May 13th, 2011
By: Matthew J. Geiger
Outside of the United States, cursive writing is taught before children learn how to print. Although many of us neglect our cursive writing skills, except to sign a document now and again, due to the advent of computer technology; however, cursive writing is both more efficient and more natural when mastered before print. Because children are developing their fine motor skills, cursive writing allows them to gradually improve their eye-hand coordination versus straight lines that strain students.
The first step in developing our cognitive abilities is the development of our fine motor skills. As our brains learn to connect our inner worlds to the external universe, we begin to recognize abstract ideas like awareness of others and perception. Cursive writing affords us the opportunity to naturally train these find motor skills by taking advantage of a child’s inability to fully control their fingers. This means cursive writing acts as a building block versus as a stressor. With a less strenuous learning experience, children can progress in their learning at a faster, more efficient rate.
Pushing a child to develop faster than what can honestly be expected may actually stunt growth or foster new issues like low self-esteem. Because print writing requires some fairly precise movements, young children can have difficulty learning, thus cursive writing helps them develop the skills they need to do more precise activities like printing. As a consequence, their fine motor skills and cognitive abilities may be more likely to develop faster, thereby, giving children the tools they need to develop more sophisticated mental tools.
At the same time, cursive writing exists to help us write with more precision at a faster rate. If a child learns to write at a faster rate, he or she may well become faster when it comes to thinking. Meanwhile, the ability to express ideas far more quickly may translate into an opportunity to explore more complex concepts. This forces our brains to work harder when it comes to coordination and cognitive abilities. Accordingly, the brain develops faster and stronger by the fact that ideas can be expressed more readily.
Moreover, cursive writing is a skill often neglected in the United States. Part of this is the result of schools teaching print as the primary writing styles first. Unfortunately, cursive writing capitalizes on our natural maturing process, thus it enables us to learn more efficiently. While we are only beginning to understand the impact of learning on our brain development, cursive writing can be quite beneficial. Not only does it help us learn, it allows to children to gradually improve their find motor skills at a stronger pace while our cognitive abilities are always improved by greater learning.
July 23, 2010
Researchers from Northwestern University recently published a series of data in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, revealing that music plays an important role in nervous system development. According to various, diverse scientific literature, musical training improves the brain’s overall ability to learn new things.
After poring through data from numerous labs and research centers around the world, Nina Kraus, lead author of the report, and her team, came to realize how valuable music is in enhancing learning ability.
“The brain is unable to process all of the available sensory information from second to second, and thus must selectively enhance what is relevant. Playing an instrument primes the brain to choose what is relevant in a complex process that may involve reading or remembering a score, timing issues and coordination with other musicians,” she explained.
In other words, musical training helps to develop the foundation for thinking by which cognitive function is able to improve throughout a person’s lifetime.
“Science has studied the effects on humans of various kinds of sound, and the consensus is that the right sort of music definitely has a beneficial effect on our state of health,” explains Alfred Vogel in his book The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
The data also revealed that children who receive musical training are more adept at interpreting pitch changes in speech, and they generally have a better vocabulary and reading ability than children who receive no musical training.