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Five Reasons Kids Should Still Learn Cursive Writing

Lawmakers continue to fight to keep handwriting in the classroom, despite the growing power of the keyboard

This past summer, Tennessee state Rep. Sheila Butt got a call from a mother who said she wanted to talk about her son, a junior in high school. The woman explained that her son’s history teacher was writing homework assignments on the board in cursive—and her son couldn’t read them. Butt did some digging and found similar problems across the state. “We had students not able to read, nor write their signature, in cursive writing … That was unbelievable to me,” she said in February. “To say that we’ve educated children in Tennessee and taken away this form of instruction, this link to our heritage out of classrooms, is a grave disservice.”

Butt, speaking at a committee hearing, had just introduced an amendment that would mandate cursive instruction in all public schools, a measure that was put on the books as law in mid-May. At least five other states have considered—or are still considering—similar bills this year, all attempts to defy the oft-heralded “death of handwriting” wrought by the almighty keyboard. But proponents say they aren’t just nostalgic Luddites. Here are other arguments the pro-cursive crowd uses to demand classroom time alongside QWERTY.

American institutions still require signatures for things!

Butt provided the example of needing to both sign and print one’s name to receive a registered letter at the post office, as well signing one’s name to support a candidate for public office. More generally, one’s John Hancock is a tool that can provide security; experts have said that printed letters are easier to forge.

It’s good for our minds!

Research suggests that printing letters and writing in cursive activate different parts of the brain. Learning cursive is good for children’s fine motor skills, and writing in longhand generally helps students retain more information and generate more ideas. Studies have also shown that kids who learn cursive rather than simply manuscript writing score better on reading and spelling tests, perhaps because the linked-up cursive forces writers to think of words as wholes instead of parts.

Kids can’t read the Declaration of Independence!

At least not…  Continue reading the article by Katy Steinmetz here:  http://time.com/2820780/five-reasons-kids-should-still-learn-cursive-writing/