Updated: Apr 28
At Fiore, and many Montessori schools across the world, children are taught to write in cursive. At first glance this may seem odd. We often hear remarks such as, “Isn’t cursive going out of style?”, “I didn’t learn cursive til 4th grade!”, or “Will my child be able to write in print eventually?”. At Fiore, we feel passionately about the benefits of cursive writing. Here are some of the main reasons:
Cursive more closely follows a child’s natural fine-motor development. Have you ever watched a young child pretending to write? It’s almost always in a continuous, looping pattern very similar to cursive! Following this natural development of the hand and brain, the curves and flow of cursive often come easier to young children than the angles and stop-and-start pattern of print writing.
You avoid the confusion of all of those letter reversals! We’re looking at you d, b, p, and q! In print, each of those letters is the same symbol oriented in a different direction. How confusing! In cursive, they are each unique. Removing this obstacle can make a big difference for young children!
It’s much easier to tell where one word ends and another begins. With cursive it’s simple, all of the letters in a word are connected and spaces go between words. With print, children have to have developed enough spatial awareness in order to be able to successfully differentiate between the spacing of letters within a word and the spacing of words from one another.
Cursive is beneficial for students with dyslexia. For many of the reasons already stated, cursive can be much easier for students with dyslexia to encode. Because dyslexia is not often diagnosed until the elementary years and beyond, it can be helpful in removing unnecessary frustration and challenge for younger children who have not yet been diagnosed.