Myth: Printing is easier to learn as children often get confused with cursive.
An authentic Montessori classroom introduces children to cursive writing as cursive follows the child’s natural ability to scribbles in continuous circles. Dr. Montessori’s understood this a 100 years ago through her observation of children from across the globe. She simply “followed the children” and observed that all young children in possession of a crayon, a pencil or a chalk scribble in continuous circles.
Contrary to the popular myth, the action of writing-lifting-spacing-writing that is required to print is unnatural to children. As Dr. Maria Montessori did a 100 years ago, we also find our children quickly grasping the concept of cursive and write beautifully very quickly. To prepare the child for writing, the classroom is filled with activities that help with pincer grip, lightness of touch and tracing the letters before they actually begin to write on a chalk board.
The advantage to cursive writing is that children do not need to be given explicit rules as to when a word ends and when the next word begins, to keep spacing between letters short for words and give more space between words, etc. Cursive writing feels natural to children as they don’t have to lift after each letter. Simple writing instructions regarding spacing etc. are easy for them to grasp and, hence, they quickly learn to write cleanly and evenly without letters going up and down and to write in sentences. This gives them confidence and a sense of pride and we often find our children, once introduced to writing, wanting to write more.
Illustrated are some examples of our young ones’ cursive writing. Impressed?