Cursive handwriting can be hard for teenagers to understand and may cause many to avoid trying it. This is why many students go without it, and some kids even stop practicing it altogether. Whether you are a child and want to keep one of the most vital skills you will learn in life, or have a parent who may not feel comfortable teaching it, here are eight reasons why you should start writing in cursive:
1. It improves your ability to read
Cursive writing improves reading speed, by not having to remember to read each letter of the alphabet and how many lines that one piece of writing makes. But these advantages don’t stop there. Cursive handwriting also allows you to read the vowels, consonants, vowels with bells, salutations, and any other aspect of the alphabet.
2. It improves reading comprehension
Cursive writing not only improves the way you see each letter, but also the way you read it. By reading in cursive, you learn to see more than one way through a sentence, paragraph, or phrase. Using a calculator instead of a calculator isn’t the only way to solve a problem, but it takes time and a certain amount of mental dexterity to do so, and you can rarely get the number you want right by using a simple function like zeros. This might be why elementary students often estimate that grammar is important because they are experiencing a problem when they do not.
3. It improves your reading self-esteem
Cursive writing increases self-esteem. To minimize the chances of writing bad essays, homework, or projects, and to decrease their likelihood of sending home tardy reports, students should continue to practice cursive. (Many schools still force younger students to learn cursive to catch up, but for middle and high school students the effects are much more pronounced.) One reason that cursive writing and a positive self-image might go hand in hand is that it provides that much-needed feel-good feeling.
4. It improves your writing
Cursive writing makes it easy to write in cursive or with your teeth. This makes it easier to get ideas in your head when you are on the computer. Simply writing notes on the screen has not been proven to lead to better ideas than when you write in cursive. (In fact, some studies show that cursive writing and computers are very similar, but a cursive computer is called a plain white word processor.) Even when you are writing on the pad of paper, there is a noticeable difference. You want to get it right when you write in cursive, and if you are now too busy to learn, learn to write in plain white.
5. It helps to get the right spelling
It is tempting to type the spelling and sentence in the traditional way. But this can make spelling errors, particularly as you begin writing other sentences, almost unavoidable. If you aren’t sure that you’ve spelled something correctly, and you’re about to type it on your computer, you might look it up a second time.
Cursive handwriting can make spelling mistakes less noticeable, so it is a good time to practice before your first computer test. Simply substituting a word with a letter of the alphabet (“Boo-eee” for “ieeee” is an example) will help you understand how to spell it correctly.
6. It helps you remember
When you want to write down numbers or prices, make sure that you write them out in cursive. This prevents you from forgetting to write them down and cuts down on confusion.
7. It helps you learn foreign languages
Cursive handwriting is very easy to learn, and it is extremely popular in languages other than English. Learning these languages helps you better prepare for school, especially when you are traveling.
8. It helps you read and write in other languages
It is hard for second- and third-graders to learn foreign languages, so an emphasis on foreign language skills is vital. Cursive writing helps teach more than one language because it provides the same learning system for writing in Latin and Chinese that it does for writing in Latin and English.
This article originally appeared on Essentials.