sandpaper letters cursive

The hands are the instrument a man’s intelligence… The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself. – Dr. Maria Montessori

Since when do kindergartners learn to write in cursive? Most public schools don’t even start teaching cursive writing until at least third or fourth grade, if they teach it at all.  While us Montessori and have deliberated for years whether children should learn to write first in cursive or manuscript, we’ve all agreed cursive was and essential skill. Now there is a spirited debate in the field of education about whether, in this age of technology, handwriting is necessary at all.

Cursive is not required by the National Educational Common Core Standards. Many states across the country are removing or reducing cursive instruction from their curriculum. This movement is not based on best practices research, but on the current trend towards digital technology. Fortunately, research in the field of learning differences such as dyslexia and reading mediation, provides evidence that handwriting is a beneficial tool that supports the learning process. Surely, there is room for handwriting and keyboarding skills.

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