The Weekly Sam: Cursive First

Several week ago while driving in rural New Hampshire, I turned on the radio and the first thing that came on was a talk show on NPR.  The host was interviewing a college professor on the subject of cursive.  The professor, a mother of a teenage boy, informed us of a study she conducted on the difference between  students who know cursive vs. those who do not.  She had my attention.  Her study led he to conclude that cursive writers had better grades.  Alas, I thought, a Sam Blumenfeld disciple, and on NPR no less!   I pulled over the van in order to write down her name, and contact info.  But a minute later,  this professor said she was against teaching cursive.  She explained that her son was traumatized by it.  The poor dear.    She claimed that cursive was unnecessary, a product of a bygone era.   Was she advocating the dumbing down of America?  I think so. I never did write down her contact info.

A week later, I visited the Lillian Nordica Homestead in Farmington, Maine to donatesome artifacts to the homestead that were in Sam’s estate.  The curator, Crystal Williams, lamented that a young lady volunteer was unable to read cursive, and therefore unable to read Lillian’s numerous cursive letters.

Sam was a strident proponent of cursive first.  He pointed out that all toddlers use circular motions when scribbling, and rightfully noted that cursive was natural.  Sam wrote the book “How to Tutor” which contains lessons on cursive.  Here is a link to the lessons:

If taught using these lessons, your children will not be traumatized.

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