Is cursive writing important to child development?

Legislators push to keep cursive in their schools' curricula, but experts seem split as to whether it's necessary.

Tracy Burns checks her third grade student Nikolai Wilkins' cursive writing during class. (Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
  • Ohio has joined many other states in reestablishing cursive in their schools' curricula.
  • Research shows the value handwriting has for developing children's fine motor skills and a connection between words and memory.
  • But experts seem split on whether it's a question of print vs. cursive, or cognitive fluency vs. disconnect.
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Child abuse cases quadruple when report cards are sent home on Fridays

Florida researchers offer schools a simple message: Send home report cards earlier in the week.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
  • Researchers discovered a four-fold increase in verified cases of child abuse when report cards were sent home on Friday as compared to other days.
  • Corporal punishment is legal throughout America, including in many public and most private schools.
  • A child is hit, on average, every 30 seconds in American public schools.
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Why ‘mom guilt’ is an unreasonable term

What is 'mom guilt'? It's a symptom of the tragic state of America's parental leave policies.

  • America's poor family leave policies for new parents are the reason why 'mom guilt' is universal – but that guilt is unreasonable, says Smith Brody.
  • 'Dad guilt' is not a term, but men should also be part of this conversation.
  • For every month of parental leave that a father takes, the mom's lifetime earnings increase by 7%. Studies prove fathers who take parental leave ultimately have better relationships with their teenage children.
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Is granting children's wishes cost-effective? A new study looks at Make-A-Wish.

Donating to the right charities can save lives.

Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
  • Make-A-Wish stories are heartwarming, but are they worth the cost?
  • Effective donations to the right charities can save lives, even if they don't make for good reading.
  • A recent study into the value of wishes on health care costs gives good news for everybody.
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How financial literacy impacts youth prostitution, AIDS, and women’s survival

Financial literacy programs turns girls into powerful economic contributors.

  • Around the world, girls are in positions of extreme vulnerability and risk. How can we increase the survival and empowerment of girls and women who have no education, who are married off as children, forced into prostitution, and who live in regions where AIDS/HIV is common?
  • One proven strategy is financial literacy programs, from as early as age six. It is the bedrock of change. When girls understand finance, savings, and how to think assess opportunity and risk, it is proven to impact seemingly unrelated areas of life, such as understanding their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, explains Judith Bruce.
  • Invest in the poorest girls in the poorest countries early, says Bruce. Financial literacy affects their future decisions on health, education, and gives them their own economic agency. This benefits flow on to their children and will build a better, safer world.