Recently I wrote about my indecision with cursive: was it worth teaching, when should it be introduced, and what program to use. My dd decided (for me) that she would begin cursive *now*. So, I began looking around at cursive programs and found that there is a boatload. And, I don’t think that I am exaggerating when I say that there is literally a boatload.
My first thought was that I would have liked to continue on with Peterson since I love that they name each stroke and emphasize fluency. However, I do not love the looks of their font….even though this is very similar to the font that I learned in school. I just never cared for the looks of the uppercase Q’s and Z’s.
I love the looks of Spencerian cursive, but it seemed way to strict and involved for a young child to learn. The copywork booklets for this program are very inexpensive and I picked up “like new” copies for a few dollars. I have been going through the first booklet myself and I am very glad that I did not try to get my dd to attempt this script. I think if she still loves cursive and wants to take it further into the realm of calligraphy, then the Spencerian script will fit beautifully. For now, this is just for me. 🙂
I also briefly pondered Getty-Dubay, but the font is not close enough to traditional cursive for me. Although I do think that it is beautiful, one of my most compelling reasons for teaching cursive is to ensure that my dd will be able to read documents written in cursive when she encounters them. Therefore, GD cursive would not suit those needs.
Finally, I found the New American Cursive program from Memoria Press. The font is simplified (which appeals to me) and a secular version copybook is available (level 2). There are 3 books that are in this series and the first one focuses on the formation of the letters, in alphabetical order, and then the numbers. After the first few exercises, children are encouraged to make the letters “hold hands” and after letter I, they are writing simple words. By the end of the book there are a few copywork exercises that include the child’s name, days of the week, and some high frequency words.
My dd seems to enjoy it well enough. We have only begun and are currently on letter C (I do miss the handholding found in the Peterson program). I have been splitting up the pages in half: she completes the upper rows of the upper- and lowercase letters and then the next day completes the lower row. We are also alternating days with manuscript copywork. As you can see from the picture her cursive is not perfect, but I can tell which letter she was trying to write. We shall see what it looks like when we get to the end of the book.
I am also in the process of contacting Startwrite to see if I can buy the NAC font. I read on The Well-Trained Mind forums that this was indeed possible, but I haven’t heard anything from the company yet.
Do you have any tips for teaching cursive? I am beginning to wonder if alternating with manuscript copywork is a good idea. I welcome any thoughts from BTDT homeschoolers.
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