The lost art of cursive: Here’s why kids can’t write by hand anymore

The lost art of cursive: Here’s why kids can’t write by hand anymore

Recent research published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Health Care raises an educational and cultural alarm: 20% of children show difficulties in manual writing, with 10% struggling with dysgraphia already in the initial stages of their school career. These numbers do not represent simple statistics, but are the signal of a profound change that threatens to deprive future generations of an intrinsically human skill: the art of handwriting, especially in its cursive form.

Cursive writing is not merely an exercise in fine motor skills, but a complex practice that mobilizes the brain in an extremely profound way. The need to coordinate delicate and intentional movements, to remember specific letter shapes and to connect them together in a continuous flow, stimulates brain areas that are fundamental for cognitive development. This stimulation translates into benefits ranging from visual and spatial memory to language processing, from the ability to concentrate to increased creativity.

Writing and emotion

The importance of handwriting also significantly extends to the emotional domain. By offering a space for personal expression, writing becomes a tool for intimate reflection, allowing children (and not only) to give shape and voice to their thoughts and emotions. This process of authentic expression is fundamental to the development of personal identity and emotional well-being, offering a unique way to process and understand one’s experiences.

It is in this emotional dimension that handwriting reveals all its priceless value. The regular practice of writing fosters a deep connection with the self, allowing an internal dialogue that can prove therapeutic and enlightening. Through writing, children learn to explore their emotions, recognize them and name them, a process that helps build solid self-esteem and greater emotional resilience. Furthermore, the intimate and personal gesture of writing by hand creates a unique connection with the text, making the learning experience more meaningful and grounding.

Writing by hand encourages concentration

Additionally, handwriting, with its need to slow down and think about each word and sentence, promotes greater attention and concentration. This more thoughtful pace not only helps in the formation of critical thinking but also in the development of patience and perseverance that are essential in every aspect of life. The ability to express themselves through handwriting also gives young students a sense of accomplishment and pride, reinforcing their sense of competence and independence.

Faced with these data and reflections, the need to review our educational and cultural priorities urgently emerges. Integrating the teaching of cursive writing back into school curricula is no longer just an act of recovering a tradition, but as a conscious and necessary choice to guarantee a balanced and complete development of children, in which both cognitive and emotional are nourished and valued.

Promote an art that enhances personal experience

We must promote the art of handwriting among new generations to reopen the doors to a world of deep learning, where children can explore the dimensions of human knowledge in ways that go beyond the digital surface, touching the depth of experience personal and emotional. Are we really willing to neglect the enormous emotional and educational potential of writing, depriving our children of such a powerful tool for their personal and intellectual development?
The answer to this question will define not only the future of education but also the quality of our emotional and social lives for generations to come.

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