing’ videos with your little one. It allows your preschooler to practice lowercase and uppercase letter writing through finger tracing activities on the Kutuki app. Instant feedback will be provided to your preschooler that will guide them to write correctly.
For a range of more such fun and engaging activities for preschoolers, download the Kutuki kids learning app now!
Ultimately, irrespective of what form of writing style you choose to practice with your preschooler, one important aspect to bear in mind is that your preschooler should eventually learn to write by hand. And in that process, they should ideally develop handwriting fluency through regular handwriting practice.