Teaching cursive is not something I had really thought about yet. Monkey had expressed some curiosity for reading cursive, so we have been practicing that, but he had never actually put pen to paper and attempted to write in cursive.
You see, Monkey is still working on mastering basic print. I was hesitant to have him try something new – but then he started talking about “his font” and how it was different than normal writing. This was in response to me trying to get him to write his lowercase e properly – he spirals from the outside in, rather than inside out. It was a moment when he was being stubborn and argumentative, but it got me thinking that maybe this was the perfect time to start learning cursive!
I was intrigued by CursiveLogic‘s unique approach to teaching cursive letters. Letters are grouped into 4 basic shapes and are taught as letter “strings”. Other than a couple practice rows where the student learns the shape, letters are never written individually, they are always connected to at least one other letter. So different and much more enjoyable than the way I was taught cursive! By grouping the letters by shape, students are able to quickly move through the learning process and build muscle memory.
The CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack includes the CursiveLogic workbook and access to a webinar that walks you through how to teach the program.
The workbook is made of thick, durable paper with 3 dry erase practice pages at the end. It is spiral bound at the top, so it is comfortable for both right handed and left handed students. It is designed so that you work through the entire workbook using only the front of the pages, then you flip the book over and work your way back, using the back of the pages.
The webinar is an online video that is accessed through Vimeo. It explains the CursiveLogic method and benefits, then gives you a detailed walk through of the first letter string and examples of the 3 other strings. This information is also included in the workbook, but it was really helpful to me to have a quick walk through of the entire program before trying to jump into it.
The entire program is broken into 10 lessons, with each lesson further divided into 3-4 days. So technically, you could complete the entire program in 10 weeks. The program follows a logical step by step approach, rather than using memorization. Each lessons flows into the next and builds upon previous skills. CursiveLogic uses a multi-sensory approach, using color, movement, verbal, and auditory tools to appeal to all learning styles.
How We Used CursiveLogic
Monkey is at the young end of the intended age range for this program, so we worked through the workbook a bit slower than recommended and did more practice outside of the workbook between lessons. We could have used the dry erase pages, but he preferred the feel of writing on paper. The extra practice really paid off when looking at his early attempts compared to a later lesson! Just look at the difference in his g’s!
The transition from the first letter string to the next was a bit abrupt for Monkey. He had just gotten used to the first shape and was getting to the point where he could write the letters fairly neatly and consistently. The next letter string was more difficult for him – he ended up with a page full of squiggles that barely resembled letters. We spent a lot of extra time practicing this string outside of the workbook before moving on to the next “day” of practice in the workbook. Each letter string is presented in the same way, with the same amount of practice, so I don’t see this as a fault in the way the letter strings are taught – Monkey just needed the extra practice.
My own handwriting is a kind of sloppy mix of cursive and print – legible, but not pretty. I was excited by the thought of improving my writing through coloring! It was also very encouraging to Monkey to see that even I needed to practice my handwriting. We would sit together and while he did his practice, I would do mine. It became a fun before bed activity for us.
“I really liked learning a new font! My mom says that when I have mastered print and cursive, then I can make a font that is just my style. I can’t wait to do that! Learning cursive is kind of hard for me. My hand and fingers don’t always want to cooperate, but every time I practice I get better! I think that this would be better for kids that are a little bit older than I am who can already write in print really good. I bet their hands would cooperate better.”
I really appreciated CursiveLogic’s unique approach to teaching cursive. Although Monkey struggled a bit, I could see major improvement after just a few lessons! Before this program, I didn’t have any idea how to approach teaching cursive. Now I know that I can teach cursive and I have no doubt that Monkey will have mastered cursive writing by the time we get to the end.
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