Modern children rarely need to use cursive handwriting skills. Kids are using their smartphones and tablets all the time, and keyboarding skills have become much more important for employees than handwriting. At the same time, research data shows that handwriting cursive letters is very beneficial for children’s development. Handwriting combines different activities because kids need to draw shapes of letters with their hands while tracking the movement of the pen and formulating phrases. Handwriting can also improve memory.
Cursive and manuscript handwriting positively impact children’s overall cognitive development. According to numerous studies, one of the key differences between writing and typing is that the former establishes a connection between the left and right hemispheres. This connection is achieved by engaging areas of the brain responsible for language and memory. A 2014 study demonstrated that students who hand-wrote their notes showed better performance than those who typed notes on their laptops.
Nevertheless, cursive handwriting has already become strongly associated with the past. While some schools excluded cursive lessons from their curricula completely, other schools allocate less time for handwriting, even when it comes to early grades. Given that a cursive lesson can be especially beneficial for a young child, parents who are interested in their children’s development often want to know how to teach cursive writing to kindergarten children. Teaching handwriting to the third and fourth grades can also improve writing comprehension.
Even though many schools don’t teach kids cursive writing anymore, parents can do it at home. The best thing about teaching your kids at home is that you can make these lessons engaging and fun. However, you should also come up with a well-thought cursive writing lesson plan and be patient. Before you start your lessons, evaluate your child’s overall motor skills. Before introducing cursive letters, you should also make sure that your child has mastered print handwriting.
How to Teach Cursive Writing at Home
- Show the right grip
First of all, your kid should learn the right grip. This way, the writing process will become more enjoyable and efficient. Your child should hold a pen or pencil with the thumb and index finger, supporting the grasp with the middle finger.
To help your child master the tripod grip, show them how you hold a pencil. Ask them to pick the pencil with a simple pinch, and then let the pencil rest on the middle finger. It can be difficult for your kid to learn the right grip without a good pen or pencil. Let them try several pens and pencils so that they can choose the most comfortable one.
- Provide the necessary tools
To make the learning processes as effective as possible, you should make sure that your child can focus on handwriting without being bothered by any details, such as an uncomfortable pen. Your child shouldn’t apply too much pressure to draw a stroke. When it comes to stationery, many parents don’t know whether they should choose pens or pencils.
Pencils offer several advantages. First, a good pencil will enable your child to draw letters easily. Secondly, they will be able to use an eraser to quickly fix any mistakes. Learning is impossible without making errors so being able to fix them is important.
- Introduce one letter at a time
When kids learn cursive handwriting, they basically need to re-learn the entire alphabet, so every letter deserves proper attention. Introduce letters one after another, and make sure that your child has mastered the previous letter before introducing the next one.
- Group similar letters
You can purchase cursive writing worksheets and you can also make your own worksheets. When choosing worksheets, keep in mind that it will be easier for your kid to master cursive writing if they practice writing letters that look similar. We suggest that you start with lowercase letters that have common patterns, like c, o, g, etc. Start with the simplest letters and then introduce more complex ones.
Once your child has mastered the lowercase letters, focus on the uppercase letters. After this, teach your child to combine uppercase and lowercase letters so that they will get used to writing sentences.
- Use rewriting
When your child knows how to handwrite all the letters of the alphabet and how to combine different letters in sentences, it’s time for practice. Let your child rewrite simple sentences, and make sure to monitor their progress. After you see satisfying results with simple sentences, switch to rewriting short paragraphs, and then longer paragraphs. Learning cursive handwriting is all about practice, and you must make sure that your child practices handwriting on a daily basis.
Although most children don’t learn cursive handwriting at school, it is very beneficial for their development. We hope that our tips will help you teach your child cursive writing. No matter whether you want to know how to teach cursive writing to 3rd graders or younger children, the learning process will involve a lot of re-learning. Cursive writing is different from print handwriting, and it takes a lot of practice. Therefore, don’t forget to be patient and provide all the necessary assistance.