When the Common Core standards were released back in 2010, many of us gasped when we saw the exclusion of penmanship. Since then, some states have required penmanship back into their curriculum, but it doesn’t hide the fact that we are entering an era when handwriting--cursive handwriting--is rarely used. With young generations communicating with each other in 40 characters or less, is it even necessary? Though we may be “classical,” we at Veritas are no technophobes. We’ve found ways to maintain a strong foundation in all subjects, including penmanship, in the digital age. In fact, our new Phonics Museum App incorporates learning to form letters with a finger and touch screen.
There’s still something to be said about putting pen to paper. For one, it improves literacy in young children. Learning to form the letters they are reading, helps children to recognize them more quickly. Fast forward a few years to middle school and students are taking notes in class. Studies show that students learn the material better when taking notes by hand because they have to listen to a lecture, determine what is important enough to be taken down as a note, then tell their hand to write it down. Aside from other academic benefits, cursive handwriting is an art form. In the mid 1800s, Platt Rogers Spencer invented the forefather of modern cursive, called Spencerian script. Spencer believed that God the Creator had instilled His beauty in nature, and that if he could take his cues from nature, then Spencer would have the beauty of God in his own handwriting. Thus, Spencer was influenced by the flowing streams and the gentleness of the wheat fields blowing in the wind. How poetic.
It’s hard to fit penmanship into a busy homeschool day, especially in secondary school. So try throwing it in as a study tool. Memorizing the Bill of Rights? Write them down. A passage from the Bible? Write it down. Handwriting can be integrated into many subjects. Or just for fun, try some of the handwriting pages we’ve included here. Just don’t let that penmanship sail!
The art of handwriting is increasing in popularity in the form of hand lettering. Not to be confused with calligraphy, hand lettering is the practice of drawing letters in an artistic way. You can use a sharpie, gel pen or brush pen for these fun worksheets.