Teaching Cursive to Your Children –My Blunders

Teaching cursive my blunders

Teaching Cursive to Children

My two youngest have just started learning cursive. I decided that it was time since they had both mastered printing and had been doing daily printing copywork.

I made a few blunders with the introduction –but I’m back on track.

My First Mistake—Missing a link
Since my kids were familiar with copywork and were printing just fine. I thought that it would be OK to just launch straight into a simple cursive copywork book. I was a knucklehead. I rushed it (I roll my eyes up at myself).

For some reason I didn’t spend time teaching correct letter formation for a few lesson. So, thankfully, the light went on and I backtracked and retaught how to format the letters.

My Second Mistake—One size fits all

Well, I do know that my children are quite different. My youngest daughter who is nearly 9 has exquisite handwriting. Her brother is nearly 11 and is a slower writer; his letters are larger than hers.

Since I knew my daughter would like Manuscript Cursive’s swirly letters, I chose that for both of them. I should not have. My son needed the simpler Italics font, he likes to write simply without all the fancy work. When I switched him over to the simpler font he was very pleased. Writing for him is a tool. His sister sees writing as an art form.

Find out about fonts here.

I did get one thing right—I slowed down.

I knew that introducing handwriting takes time so I slowed down my requirement for copywork. I asked them to produce two lines of good copywork rather than eight lines

Making the Transition—Is Cursive Necessary?

I hear some people say they never teach cursive as it won’t be needed. Well I am not of that ilk.

I think they will need to be able to read other people’s cursive and when it is mastered it is a much faster way of writing.

The Method I Should Have Used
was the same as when I first introduced handwriting into my homeschool.

Now that we have sorted out our teething problems, progress is being made!


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  1. Jeanne  August 19, 2010

    Hmmm, I can see that it's time I had another browse around your goodies. The manuscript cursive books are just was I was after – and with Blinky to boot! Just perfect! Thanks!

  2. Nicole  August 17, 2010

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for the tip on the lego bible stories. They are really great but you are right about me looking at them first. I think my husband will love them, hahaha. We are beginning with Brisbane school of dist ed for prep next year. I am a trained teacher but haven't taught since I've had the kids. I am looking forward to using this curtriculum as a base and then adding and subtracting whatever we need to. We'll see how it goes and take it from there.

    Thanks again

  3. Nicole  August 13, 2010

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for dropping by our blog. I found your blog while researching homeschool for my two boys. You have many great ideas here and it has been a huge blessing to read it all.

    Have a blessed evening

  4. EnduringPrize  August 13, 2010

    I know what you mean Butterfly!

    One of my kids learnt to write off appliances and tin can lables.

    But when we do copywork I emphasise correct letter formation and if I can see that they struggle forming a letter, or that it is shabby, I give them extra practice with that letter.

  5. Butterfly  August 13, 2010

    Terrific post Michelle!! I love that you've chosen fonts to suit each child, that's absolutely so lovely!

    I find the letter by letter, perfect-execution approach hard. My kids were very early experimenters, and my daughter is a self-motivated writer (even if she can't read it all yet).

    Though I tried, neither were keen to be told 'how' to form letters (even though it would make writing easier for them). They've worked through countless handwriting texts at their own pace (mostly leftovers from my teaching supplies, some 20 cent oldies from the uni book sale) … plus dry-erase boards, flour, shaving cream, paint, rainbow writing and some letter/ phonics lessons led by me. By ages 5 and 6, their correct formation has mostly been a matter of time, and is still a work in progress.

    I know you're not saying that you'd hold kids back, but would you advise a stubborn child that the 'correct' way to form 'g' or 'a' will be easier for them in the long run? I still model letter formation and teach handwriting alongside phonics, but mostly let them write their own way and it seems to be evening out eventually.

    Kind regards, Vanessa


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