**Previously Recorded by Phyllis Schlafly // December 2013**
Teaching public school students to write instead of print, along with penmanship, has been going out of fashion in public schools for several years. The adoption of Common Core standards will hasten the demise of cursive writing because it is not one of the standards that students will be taught or tested on. If a school wants to teach cursive writing anyway, there is nothing to stop the school from doing that, but the authors of national Common Core standards obviously think handwriting is not important and students should spend their time learning how to use a computer or iPad keyboard instead.
Many parents disagree with this policy. Many experts believe handwriting is important because it engages the brain in important ways that selecting letters on a keyboard does not. Research shows that the hand-brain relationship is important for children. The sequential strokes required to form letters and words activates regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and memory. The mental manipulation of that transforms formulas, represents the brain’s recognition of patterns. When the facts are processed in writing, there is apparently something really important about manually manipulating words on a page. Researchers have found that practice with writing letters can improve idea composition and expression, activate the brain, and aid fine motor-skill development. Two generations ago, 95% of Americans used handwriting. Not anymore. Yet the skills of handwriting remain important to develop a child’s memory, focus, attention, sequencing, estimation, patience, and creativity. I urge schools to continue to teach cursive writing even though Common Core standards do not require it. If they don’t learn cursive writing, they won’t be able to read helpful letters from their grandmothers.