Developing Legible Handwriting
Why bother with handwriting? You might assume that children learn how to do manuscript and cursive handwriting naturally, but you'd be wrong. When children just pick up handwriting without instruction, they acquire bad habits that range from holding pens and pencils in uncomfortable and inefficient ways to laborious and illegible handwriting. Instruction in handwriting is as necessary as instruction in the other language arts. The goal of handwriting instruction is for students to develop a legible handwriting style so that they can use handwriting to communicate their ideas. No longer does students' handwriting have to match a perfect model, but it does need to be legible so that others can read it easily.
Students in the elementary grades learn two different types of handwriting. First, they learn the manuscript form—printing—and only two years later they learn the cursive handwriting form—writing. As you read this chapter, you will learn how you can help students develop legible handwriting.