One of the things we have always focused on in our dyslexia after-school and summer tutoring programs is cursive handwriting. With today’s assistive technology, many people feel that it is not important that students learn to write in cursive. While technology can be helpful for students who struggle with getting their thoughts and ideas down on paper, it is still important they learn cursive writing.
Research has shown us that there is a strong connection between handwriting and learning to read. Some experts believe that forming letters by hand while learning sounds activates reading circuits in the brain that promote literacy. We all learn better when information is presented to us in multiple ways. This is especially true for those with dyslexia who need multi-sensory instruction. We teach cursive writing because the student does not have to pick up their pencil to form each individual letter, thus eliminating confusion about where to begin the formation of the next letter in the word. We have also found that there is less tendency to reverse letters such as ‘b’ and ‘d’ when students write in cursive.
An added benefit to learning to write in cursive is being able to read cursive handwriting. If you ever want to be able to read historical documents, you will need to be able to read cursive!