It is rare that people write letters these days. They tend to use modern technology and gadgetry to communicate. As a result, a number of academic practices have disappeared from the curriculum in recent years.
Included among the items that are being removed from the curriculum in many school districts is cursive writing. Rather than teaching calligraphy and cursive skills, they have moved forward with keyboard proficiency. In addition, many of the outdoor activities that were a part of school for many years are now being replaced with excessive screen time.
It has become such a notable issue that the state of Texas is doing something about it. In 2017, Texas started with the initial phases but the actual changes are taking place in the 2019-2020 school year. They are teaching cursive writing skills and they will now be a permanent part of the curriculum.
Having too much technology in our lives can negatively affect the development of children. It is necessary for them to develop those skills because technology is not going anywhere soon. It may be more beneficial than most people realize because studies have shown that it is possible to recall and learn better when handwritten notes are taken.
Cursive writing has not been a part of the curriculum for almost 2 decades ago. They are now moving forward with teaching children penmanship and hoping that it will have a positive impact on their lives.
What Are the Benefits of Cursive Writing Skills?
An Update on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills states that the standard for students’ curriculum in second grade is that they would begin taking cursive classes. This was to start in the 2019-2020 school year. The classes will continue through their fifth year.
Not only is cursive a form of art that was taught for many years, but it also helps to stimulate the brain, particularly when children do it. It helps with the synchronization of communication between the two brain hemispheres. That same benefit does not occur while texting or typing.
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Even though it promises to be a rewarding endeavor, some people still feel it is a waste of time to reintroduce something so old-fashioned into the curriculum. Many parents may feel as if their children are taking a giant step backward but it still has many modern benefits.
“Language is so integral to the thinking process,” says Diane Schallert, professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas to Kens 5. “In the first grade, we learned only cursive, we never learned to print. In language comprehension, there’s this reciprocity between producing and comprehending.”
Schallert explains that it is quite difficult to add or remove subjects to the curriculum. They need to consider many factors before moving forward.
“There’s only so much time in a day. Whatever you decide to put into the curriculum, you’re deciding to take something out,” she said.
Some schools have actually already started with teaching cursive. This includes students at the Temple Independent School District. Cursive is a part of their lesson plan and there is also a full subject taught in the standard curriculum as of the new school year.
“It’s important that our kids are able to communicate through the written word and through the spoken word,” said Elizabeth Giniewicz, executive director of elementary curriculum for Temple ISD. She explains that cursive is essential for hand-eye coordination, fluidity in writing, memory, and motor skill development.
“It helps make those connections and the fluid strokes and all of the lettering so your brain just develops appropriately,” Giniewicz said.
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