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.
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.
- Start with a good model for transcription. One letter at a time. Require perfect execution.
- Choose a suitable handwriting font for my child’s style. Not just the one I liked best. Consider your child’s dexterity and their desire for fancy letters. Here is some information on font styles and choosing a handwriting font.
- Take your time with the introduction of cursive and keep them practicing with their daily copywork.
Now that we have sorted out our teething problems, progress is being made!