Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cursive is on Hold

I had read what Susan Wise Bauer (SWB) suggests as far as not starting cursive early and waiting till the middle of 2nd grade or 3rd grade but I gave in to K's pleadings.  She really desired to start, so we ordered the cursive program and I had read good things about children starting early and thought maybe, just maybe, SWB didn't know what she was talking about.  Well - she did!

K never had a problem with letter reversal in manuscript and now she does!  Her reading also went backwards and she was struggling and it wasn't until I read again what SWB said about this that I realized that the cursive had been too early.  Reading is in print - so when a young child who is still learning to read, starts cursive, it can delay reading or make it difficult.  In the words of SWB "many children need to print because they need the visual likeness between what they’re doing and what’s in the books they read".  I witnessed this first hand, as well as the past few days K trying to write manuscript and I couldn't believe how it looked and how she was getting her a's backwards, etc.  She even forgot the proper strokes of some letters in manuscript.

So we put the cursive away till 2nd or 3rd grade - till she is fluently reading and writing!  There really is no need to introduce it early and the only reason to do it really is "to appear" more advanced.

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