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Alternatives to Higher Education: What’s Your Plan?

Alternatives to Higher Education: What’s Your Plan?

Parenting is a challenge as any parent will tell you.  Education is one of the parenting issues that consume a large portion of parental thought life. Once parents have gotten their child through elementary, middle and high school, what do they do about college?

Related Post:  6 Key Insights from Homeschool Moms

We will explore some alternatives to higher education.

Parents are concerned about the high cost of college, the pressure to fit in and conform, and making it through to graduation.

Interestingly, parents have held to the idea that the traditional four-year college is the only path after high school.   There are some alternatives to higher education that parents should consider.

Alternatives to Higher Education and College Debt

Many schools offer some level of scholarship or grants to students.  This is helpful to a point.  Grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back. However, students find that there is still a gap in tuition they are responsible for.

If three-quarters of the bill is covered by grants and scholarship that leaves one-quarter of the cost for the family to come up with. If that is $25,000, that amount is multiplied by four in order to get to graduation. For most students that means school loans that will follow the student for several years after graduation.

I am not saying the students and families should not pay for education.  It is reasonable to pay for your education.  Parents need to consider how much college costs and what the expected return on that investment will be.

The cost of college is increasing at a rate that is alarming and debilitating.  You and your student need to look closely at the academic major of interest.  Your student may not need to go the traditional route to work in their field of choice.  Steer clear of majors that do not lead to being employed after graduation.  In other words, if the major being considered sounds like “Underwater Basket Weaving,” run with all your might in the other direction.

The Burden of Debt

Debt looms heavy over the heads of young people long after they have left the halls of higher learning.

In addition, many students that enter college with the intention of earning a four-year degree, do not graduate. The college may not be a good fit for the student or traumatic events can cut a college career short.

Tragically, young adults are left to pay off a debt that represents time spent on the college campus but no diploma. Click To Tweet Without the diploma, their chances of landing a higher paying job can seem slim.

The future looks very bleak for these students. That’s a terrible way to begin life as an adult.  Debt hinders these young adults’ chance of having a disposable income to purchase a car or home.  The pattern is a cruel one and needs to be changed.

Alternatives to Higher Education and Pressures of College Life

Furthermore, students face pressures that lead to poor decisions that impact the rest of their lives.

Students will be challenged on many different fronts:

  • time management
  • homesickness
  • drug and alcohol experimentation and use
  • premarital sex
  • situations that challenge long-held values

Parents send their children off to college with the hopes that their child will hold onto the values instilled in them but temptations often overpower solid foundations.

The cyber world provides an opportunity for young adults to dive into a dark and dangerous world. The hope is that students will exercise good judgment in this area.  Parents, stay connected with your children.  The cyber world can be a place of temptation and danger for your young person.  Keep the lines of communication open.

Alternatives to Higher Education

Hopefully, these alternatives to higher education will give you a place to start looking for different paths to post-secondary education.

Think about what the end game is.  Young adults need to be independent thinkers.  They need to be able to take care of themselves once they leave school.  Young people should be able to use their gifts and talents in their chosen career.

I think about Charlotte Mason’s approach to education.  She encouraged teachers to include teaching a practical craft that students could then use as a possible means of earning money.  This was not the type of craft that you stick on the refrigerator door just to be admired.  These crafts had an actual function and use.

STEM careers or medical licenses require the traditional college path. Many careers, however, do not need a traditional college degree.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Start a Business

In the age of the internet, the possibility of starting an online business is a viable alternative to higher education.  Think outside the box.  Your son or daughter’s natural gifts and abilities may find a place in the marketplace. Video platforms are flourishing which makes it possible for your child to teach something on their own Youtube or Periscope channel.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Learn a Trade

Many of our craftsmen are getting older and which is leaving a gap that the younger generation can fill.  Young adults can learn a skilled trade and earn a very good living. This is another alternative that may not require a four-year degree. Auto mechanics and photographers are invaluable.  Appliance repairmen command good salaries as well.  These are jobs that are valuable but do not necessarily require a four-year degree.

Mike Rowe has found a new appreciation for skilled labor.  He has written a book entitled Profoundly Disconnected which highlights the beauty of doing an honest day’s hard work.  He focusses on the skilled labor jobs.  He is attempting to help others appreciate these jobs.  The skilled labor or blue collar jobs have lost esteem in the eyes of many of our youth.

Perhaps that is a mistake.

These are jobs that may not be glamorous but one can raise a family.  Enjoy Mike reading the preface to his book. You will enjoy the book but please, do not listen to it while you are eating.  You have been warned. Click the link at the bottom.

Alternatives to Higher Education Community College

The community college is another alternative to higher education.  If a four-year college is still a goal of your young adult, encourage them to look into community colleges for the basic courses. Students take general education courses in community college at a fraction of the cost of a four-year college.  This allows the student to save money as they complete approximately half of their college coursework at an institution that costs a portion of the four-year college cost.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are also great alternatives to going the traditional higher education route.  They are similar to internships in that they both offer close interaction with a seasoned skilled laborer.  This relationship allows for the expert in the relationship to give the student close instruction and supervision as the student is learning a new skill.  Apprenticeships are paid position. This is the difference between the two opportunities.  The construction industry is experiencing growth in the offering apprenticeships

Additional information on Apprenticeships may be found in companies like Echoing Green and UnCollege Gap Year.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Join the Military

The military life can be a good alternative to higher education for a young man or woman. I have written a blog post about homeschoolers and humanity and the military academies.  There are many homeschool families that may be interested in the academies.  Read the post to find out what you will need if you are a homeschool family.  They are it’s an opportunity for young men and women to dig deep and find the courage and strength to serve our country.  Students can get a sense of what military life is like by joining Jr. ROTC in high school.  The military life is one of discipline and dedication students can gain a sense of patriotism and loyalty.

Interestingly, our young adults have many freedoms they may not be ready for. They may not say it out loud, but they enjoy the structure that the military life offers.  The structure allows the young adult to mature and discover his or her strengths and weaknesses while contribution to the defense of his or her country.

Finally, it is easy to see that there are several options to the traditional higher education route.  Hopefully, this will give some insight as to what is possible for a young adult.  Are there other options not mentioned here? Do you have an opportunity for a young high school graduate?

 

 

 

 

Back to School Read Alouds for Teachers and Homeschool Moms

Back to School Read Alouds for Teachers and Homeschool Moms

Per FTC Regulations I would like to let you know that I do have affiliate links throughout this blog. The links provide me with a small percentage of commission but do not cost you anything extra.

I (Rosemerry Blash) is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Wonderful Fall Read Alouds for teachers and homeschool parents.

I know it may be a little early to think about Fall Read Alouds for the classroom, but maybe not.

Some schools go year-round so if you are a teacher or a parent your classroom may become active at the end of July or certainly by mid-August.  Why not have a look at these wonderful books and plan your library trips or make purchase for your child’s teacher.  I spent 20 years in the classroom and it was always nice to get gifts that made teaching easier without having to come out of my pocket.

Check out these books that focus on leaves turning in fall and other fall activities.  Some of these would make great introductions into science units on the seasons.

I have included Youtube links for the read alouds if you would like to use them.

Have fun

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke

Fletcher’s tree is a wonderful friend. When the leaves start to fall, Fletcher reassures his tree friend that there is nothing to worry about.  All will be well.  Fletcher is not able to keep the leaves from falling off  his wonderful friend.  He is worried.  Fletcher then makes a wonderful discovery.  Read to find out what the discovery is.  Enjoy the Youtube video as well.

Why Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski

Why Leaves Change Color shows the reason why leaves change color in the fall.  It explains the leaf structure as well as how leaves use sunlight and cold when they are changing color. This is a great book for introducing fall and the changing of the leaves to elementary aged children.  You would enjoy reading this to your students yourself or you can use the Youtube video.  Enjoy learning about the changing colors.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

The maple leaf is center stage in Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.  This is another wonderful read aloud that tells  the story of a maple leaf’s beginnings and growth.  The growth of the tree is chronicled is this story  Children will enjoy seeing what the seed of the maple leaf tree looks like.  This story will guide the children along the life cycle of the maple leaf to where we see the leaves turn beautiful colors.  The story ends where it began with the seed of the maple leaf falling to the ground.  Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf is another great book that can be read by the teacher or enjoyed on Youtube.  This is great for life cycle lessons and plant parts and function.

Fall Read Alouds

Fall Read Alouds

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is a whimsical tale of an old lady that swallowed some leaves and many other things that we see in the fall of the year. When the old lady finally sneezes at the end she creates a wonderful fall like item.  There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is available on Youtube or you can enjoy reading this yourself.

When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger

When the Leaf Blew In is a whimsical story of a fall leaf blowing in a barn.  A cow sneezes which begins a whole series of events that cause much mayhem.  Enjoy When the Leaf Blew In story on the Youtube.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaf Man is another story that involves beautiful fall leaves. This story follows the travels of the leaf man as the wind carries him along.  His travels take him along many sights and sounds of the fall. The illustrations show wonderful formations of the things that the leaf man seas in his travels.  Wouldn’t it be fun to collect different types of leaves and create some of the things the leaf man sees. You might even be able to identify the leaves and its parts. Enjoy the Leaf Man as a read aloud or on Youtube video.

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

This story of the Grouchy Ladybug is a wonderful read aloud. Students will learn about how ladybugs eat aphids off of plants.  Mr 7, the reader of the story, does a particularly good job of reading this story.  You will enjoy him.  The Grouchy Ladybug in this story learns that it is best not to live a life being grouchy.   Enjoy this wonderful story on Youtube or read it aloud yourself.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters. Every child is experience First Day Jitters when going to a new school or a new class.  It is not unusual to feel nervous about the things we that are not familiar to us.  This is a story of First Day Jitters and how they are overcome.  Enjoy First Day Jitters on Youtube. 

 

Enjoy these books as the fall rolls in. Several of theme are perfect for those science units and others are just plain fun to read as the school year begins.  You will notice that the books have clickable YouTube links for your convenience.  As I’m sure you are aware, reading out loud to your children is one of the best ways for children to hear what good reading sounds like.  This is a foundational step in reading comprehension.  You may notice your child wanting to read to you.

What are some of your favorite books to read. Do you have any fall favorites?  Are there any books in general that are favorites.  Leave a comment in the comment section and enjoy the new school year.

Reading Strategies for Struggling Readers

Specific reading strategies for struggling readers need to be used to help the struggling reader achieve.  When your son or daughter is struggling with reading you struggle with them.  You feel every agonizing effort to tackle the next word.  Tears of frustration run down your cheeks as they run down your child’s.  Be encouraged.   There is help.

5 Quick Reading Comprehension Tips

5 Quick Reading Comprehension Tips

Reading Strategies for Struggling Readers

Online tutoring is a great way to support your child academically as well as save time and money. Parents that utilize online tutors are smart.  They avoid having the hassle of traveling home, preparing dinner, cleaning up after dinner and then getting back in the car to make that trip to the tutor. All of this happens after a long day of work for the typical parent. If the tutor is coming to your house, you have to make sure there is a tidy place for work to take place.

Supporting your child academically is the ultimate goal.  Online tutoring is a brilliant way to provide reading strategies to struggling readers.

Unique and individualized learning experience.

A good online tutor will give your student an assessment to determine academic weaknesses. Click To Tweet.  This enables targeted and focused instruction.  The tutor will determine which specific reading strategies for the struggling reader. The assessments will provide the tutor information needed to customize instruction. Tutors teach specific concepts and monitor to determine progress made.  They also develop an authentic connection with their students and they make learning fun. This is important in keeping the student engaged during tutoring sessions.  Tutors often provide reinforcement activities that are fun and engaging while also practicing concepts learned. A good tutor will take the time to talk to parents and give them strategies to use when the tutor is not there.

 

Greater retention and personal growth.

Students that have online tutors experience a greater level of retention of material learned.  Online tutors are able to modify lessons and discern what may or may not be absorbed by the student.

Students feel a great sense of accomplishment when they have mastered a concept.  This not only helps children feel good about what they have accomplished but also gives students a sense of being able to accomplish other tasks.

Deeper and more independent thinking.

The online tutor engages the student in conversations that foster deeper thinking.  This is one of the key reading strategies for struggling readers.  When the student is able to have a conversation about the text, learning has begun.

Tutors are able to hear whether or not a student is confident in their level of knowledge. When a student is able to explain a math problem with clarity and ease, the tutor knows they have a firm grasp of the material. Similarly, with reading, students that retell a story with a great deal of detail show they have absorbed the story. They are also able to share opinions about what was read.

Some struggle is good.

Students have to apply some real thought to their answers.  It may appear they are struggling and in fact, they are but that struggle is good.  This is the stretch.  Growth happens at this point. Reading Comprehension and numeracy take root and the student is impacted in a positive way.  This is the goal!

Greater engagement.

Online tutors are able to keep students engaged which means students are spending more time learning.  The online tutoring experience lends itself very nicely to in-depth conversation between the student and the tutor. Click To TweetThe online tutoring experience lends itself very nicely to in-depth conversation between the student and the tutor.  Math problems are talked through so that the student can hear their own thoughts and the tutor is able to catch errors in thinking.  The tutor often uses tools that the student can use that is a bit novel for the tutor so the student stays engaged.

Foster Independent learning.

Online tutors help students become independent learners which is the ultimate goal. Click To Tweet

Online tutors help students become independent learners which is the ultimate goal.  Students are successful and naturally curious.  When they see they can be successful they are more likely to explore and learn on their own.

If you have considered getting help for your child, be sure to consider an online tutor.  This can make a huge difference in your student’s attitude about school.  Get them the help they need.

Contact me if you are in need of online tutoring services.  We can talk about reading comprehension issues, phonics, and math.  Get your free assessment scheduled.

Charlotte Mason on the Difference Between Living Literature vs. Twaddle

Charlotte Mason on the Difference Between Living Literature vs. Twaddle

 


Living LItrerature Vs Twaddle

Living LItrerature Vs Twaddle

Charlotte Mason on Living Literature vs Twaddle

Living literature is critical when instructing children.  Living literature is the type of literature that ignites the imagination.  Children are able to see the scene they are reading in their minds eye.  Their imagination is on fire! It is rich in vocabulary and causes children to wrestle with big ideas. The text that is filled with living literature, exposes the child to characters that display heroism and self sacrifice. These are the character traits that we want our children to emulate.  Charlotte Mason believed children are wired to take in challenging thoughts and ideas. Children thrive on living literature.

Is There a Difference Between Living Literature vs Twaddle?

There is a huge difference between living literature and twaddle. Click To Tweet The textbook versions and anthologies are what Charlotte Mason would call “twaddle” or “predigested” texts. Another characteristic of twaddle is short choppy sentences as well as dry facts.  Allow me to share with you two renditions of One of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. The title of the story is HOW THE WHALE GOT HIS THROAT

Notice the Difference Between Living Literature vs Twaddle.

The first paragraph in the living version reads: In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale, and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish, and the garfish, and the crab and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate, and the mackereel and the pickereel and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find in all the sea he ate with his mouth–so! Till at last there was only one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small ‘Stute Fish, and he swam a little behind the Whale’s right ear, so as to be out of harm’s way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, ‘I’m hungry.’ And the small ‘Stute Fish said in a small stute voice, ‘Noble and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?

Compare the Same Paragraph but in ‘Predigested’ Form.

Once upon a time, there was a giant Whale who lived deep in the sea. He was always hungry, and more than anything he loved to eat fish of all different kinds: mackerel, salmon, tuna, crab, octopus, squid, eel, and more. He ate and ate, until there was only one fish left in the whole sea! Luckily, the Last Fish in the sea was a clever one. Before the hungry Whale could chase him, the Last Fish took a bow and asked, “Oh, mighty Whale, have you ever tasted man? I had much more fun reading the first version! How about you?

We Prefer Living Literature

The child that is exposed to the first paragraph is going to enjoy it more and have more questions which will stretch the mind. Even if the story is read to the child, the child, and the adult will enjoy the experience far more when reading the living version. What a wonderful experience for the child to stretch the mind and struggle with questions and ideas after having read the living version.

Not only is the living literature version of the story more fun to read but it is also more engaging with its complex, lyrical sentences.  A child would find it easier to picture the scene in his mind’s eye after having read the living literature version. I’m sure you can imagine a variety of learning experiences that could be engaged in with the living version.

Let’s delve even deeper in the area of living literature and Charlotte Mason’s ideas. Come along for the ride. I encourage you to share your thoughts and encounters with living literature. It will be a great adventure! Do you have any favorite stories that inspired you?  What are some literary pieces that ignite your imagination?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

snowflake

Snowflake

The term “snowflake” that has been hurled at millennials is, to say the least, not a nice term. People have used that term to describe our young people born after 1980. I want to suggest that we look closely at these young people we call “snowflakes” and embrace them instead of simply insulting them. Click To Tweet  They are our children and the way they are reacting to current issues is, in large part, due to the way we raised them.

We allowed our “snowflakes” to get participation trophies just for showing up. We guarded their self-esteem so they wouldn’t feel bad.Trophies meant less than what they were supposed to.  No longer were they symbols of mastery. They were turned into something that meant you were there and you were breathing .” Let’s give our children a little more credit and help them discover their unique qualities.  They need to understand that the Lord has placed gifts and talents and a destiny in each child and we don’t have to create some false feathered bed for our children to land on to protect their self-esteem.

Let’s not insult their intelligence.

Our young people are good people but we have allowed them to believe that their feelings should dictate life.   We have allowed them to think they are just supposed to get what they want because they feel like they should. Click To Tweet How misguided is that?  Where is the motivation to work hard at something?  Where is the drive to create something or find the answer to a problem?  There is none.  They may not even feel that they can be creative or work hard to achieve something. We have raised children that are lost and insecure. They look to some outside source for answers instead of looking inward and engaging the Holy Spirit.  That makes for an unsettled human being.

I believe we, particularly those of us that are Christian, need take responsibility and impact our children’s lives for the better.  Take the ‘snowflake” label off of them and engage them in conversation that may serve to enlighten them.

I applaud you!

Let me just acknowledge the many parents and children out there that are on solid ground and have a healthy growing relationship with each other and the Lord.  I know you are out there and I applaud you.

However, my heart hurts for those millennials that are confused and throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.  They tend to react to what they see instead of thinking critically about what is going on around them.

This post concerns millennials that are right around college age. In so many ways, the college age student is still developing and maturing.  The questions that they have are being addressed by the college professors on the college campuses.  Many of the college professors on the campuses are liberal.  Much of the media is liberal as well.  When all that surrounds you is leaning in one direction, there is very little opportunity to think critically about what you are hearing and seeing.  When an opposing view does come up our millennials are often, not willing to listen.

A large group of students writing.

 

How do we address the issue?

Now is the time to step in and let our children know that we stand with them and are willing and able to guide them through some of the challenges of life.  Yes, they are young adults and need to be able to make decisions on their own. But we can be present to help.

  • Keep the dialogue going.
  • Talk to your child about their classes.
  • Talk to them about dorm life.
  • Express your thoughts and opinions.

You must be aware that on most college campuses, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors. These professors are going to challenge tradition values that you have placed in your child.  This is why the conversation is so important.

Live what you believe.

Equally important to speaking truth, based on biblical teaching, is that we live lives aligned with and submitted to Lord Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet That takes boldness and courage and our children are watching.  The millennials want to know is this relationship with Jesus real and relevant for them in their college years.  We lose many children that grew up in the church right here. Life presents challenges.  The challenge is designed to rip them away from their faith and a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  They need to know your relationship with the Lord is real.   They want to see where we make sacrifices and what we make sacrifices for.  What do we truly value?

 

Live the Bible

They need to know that there is Truth that they can commit to and hang onto.  They are smart enough to know that college life is only for a season and they are going to leave the campus and enter life as a young adult.  What does a relationship with a living God have to do with their lives? Our steadfastness will help them answer that question. When they see us paying lip service to important convictions, they longer see us as trustworthy and we lose ground with them.  Furthermore, it opens the door to error.  It leaves our children vulnerable to bad choices.

Let them continue to see your walk with the Lord.  They may not be at home with you but your conversation will let them see that your relationship with the Lord continues to impact your life. They are going to think about that in their own lives when they make decisions.

Parents, bless your children

We as parents have a unique perspective and insight that our children don’t have.  We are better able to see the bigger picture because we have more life experiences.  Millennials may think they know enough but we all know that is not true. We have the responsibility to show share our perspective with them.  This goes back to the conversation.  Talk about lessons you have learned.  Some of these conversations may difficult or embarrassing but your child will come to understand that you are sharing these things in the hopes that they learn from your mistakes.

Joseph

Joseph may not have immediately understood how the Lord was using him when he was thrown into a pit for a crime he didn’t commit, but in time, he understood that the enemy was trying to take him out but the Lord had other plans.  That is an extremely difficult perspective for a young person to take but it is something they must grow into.  When you are vulnerable and share your stories, they can get a glimpse of your perspective.

What is the focus?

Fruitfulness and success are two different things. Cole points out that an important key is understanding that there is a difference between fruitfulness and success. To be successful means to focus on what one can accomplish or how much wealth one can obtain. This tends to be man-centered where fruitfulness is more focused on God and living a life that is a blessing to others.  This focus is everlasting and eternal.  What we do in response to the leading of the Lord is going to withstand the test of time.  1 Cor. 3:13 every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall rest every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

Let's lead with courage! Click To Tweet
What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive?

Cursive handwriting is a unique form of personal expression.  Some schools are finding cursive handwriting worthy of revitalizing.  Writing in cursive decreased in popularity to being just about non-existent.  Joe Helm, of the Washington Post, reports that some public and charter schools are once again embracing cursive handwriting.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/

In fact, Alabama and Louisiana are the two in the line of 14 states that have passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive handwriting instruction (Karen Matthews/AP TIME Staff). I am so glad to see a comeback of cursive.

Cursive Handwriting

As an educator, I know the value of teaching children how to write in cursive.  You will see some of the reasons cursive handwriting is important below. Many of our schools today do not take the time to teach the formation of letters at all.  Some of our children are on their own in this regard.  Some have taken on the task of learning this form of writing on their own.

 

Four Reasons Children Should Learn Cursive

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

1.Life Sills – Signing one’s name is a life skill that every child should know. Each person’s signature is unique and it has meaning. Make sure your child can write his or her name in cursive.
2.Reading Grandmas Letters.  Our children should be able to read letters or even recipes from their grandparents.  This is a wonderful connection that many of our children are losing. It’s wonderful to be able to go to a recipe written by grandma or grandpa. Wonderful memories come flooding back as those recipes are read.
3.Speed-Being able to write in cursive is faster than writing manuscript. This is of particular benefit as children grow older and need to be able to write notes in class.
4.Original Documents-Many of our original documents were written by our founding fathers in a type of cursive and our children need to be able to read these documents. It is good for them to be able to read documents like the Constitution for him or herself. They need to be able to read those documents in order to know what

It is easy to see the importance of cursive handwriting.  Here is a resource for printable sheets that can be used in teaching cursive.

Phonics and Cursive Handwriting Connection

The nature of cursive writing connects the letters to each other. This gives the student time to focus on the formation of the letters, the sound of individual letters, as well as letter combinations.  This is the foundation of phonics and reading.

Cursive handwriting is particularly helpful for the dyslexic student.  Some letters are easily confused when printed.  These letters are shaped differently when formed in cursive. Students focus on text rather than figuring out letters.

Having good handwriting takes practice.  Establishing the habit of practicing something is good for our children and it is good for us as adults. Habits help to make our lives run more smoothly and they can help us master something.  Just think about becoming the master of that chocolate cake when you practice saying no to it often enough.  (But that is a little off topic.:)

Personal Expression

Cursive handwriting is personal.  Each person has peculiarities in the execution of the letters.  This is the beauty of cursive. In the grand scheme of things, handwriting doesn’t take a long time to teach. Much of the instruction is a matter of practice.  Teachers are taking 15 minutes out of the day to show children the strokes and then providing time for practice.  This can be included in their homework as well.

Cursive handwriting is something worth hanging onto in our schools.

Do your children get to learn cursive handwriting at school?  Do they ask to learn how to write cursive?  Put your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

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