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. I started simply using the ebooks from my Cursive First Pack.
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 Manuscript 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.
I remember reading one of the arguments for using Cursive First with children was that children were not given enough time to master cursive. For they didn’t have the same level of supervision around grade 4 that they have in grade 1. Well as a homeschooling mum that rule does not apply to my homeschool.
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!