Cursive writing for kids: A thing of the past?

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Most of us remember learning cursive writing in grade school. But many kids these days are getting very little or no instruction in cursive writing.

Many teachers agree that they're seeing less emphasis on cursive. "I think what teachers are finding is with all the emphasis on things like AIMS and the core education, it's the writing that gets moved to the back burner," says first grade teacher Pauline Estrada.

Students still learn their letters in kindergarten. But with the increased use of computers, there are youngsters who can use a keyboard before they even start school.

Some school districts around the country are even looking at eliminating the education of cursive writing altogether. But other teachers believe it's a life skill all kids need to know, especially if they plan to go to college.

"If you get into higher education and you're going to be sitting in lectures, then you need it to take notes, because cursive is one fluid line. It's a faster way to write, and that's important for higher education purposes," says Estrada.

Some Valley teachers are learning that you have to hook a kid on writing before they develop bad habits. So they're turning to a program called "Handwriting Without Tears".

Teachers can get ideas on how to sing songs about lines and circles, learn games the kids can play, and even play with blocks to learn how to get kids' fine motor skills in shape.

The writing education program can start as early as preschool or kindergarten by teaching students the three fingers they use to hold a pencil or pen.

For more information about the Handwriting Without Tears program, you can visit http://www.hwtears.com/hwt.