Fundamental skill? Calgary workshops offer tools to teach cursive handwriting

A series of workshops over the weekend will offer Calgary educators and parents tools on how to help teach their children cursive writing.

See Full Article

For generations of Canadians, cursive handwriting was something that was taught in school, typically in the primary grades. During these lessons, children would spend time carefully crafting the loops and curves that make up the letters in the cursive alphabet.

However, it appears that fewer Canadian schoolchildren are learning the skill, as many classrooms now appear to be foregoing the lessons altogether, says occupational therapist Lindsay Amey.

"In Canada, it certainly seems to be hit or miss," she told CTVNews.ca, noting that there is little consistency across the board. "It seems to be largely dependent on whether the teacher plans to teach it explicitly."

And while it may seem unnecessary to provide children instruction on cursive writing, especially in today's digital age, Amey says research shows learning handwriting has benefits.

In particular, she says that cursive writing can improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. As well, it can help reinforce reading and spelling skills, she said.

A 2014 review examined the advantages of taking notes in class with a laptop computer versus writing out notes.

In three different studies, the researchers found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions compared to students who took notes by hand.

"We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers' tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning," the researchers concluded.

As well, Amey said, cursive handwriting can help kids focus more due to the "flow" and "unique connections" between the letters.

"It actually sustains your attention more, and commits what you've written by hand to memory better," she said. This results in students who are able to better retain concepts, she added.

Amey, who is also a national presenter with the organization Handwriting without Tears, said that even though computer skills are critically important for schoolchildren to learn, they still need the skills to form letters correctly. In fact, they need both skill sets, she said.

"What we know is that the kids who are most successful have skills in using technology and keyboarding, and also have skills in either printing or handwriting," she told CTVNews.ca.

"The primary tool in primary classrooms is still a pencil… kids still need to learn how to hold their pencil and how to make their letters."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Edmonton Liberian community mourns 3 killed in collision with stolen truck

    Canada News CTV News
    Family, friends and members of Edmonton’s Liberian community are mourning the deaths of three women who were killed in a collision that involved a stolen truck. Jeannette Wright, Glorious Decontee David, Eva Fatu Tumbay and Janet Wright Gaye were on a road trip to visit family and friends in Minnesota when their minivan was struck around 3 a.m. Source
  • RCMP called off chase of stolen truck before 3 killed in crash near Alberta-Sask. border

    Canada News CBC News
    RCMP in Saskatchewan say it called off the police pursuit of a stolen truck that ended up colliding with a minivan and killing three women from Edmonton. On Thursday morning, officers in Maidstone, Sask. Source
  • Prince of the city

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Step aside, John Tory. The real prince of this town has red hair and a cheeky smile. Prince Harry — in Toronto for his Invictus Games — charmed, dazzled, joked, empathized, hugged children, petted dogs and truly lived up to his title as the People’s Prince. Source
  • Iran tests ballistic missile and 'we won't ask anyone's permission'

    World News CBC News
    Iran said on Saturday it had successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres and would keep developing its arsenal despite U.S. pressure to stop. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution, which calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Source
  • Ugo Fredette now in Saint-Jérôme detention centre, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Ugo Fredette is now in a detention centre in Saint-Jérôme after spending nearly a week in two Ontario hospitals and a Quebec hospital, after he was arrested last week in connection with an Amber Alert case. Source
  • Damage in Puerto Rico strains relief efforts by agencies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies grappled Saturday with the vast scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria, the third major storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month. Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. Source
  • Trump, Kim insults are the latest in a long - often more cutting - line of political put-downs

    World News Toronto Sun
    North Korea’s florid insults and President Donald Trump’s schoolyard ripostes are but the latest in a long tradition of political and diplomatic put-downs. And they are far from the most cutting. Pyongyang has arguably done better (or worse, depending on point of view). Source
  • Mounties make deal to transfer Louis Riel items to future Metis facility

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Three items, including a crucifix, that belonged to North-West Rebellion leader Louis Riel, which have been held by the RCMP for decades, will soon return to Metis possession. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Kevin Brosseau and Manitoba Metis Federation president David Chartrand signed a memorandum of understanding on Saturday that will see the items transferred to a Metis heritage centre in Winnipeg, once it is built. Source
  • Man shot by Winnipeg police dies, officer remains in unstable condition

    Canada News CBC News
    A 33-year-old man who was shot by police after allegedly stabbing an officer in the upper body has died, Winnipeg police said late Saturday night. The injured Winnipeg officer is a member of the police tactical unit and is 35 years old. Source
  • Montrealers rally in solidarity with Catalan independence movement

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- More than 150 people gathered in front of Montreal's Spanish consulate Saturday to express their solidarity with the Catalan independence movement. Organizers also denounced what they describe as the Canadian government's timid response to the intensifying Spanish crackdown ahead of a planned Oct. Source