Here's How Cursive Writing Practice Benefits Literacy

Knowing how to write in cursive isn’t just for sending thank you cards to Grandma! Research suggests it can boost kids’ reading and writing skills, too.

By Scholastic Parents Staff
May 05, 2020



Here's How Cursive Writing Practice Benefits Literacy

May 05, 2020

For many parents, learning cursive was a rite of passage in elementary school. You likely sat down at your desk and eagerly practiced each letter, quickly mastering the alphabet so you could form words and phrases with a free-flowing flourish that writing in print just doesn’t offer.

In many classrooms today, cursive writing practice takes a backseat to keyboard proficiency. There may be a few introductory lessons on how to form letters in cursive and how to read it, but instruction is often limited — kids are either writing in print or relying on the keyboard to communicate their thoughts and ideas. 

Though cursive may be seen as dated and outmoded by some, one Université de Montréal study suggests that children who have cursive writing practice may receive a significant boost to critical reading and writing skills. Read on for the specific three benefits kids get from learning cursive. 

1. Your child may become a better speller.

Researchers found that elementary students who learn cursive are usually better spellers. That may be because kids who write in cursive are often able to grasp how letters fit together to form words much quicker than those who write in print. This speedy understanding leads to better language processing, which is a critical element when it comes to mastering spelling.

2. Your child will likely be able to form words more easily.

Cursive encourages kids to visualize each letter as one united word, which makes it easier for children to remember — or memorize — the word they’re forming and writing. Researchers also note that kids are less likely to write letters backwards when writing in cursive: When writing in cursive, if a child were to write the letter backwards, they wouldn’t be able to tie it to the letter that follows.

3. Your child could become a better writer overall.

Kids that write in cursive don’t just form words more easily, they also write better sentences. Researchers found that kids who learned and wrote in cursive experienced an increase in skills related to syntax. This means that cursive writers often have a better understanding of how words should be organized and combined to craft strong phrases and complex sentences.

To ensure your child learns cursive and is able to take advantage of all its awesome benefits, check out the Scholastic Success With Grades 2-4: Traditional Cursive. Complete with step-by-step instructions for letter formation and filled with laugh-out-loud art to keep kids engaged, this cursive writing resource will help your children master all 26 uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and give them the practice they need to write words, sentences, and short paragraphs.
And while traditional cursive will give your kids the tools they need to read important historical documents like the Declaration of Independence and more, for a more modern and straightforward take on cursive handwriting, we suggest Scholastic Success With Grades 2-4: Contemporary Cursive Grades 2-4. They’ll learn everything they need to know about how to write cursive for today’s world with these humorous and engaging lessons.
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