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From Printing to Script: A Kids' Guide to Learning Cursive

From the moment students start their school careers they are taught to write. Most kids start off learning print writing before cursive writing is introduced. Unlike print writing, cursive writing does not compose each letter individually; instead the style allows the writer to join the letters and create a flowing writing style. Cursive is a writing style that is almost as old as print writing and can be found in many cultures. Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and Greek forms of cursive exist. A form of Egyptian cursive was even found on the Rosetta Stone.

Despite the popularity of writing on computers, text messaging and email, cursive writing is still taught today. However, it is used on such rare occasions, that a handwritten thank you note or postcard is often perceived as more personal than a typed message. Although not taught in all school districts, many American students will learn cursive in their classroom by the time they are in third grade. Learning cursive can help kids improve their fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Since cursive allows kids to see how individual letters group together to form words it may also help to improve reading skills. The use of cursive writing is not just for practical uses, however. When used selectively in the professional sector, a handwritten card or note can make quite a positive impression. With the onset of the digital revolution, modern technology has introduced the invention of handwritten fonts. Simultaneously, many corporations are beginning to implement more authenticity into their marketing. As a result, it is not uncommon to see brochures and other printed marketing materials designed with a combination of handwritten fonts, and graphic design elements that depict a genuine and trustworthy brand. The topic of whether cursive should remain in the school curriculum is a controversial matter; one that has sparked a nationwide debate. Typing skills have become a must, but many experts believe that a legible signature is still critical for daily life. No one knows what will become of the future of cursive. Advocates say they hope educators will allow handwriting courses to remain part of the curriculum. They believe every child should have the opportunity to learn the basic skills they will need for a lifetime.

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