Why Kids Should Learn Cursive (and Math Facts and Word Roots)
Time Magazine published a piece several years ago about the benefits of classical teaching methods and "old-fashion" skills like penmanship and learning multiplication tables, as many schools today are abandoning these basics. The article begins with the perspective of a teacher who was told to teach students Greek and Latin root words and approach instruction that emphasized "rote memorization" (the word "memorization" is seldomly used in education these days without the disparaging use of "rote" attached to it), much to her chagrin. To her surprise, learning roots opened a new door and her students eagerly made connections and associations among words in the English language. By expanding their knowledge of our language, they were more effectively able to practice high-level thinking skills.
The article continues talking about the benefits of drilling and memorizing math facts to improve "automacity," allowing students to more easily engage in higher levels of math.
The basics of traditional education include handwriting, argumentation (at Golden View Classical Academy we call this rhetoric and spend an entire year on this in the 9th grade), and reading aloud, are included in the basics of a classical, liberal arts education. We ground our students in basic knowledge to include knowing facts, figures, dates, people, and places (in classical education this is known as the Grammar phase), believing a quality education needs a strong foundation to allow students to access higher level skills.
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