Reading and Writing Cursive May No Longer be Taught to Our Grandchildren: An Easy Three Step Process For Grandparents to Teach Grandchildren How to Create A Cursive Signature of Their Own

When this Grandma was a child, I remember hearing about how some would mark their signature with an X because they could not read or write.  Having a unique cursive signature was important when I was a child, and even in my adulthood.  I went to my go to source, Wikipedia, for more information about the importance of a signature.

“The traditional function of a signature is to permanently affix to a document a person’s uniquely personal, undeniable self-identification as physical evidence of that person’s personal witness and certification of the content of all, or a specified part, of the document.”

Computer signatures are now signatures, as people use electronic devices and do not write anymore.  Schools are changing curriculum leaving out cursive writing, usually taught beginning in the third grade, but are they doing the best for our grandchildren? We grandparents should know that cursive writing may no longer being taught to the majority our grandchildren in their schools!

What our grandchildren may never know is reading the original Declaration of Independence.

What our grandchildren may never know is signing a credit card receipt with a signature.  Credit card companies decided in 2018 that retailers in the U.S. and Canada may no longer require cardholder signatures for in-store credit and debit purchases, saying their fraud capabilities are so advanced this is no longer necessary.

What our grandchildren may never know is signing a check, or even know what a check is.

What our grandchildren may never know is how to write their own signature in cursive, unless we grandparents take matters into our own hand with pen!

Each of our grandchildren will be interested in having their own unique signature when we tell them how we created our own and practiced and how our own signature changed over time and circumstances.  We can create the interest or we can respond when our grandchildren when they show an interest. It is really just another art project, but one that will carry the grandchild throughout his or her life.

I am a very lucky grandmother.  My two oldest grandchildren are old enough to have been taught cursive.  My now nearly sixteen year old grandson asked me to teach him to write his name in cursive when he was eleven, to create a signature, as he was not learning cursive in school.  Now, his younger brother is almost twelve, so it is his turn.  Fortunately, I was an elementary school teacher and taught the Palmer method, an easy form of cursive writing.

After doing this once before, I know to limit what I want to teach him to only his signature, and how to help him create his own unique signature. I have streamlined the process to three easy steps since I taught his older brother.

There is a website on the Palmer cursive writing method, the most popular cursive method in the United States.  There is an on-line tutorial. Or, even easier, choose among the following three inexpensive cursive writing workbooks and cursive writing practice paper.

Younger children:

Kumon My Book of Uppercase Letters (Revised Ed, Verbal Skills)

Kumon My First Book of Lowercase Letters. 

Cursive Handwriting Workbook for Kids: Beginning Cursive

New Release for older children:

Cursive Handwriting Handbook: Learn to Write in Cursive Print. Practice Line Control and Master Penmanship with Letters, Words and Sentences for Beginners, Kids and Young Adults

Cursive Handwriting Workbook for Teens: A cursive writing practice workbook for young adults and teens (Master Print and Cursive Writing Penmanship for Teens)

Cursive Writing Practice Paper.

Use the workbooks yourself first, following this simple three step procedure, before you repeat it with your grandchild.  Use specific pages of the workbooks for the specific letters of his or her name with the grandchild too.  Practice the letters on the cursive writing paper.

1. You only need two or three capital letters. Learn how to make them individually.

2. You need all other letters in lower case. Learn how to make them individually. 

3. Learn what I call the connectors! To get the letters together in one fluid movement, there are connectors.  The letters connect on the top or on the bottom.  Write the signature without connecting all the letters. Notice whether to connect to the next letter, the connector is on the top or the bottom.

Practice your grandchild’s signature with the connectors on the cursive writing paper.

Now you are ready to repeat one to three with your grandchild. Make it fun.  Remember to make it an art project, which it really is.  Have the child pick the colors, even a different color for each letter of their name, or their favorite colors.  Consider a variety of erasable colored pencils, erasable markers, erasable crayons, erasable pens. It is drawing individual art characters (each individual letter) in one stroke.  It is then learning the strokes necessary to connect each art piece.  Finally, it is practice of fluidity of the drawing, to keep going until the end of first name, then the middle name and finally the last name.  Hopefully, your grandchild does not have 27 letters in his or her name, as our daughter did growing up.

Remember, practice makes perfect, or in this case, a unique signature for your grandchild that does not look like your practice of your grandchild’s signature, but his or hers. Show how his or her signature drawing is different than yours of his or her name and emphasize how no one else will have the same exact cursive signature that he or she does. 

When he or she finds one signature he or she likes, go over it in permanent marker and have your grandchild use it as a template for practice on the cursive writing paper, tracing over it often at different times, and then using the cursive writing practice paper.

Your grandchild will love this and appreciate the patience and effort it takes to help them create their own unique cursive signature.  They will practice when you are unaware.  Tell them their signature will change over time and give them a folder to keep their signature “art” in.

I taught beginning cursive writing in third grade.  Depending on your grandchild’s small motor skills, start early on your art project.  Use larger letters and even start with initials.

If your grandchild around ten or older, has not learned cursive in school, and has not asked you to help them create their own individual cursive signature, suggest it, but be prepared as above.

I left the workbooks in the “art” folder.  After all, interest may be there to learn more than just the signature.  Yes, to this grandmother, a grandchild having his or her unique cursive signature is enough in this electronic day and age.  They will know how to add it to all of their electronic devices, even if we grandparents do not.

Our near twelve year old grandson is interested in American and world history. No, I have not yet purchased him his own copy of the Declaration of Independence for more impetus. . . .nor taken him to visit the National Archives, but I expect I will do so with



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