Friday, 11 January 2013

Cursive handwriting

For a long time, I have debated with myself on the issue of how insistent I should be with Tiger in terms of producing good handwriting.  There are many arguments against pushing handwriting, especially for boys:
  • boys, more often than girls, struggle with fine motor skills required to produce handwriting;
  • boys are less inclined to sit still for the amount of time needed to produce good handwriting;
  • handwriting has become irrelevant and obselete with the availability of word processing software.
While all of the above call for consideration, I still think that there is value in being able to write legibly and beautifully.  Being able to type need not negate one's ability to write a hand-written note should the need arise, and my personal opinion on this matter is that if a child can make a mark with a writing instrument (as an early step to drawing), then forming legible letters and joining them together is only a matter of consistent practice.

With that in mind, we have resumed our cursive writing sessions after having taken some time off from handwriting practice.  We are doing the handwriting sessions twice a week, using Aesop's Fables for Children as the basis for our copywork.

This is how we have been doing the lessons:
  1. Tiger reads one fable to himself, then closes the book and narrates it to me.
  2. I print off the handwriting worksheet and copy in pen the moral of the story.
  3. Tiger copies in pencil as neatly as possible.

The lessons are painless (Tiger hasn't complained about it yet anyway) and takes only 10 minutes each time.  I can see some improvements in his writing after a few lessons.

I would not suggest this method to be applicable to every child.  As always, my best suggestion about handwriting is to observe the child to determine what the real obstacles to good handwriting are.  In Tiger's case, I have seen on several occasions that he can write beautifully if he can be bothered to.  Hence, the real learning for Tiger in this case is more about the importance of patience and applying more care in his work, than about forming letters.

This post is linked up to:
1) Look What We Did: January Link-Up
2) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter
3) Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop #43
4) Weekly Wrap-U: The First One in 2013
5) Homeschool Mother's Journal: January 11, 2013
6) Collage Friday - A Great Start to 2013
7) Share it Saturday - Linky Party
8) The Sunday Showcase 1/12/13


  1. The illustrations by Milo Winter accompany Aesop's Fables wonderfully. My children return to that book again and again. To do handwriting with it - even more fun!

  2. Soon, my younger kiddos will be finishing up Handwriting Without Tears this year. They'll be moving onto copywork too. I love the flexibility of copywork! You can choose anything! Or something that goes with what you're studying in another subject such as Science or History. And it helps with Grammar and Spelling. I just wish my kiddos were writing neater! ::sigh:: LOL

  3. I love the awe sops Fables for Children book. Sounds like a great way to practice handwriting! Thanks for
    Inking up to Share It Saturday tis week!

  4. We have wondered about cursive writing as well. I still think they should learn it, and my younger boys are willing if we do it ever so often. My now 15 year old has always been adamant that he doesn't want to learn it.

  5. Dear all,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

    I'll just clarify that I don't think it's absolutely necessary for children to learn cursive writing. Nothing bad is going to happen to anybody without a perfect handwriting. :-)

    It boils down to personal choices. In our case, I feel strongly about the importance of being able to write beautifully. More importantly, my son *can* write beautifully if he wanted to, so it is a matter of applying himself, which is the real lesson here.

  6. What a great post. We have had to adjust the handwriting lessons for each of the kids. I've had them copy a number of things, but never fables. What a good idea. I am pinning this.


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