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Should Cursive Handwriting Come First? | Essential Homestead

What do you think?  Should a kindergartener learn cursive handwriting or manuscript first? USA Today reports 41 states no longer require that cursive is taught in schools.
I taught my preschooler manuscript than cursive while in kindergarten.  I feel the cursive has been easier to pickup.  Why?  Because children don’t naturally draw straight lines or perfect circles.
cursive handwriting
In “Top 10 Reasons to Learn Cursive,” handwriting coach Iris Hatfield states that the “frequent stop and start motion” of printing is more difficult for young children than the flow of cursive.

Cursive handwriting helps children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

In “Brain Development Could Suffer as Cursive Writing Fades,” Leah McLean reports that “cursive handwriting, more than printing, stimulates intelligence and language fluency.”
According to, bad handwriting leads to lower grades in school.  Because handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects — taking notes, taking tests, and doing classroom work and homework for almost every area  — poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance.
“Qualities sought in penmanship are legibility, speed, ease, and individuality. Handwriting is a physical skill that is best learned early, and requires “a competent level of instruction in the components of the physical task.” (Alston and Taylor, p. 2). Extra help given to those having trouble at an early stage can often prevent failure in later years. Unfortunately, modern teachers are not usually taught how to teach handwriting. Nor do they have enough class time to work with children individually, which is the proper way to diagnose individual problems and counter them.”
According to, it’s better to teach cursive first then manuscript.
“Experience clearly indicates that if you teach ball-and-stick first, your child may never develop a decent cursive handwriting, while if you teach cursive first, your child can always learn to print very nicely later on. In other words, cursive first and print later makes good developmental sense.”
Some free resources to teach your child cursive:
1 – Free Worksheet Generator
2 – Premade Cursive Worksheets
3 – Cursive writing teacher now comes in an app.

Learn More

If you are interested, make sure to check out the homeschool section on Amazon. You can buy guides and even planners to help you easily get through the homeschool years.


Thursday 8th of February 2018

I definitely think more of an emphasis needs to placed on proper writing - whether it is cursive or not. As a former high school teacher it was always a struggle to read work with poor penmanship. I understand that we do so much via computers, texting, etc but writing things by hand will always be needed. I plan on teaching my children cursive. In fact, we have our teen practice his at home.

Sunday 11th of February 2018

I agree Kristen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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