Finally, educators have come to realize the value of cursive writing skills as part of the language development process. Stephen Saw chuck writes in his January 17, 2023 article from Education Week that many US states are passing laws that support the introduction of cursive writing into the science of reading language development. No such legislation exists in Canada.

“Fewer students are learning cursive writing in school, as evidenced by the fact that it is optional in Ontario, British Columbia and Newfoundland. Many educators don't see a problem with this educational shift. Nov 22, 2021

Part of the problem is that few primary teachers know how to teach cursive writing. Current teacher education doesn’t include cursive writing in their curriculum. From the beginning I’ve been telling parents the importance of teaching the brain to remember. Neuropsychologists have informed us of the value their research has found in cursive writing. Handwriting stimulates brain synapses and improves the balance between the left and right parts of the brain, a process not found with typing or printing. Having your child write a word or a poem to be memorized is several times more efficient than flash cards or oral spellings of the word.

Karen James and Laura Engelhardt found that handwriting activated a unique “reading circuit in the brain, “These findings demonstrate that handwriting is important for early recruitment in processing of brain regions known to underlie successful reading. Handwriting, therefore, may facilitate reading acquisition in young children,” the authors noted.

Aline Chan writes in her article in The Observer, “It’s quite upsetting when I see kids that reach high school and they don’t know basic handwriting. They can’t even hold a pen properly.” “Long gone are the days when school children would practice their best curly qs, tracing letter after letter until they mastered the art of cursive writing. As quickly as computers and mobile devices entered the classroom, cursive writing vanished from Ontario’s public schools. Now students are learning to communicate in a myriad of ways. Some wonder what has been lost and what the effects – however minimal – will be on the first generation to not learn cursive writing. Aline Chan teaches calligraphy and cursive writing across southern Ontario.”

I recently helped my friend’s teen son to learn cursive writing. I demanded that any writing I was offered be clearly defined. He received my A++ for his accomplishments. When he entered high school, teachers were surprised that he had learned cursive writing and then told him that all assignments were to be typewritten. Nonetheless, I strongly encourage those parents using my Reading Guide to begin helping their children learn basic cursive writing skills. This will result in their child’s strengthening their reading, spelling and vocabulary skills. The cognitive repetition of cursive writing reinforces the memory for every word they are asked to recognize, spell and provide meanings for in my reading instruction program. Aline Chan whose cursive writing program is beyond excellent failed to mention that many of those same high school students who were about to graduate with their limited cursive writing skills were unable to read a simple paragraph of cursive writing. To compound the felony, their ‘printing’ skills were almost illegible.

“The body of research is substantial in both the number of studies and the quality of the studies. There’s no question that reading and writing share a lot of real estate, they depend on a lot of the same knowledge and skills,” said Timothy Shanahan, an emeritus professor of education at the University of Illinois Chicago. “Pick your spot: text structure, vocabulary, sound-symbol relationships, ‘world knowledge.” “We have a lot of activities in writing we know are good,” Shanahan said. “We don’t really have a yearlong elementary-school-level curriculum in writing. That just doesn’t exist the way it does in reading.”

While I admire writing experts such as Ms. Chan, I have taught cursive writing to students for many years and I would ask parents to follow my cursive writing program of systematic developmental writing skills that students will have few if any problems achieving. Your child has been scribbling with crayons and pencils since they learned to grasp their first crayon. If their finger placement needs adjustment, help your child to grasp their pencil or crayon the way your child can begin to learn cursive writing.

Let’s Begin

Cursive Writing Lesson #ONE

The way I teach cursive writing is the method taught to me soon after I realized its importance to help my students to remember and spell words. I truly believe this program will make cursive writing easy to achieve. As usual, I expect only your child’s best efforts. Only accept their practice of cursive writing, to their best attempts to develop handwriting skills. I will attempt to teach you exactly the way it was taught to me by the best grade one teacher I’ve ever worked with. Notice that I begin with this simple curve that will evolve into the letter C (use my 2nd example, 6th letter on the first line). C becomes the letter a (use the 2nd example), the a evolves into d by drawing (writing) the first part of an a, and by extending the a into the letter d with a slanted the stroke above the writing line to be shown as “wtl” to form the letter d. Do the same for g, except the letter forms below the wtl with the exact slant of the d. The last letter will be an O. Notice the O, with an extended curve and loop at the top. This may require a little more practice, for whatever letter is to follow.

Have your child practice the first part of the formation of the curve until they are able to write it on lined paper, in the air, in damp sand and on old newsprint blind folded. Almost all the letters will begin with this same stroke.

They are now ready for you to begin teaching the C A D G and O. When these letters can be formed to your satisfaction, teach the to hand write words such as:


Cursive Writing Lesson #Two

Using the same evolving letter formation as in Lesson # One, I will help you to teach the letters,T L F H K B

I wish you to start with the letter T (see the example, last letter, third line). Write the T on the same slant used for the letters a, d, and g. Take the T upwards to almost touching the top wtl, bring your pencil straight back along the same path and curve the bottom similarly as you did with the letter A. Cross the letter T halfway between the wtl and the wtl above. Teach this slant for the entire writing program. When writing the letter L, start this letter similar to the letter T but with a slight curve to the right (see example on second line) stopping where you did with T. Curve it at the top and draw a straight line to the wrl below and begin curveing it to the right and finish L the same as with the letter A. The letter F begins exactly the same as L but at the top, continue by passing the wtl and write the same length loop as for the top. Finish F with the same curve as with the letter A.

H begins the same as L except that you draw a line upwards halfway and make a curve a partway as with the where halfway and finish as you did with L and F (see example on the third line). The letter K is the same, except for bringing the button half toward the middle of the back of the letter, with a small loop near the middle and finish the letters with the slight curve top meet whatever letter comes next. Same loop below the as the top, Finish the bottom half with the identical curve as the top half until you reach the writing line with the ending that will allow for whatever letter is to follow or a coma or period.

Bis the same as L until you reach the wtl, then you curve at the bottom (see b on the 2nd line), loop halfway upwards, make a small loop to finish the letter B to join on to the next letter.

Practice writing the following words:

book   back   hack   half    cold   fold   bold   hoot
cook   boot    hold   chalk  lock   gold   hook  goal
back   doll     look   cook    fall    talk    glad   black

Be patient but expect your child’s best effort

Cursive Writing Lesson #Three

Learning to Write the Letters i e u w p q n m s

To start the letter i, begin with the same curve to write L but stop halfway and pencil down to the writing line and finish at the bottom with a flatten curve to join the next letter. Dot the i as I have on the 2nd line of example lettering.

E begins the same as i but you loop halfway and finish as you did with I (copy from my example of e).

U and ‘double w’ are easy to learn. Start with the same stroke as e but stop halfway, come down the same path and curve at the bottom and pencil down the path of the curve and finish as you with i. The letter w is really a doubling of the letter u. After completing a u, pencil another U and finish as you have learned.

The letters P and Q are similar. They both start the same as A but P is penciled back down the left side, comes back and writes an A. Some people loop the bottoms of their P’s and Q’s, I don’t. Start the letter Q as though you are writing the letter g but at the bottom of g, curl back to the right of and loop back to the A and finish as usual.

N and M are similar as learned with U and W. To start N (see my example on the 3rd line), draw as though to start a c but as you reach the top, pencil downward, come back up the same slanted line and curve at the top and finish N as you have with most other letters. To write an M, begin by penciling an N but at the bottom pencil up the same line as N and curve another N to form an M.

S begins as most letters you have learned. Start as though you were to write the letter C but as you reach ‘just’ past the top, loop to the bottom of wtl and finish as usual.

Practice words from letters already learned:

pass   nail   hail   pail   quail   quote   goat   boat   sail   float   sink
  pink  dust  tame  goal  queen  flash  crash  quick  quit  quite  quiet

Cursive Writing Lesson #Four

Learning the letters j r v x y and z.

The letter j starts as though you were writing the letter p but as you reach the bottom of the p, you pencil to the left and loop a slanted curve back to wtl and finish in position to add another letter. (see 6th line for an example).

The letter ‘r’ was and still requires that I pay attention at the top of the letter when writing words with the letter r. I start r as though I were to write the letter P but as the very top of r, I curve slightly downwards, stop at the usual letter size and complete r as I would the letter Q (see r on the 3rd line).

The letter V begins as a C but as you reach the top of a C, curve with a slanted downwards line to the bottom, and with a slight U continue back to where you started downwards and finish with a slight curve to add to the next letter (see my example on the 4th line).

The letter x is a little more difficult to write. Examine my example on the 4th line, start as usual but as you reach the top of a C, curve back downwards with a parallel slant and finish even to the start of the first part of X. Finish as though you were starting the letter c from the top right and finish X as usual.

Start the letter Y as though you were writing a V but as you reach the top of the V, pencil on the same line to the bottom past the wtl and finish with the same bottom part of a G.

I don’t write Z as most writers. I start as though you were to write an X but curl slightly to the right at the wtl and finish with the last part of the letter G. (see how I write Z on the 4th line).

Practice words using all the letters your child has mastered:

jump  jazz  yes  yellow  box  fox  buzz  fuzz  jello  hello
days  haze  pays  lovely vain vale verb  very  vain  vein
above crazy blaze graze desk razor ever every check velvet

(I hope that you could follow my thinking of how to write)