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Handwriting and OT in the News: From the Chicago Tribune - featured November 16, 2011

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[Source: The Chicago Tribune]

Though handwriting is still a part of many school curricula, cursive writing — what once was an anticipated rite of passage for many third-graders — is disappearing from classrooms.

The writing style is left out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which means the 44 states that have adopted the criteria are not required to teach it in public schools. Instead, the initiative recommends typing and keyboard skills. (Though the Common Core initiative doesn't require cursive writing, school districts still may teach it.)

Some experts say parents should consider teaching cursive at home if their child isn't learning it in school, or augmenting the instruction if their school is cutting back.

Michael Smith, communication studies professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says cursive offers too many benefits to be overlooked. It's faster, more personalized and, at the very least, aesthetically pleasing, he says.

"The faster you can write, the better you can keep up with whatever it is you're trying to follow," Smith said. "Isn't there a certain beauty to a handwritten piece of prose?"

DeeDee Clarke, an occupational therapist from California who specializes in teaching handwriting, said children who don't learn cursive will have a hard time as they get older.

Read the Rest of this Article in the Chicago Tribune

Tags: News of the Week Handwriting Newsletter 18 Novmeber 2011