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Why is it important for children to learn this? I am talking about American Cursive, not Italic as the letters do not change in that form. Is it a brain growth thing?

 

Who decided that kids needed it? Should they learn cursive or print first? I am curious about this.

 

Does it matter what form they learn- American or Italic?

 

What programs are suited to young children? NAC is odd to me with the spaces. Mcruffy as a stand alone? Cursive First is unappealing to us.

 

Is a small child at a loss for learning cursive first? What about those screwy capitals and the letters b and z?

 

Any other Italics programs out there besides Getty-Dubay (pages are too busy, not small child friendly, IMO for youngest learners), or Penny Gardner (not small child friendly, IMO)?

 

What says the Hive?

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Of course. It is how English has been written for hundreds of years. Why wouldn't we teach it? :confused: Why would we not give our children every advantage possible?

 

I have read that the U.S. is the only English-speaking country whose citizens ponder whether or not to teach their children to write in cursive. Doesn't sound like a good thing to me.

 

Manuscript is a newcomer in the written-English world. I don't think it matters that much which comes first. And I'd rather see a child know only cursive than to know only manuscript.

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My mom started cursive in 1st grade way back when. She is a retired teacher and stressed to us the importance of teaching cursive. When she'd write on the board at school, she always had a few students--in high school--who asked her to print because they couldn't read what she wrote :confused: I have plans to start working on cursive with DS come to second semester. This semester I just want to concentrate on getting his print legible.:001_huh: His writing is atrocious!

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Sounds like my 11yr old. UGG!!! But he refuses to use the cursive he knows because it slows him down. I am leaning towards NAC for all mine. Kinda pricey, though, for a handwriting workbook. I would need 5 books, too. Does she have a multi pack price?

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Cursive is faster than manuscript, and is less tiring to write, especially under time pressure. And as someone who has motor skills issues that makes writing hard, I can attest there are a LOT of times that typing simply isn't an option.

 

The best thing that ever happened to me was that, in 5th grade, we had an occupational therapy grad student doing her internship at my school and she decided to make my writing her project. She effectively created a handwriting system FOR ME from the ground up-which came out very similar to HWT (which was not yet on the market at the time). It made a MAJOR difference.

 

I still type most things (and the difference between my under 5 lb with all it's gear netbook and the great big early portable computer I carried on a luggage cart in graduate school is dramatic), but I'm VERY, VERY glad there was someone out there that didn't think teaching me cursive was a waste of time.

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Cursive is faster than manuscript, and is less tiring to write, especially under time pressure.

 

This isn't true for everyone, for most of the people in my husband's family writing cursive takes longer. I remember that Mel Levine had something about this in one of his books, probably A Mind at a Time. Writing cursive, for some people, can be extra difficult because it involves coordinating a lot of different mental processes. ADHD runs in my husband's family, I think this may be a factor.

 

I have read that the U.S. is the only English-speaking country whose citizens ponder whether or not to teach their children to write in cursive. Doesn't sound like a good thing to me.

 

I've seen the official cursive fonts for other countries, though, such as those for the various states in Australia (yes each state has an official font for schools) and they are more like Italic handwriting than American cursive. The last three samples on this page are Australian fonts: http://www.drawyourworld.com/dnealian.html

 

I'm not sure what I think about cursive. I tried introducing NAC to both my kids last year, and was not at all impressed with the tracing methodology of the book. I'm using WRTR this year and may introduce the cursive to my third grader. His fine motor skills are poor and his manuscript is still awful, though.

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Along with the reasons already stated, I also think of cursive as adult writing and manuscript as childish. My sister is a lawyer tells me that her manuscript only handwriting looks sort of silly on the occasions when she needs to jot down a note for someone in court. I agree with her.

 

My kids have done a year and a half of cursive already but are still reluctant to use it all the time. This year I bought them A Reason for Handwriting workbooks and some fun fountain pens in different colors to make it more interesting and will insist that all of their school writing be done in cursive from now on. At ages 9 & 10, it's time. hth!

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Of course. It is how English has been written for hundreds of years. Why wouldn't we teach it? :confused: Why would we not give our children every advantage possible?
Italic predates what we think of as cursive, so if tradition is a concern, Italic is the way to go. :D However, I do think that kids should be able to read cursive (as well as other styles of writing), so I assign letters and documents I find on Google Images.
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Why is it important for children to learn this? I am talking about American Cursive, not Italic as the letters do not change in that form. Is it a brain growth thing?

 

My school taught cursive in third grade, and by middle school we were all printing again - a nice, joined printing, much easier to read than cursive and fast to do.

 

I've seen the official cursive fonts for other countries, though, such as those for the various states in Australia (yes each state has an official font for schools) and they are more like Italic handwriting than American cursive. The last three samples on this page are Australian fonts: http://www.drawyourworld.com/dnealian.html

 

:iagree: I love the British adult handwriting I have seen -- italic-based, legible and elegant. The StartWrite cd and website have nice examples of various italic writing from other countries.

 

Someone who lives in France might want to add to this, but I remember reading that, in France, resumés have to be submitted in handwriting. And here is a wonderful video about how handwriting is taught in France:

 

http://www.teachers.tv/videos/france-teaching-handwriting

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While I agree that cursive is faster -- I also think another reason to teach it is that it gives our children the option and when they're older they can choose which one they prefer. If it's never taught they never get the choice.

 

The problem here is that children are more apt to use what they were taught first, simply because they are more comfortable with it. So we as parents really are making the choice for them, whether we want to or not.

 

I have two big reasons for teaching cursive first. First, I want my dd to be prepared to take notes. I realize that technology is such that notes are often being typed. (I, myself, used a laptop to take notes in grad school.) But should she need to take written notes, I want her to have that advance. Second, I have old letters written by my grandparents that are in cursive, and when I hand those down to my children, I want them to be able to read them. Similarly, I have done a lot of family history research, and I want my children to be able to read those old documents. Some people would add a third reason--cursive reduces tendencies to reverse letters (a problem my dd has not shown).

 

We moms rack our brains trying to figure out which is better, but ultimately, I don't think it really matters that much.

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Cursive is faster than manuscript, and is less tiring to write, especially under time pressure.

 

Unless you happen to be left handed. I teach my kids cursive and I believe in upholding traditions just for traditions' sake, but I primarily write in a print/cursive hybrid. It's so tiring to push a pen across the paper with your left hand and try to get it slanting the right way. I was required to write in cursive all the way through Catholic school and I found it so tedious. I teach them and make sure they can do it, then I ease up around the preteen years. Then they can write however they wish.

 

Barb

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The problem here is that children are more apt to use what they were taught first, simply because they are more comfortable with it. So we as parents really are making the choice for them, whether we want to or not.

 

I agree! I have always written in cursive, so when I started learning Italics this year, I had a hard time unlearning the cursive loops.

 

I have two big reasons for teaching cursive first. First, I want my dd to be prepared to take notes. I realize that technology is such that notes are often being typed. (I, myself, used a laptop to take notes in grad school.) But should she need to take written notes, I want her to have that advance.

 

Well, in my experience, when we need to take notes quickly, the cursive writing deteriorates. That is why I decided to teach my dd Italics; because it is a beautiful hybrid of print and cursive, it helps me write legibly even when writing rapidly.

 

Second, I have old letters written by my grandparents that are in cursive, and when I hand those down to my children, I want them to be able to read them. Similarly, I have done a lot of family history research, and I want my children to be able to read those old documents.

 

This is really the only reason for the majority of us to learn cursive.

 

We moms rack our brains trying to figure out which is better, but ultimately, I don't think it really matters that much.

 

I so agree with this! We compare various handwriting styles down to every letter to make sure it looks just so, before we decide to use it for our dc. But, actually, we are usually choosing what we like, not what we think (or know) our child will like.

 

And this is true for other areas of education as well. We obsess over minute details of various phonics programs, various readers, spelling programs, vocab programs until our hair goes gray. Yet, a majority of children will be able to read with any decent phonics program, will be able to spell with any spelling program... It is only when something doesn't seem to be working that we should go out there and find alternatives that will.

 

In my case atleast, I have realized that I research the various methods and curricula because I enjoy doing it for a while, not really because my dd needs it. :tongue_smilie:

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I have realized that I research the various methods and curricula because I enjoy doing it for a while, not really because my dd needs it. :tongue_smilie:

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree::lol::lol:

 

While I tell myself (and everyone else) it is for my dd, deep down I know it is totally because I actually enjoy it.

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So to be true to tradition then, we should teach our kids Italics connected first, then American cursive? And not manuscript at all? My littles taught themselves to write the capitals in manuscript. So what should I teach them?

 

Now I am even more confused. Anyone care to enlighten me a bit more?

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If I could do it over again I would teach cursive only! We were never thaught to print. Print was simply used for printed material and cursive for handwritten material. I wish I had remembered that much sooner. We started with print because everyone else was doing it and now my dss do not want to use cursive at all. We are working on it, though.

 

My vote: Cursive only!

 

Susie

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So to be true to tradition then, we should teach our kids Italics connected first, then American cursive? And not manuscript at all? My littles taught themselves to write the capitals in manuscript. So what should I teach them?
:D No, there's no reason not stick with one system. I like Italics because it is elegant yet easy to read, and linked Italics flow naturally out of the manuscript forms.
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Well, in my experience, when we need to take notes quickly, the cursive writing deteriorates. That is why I decided to teach my dd Italics; because it is a beautiful hybrid of print and cursive, it helps me write legibly even when writing rapidly.
I don't know which system you're using, but I love that in GDI lifts are taught when they make sense, with an eye to speed as well as aesthetics. Not all letters can be joined efficiently.
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If I could do it over again I would teach cursive only! We were never thaught to print. Print was simply used for printed material and cursive for handwritten material. I wish I had remembered that much sooner. We started with print because everyone else was doing it and now my dss do not want to use cursive at all. We are working on it, though.

 

My vote: Cursive only!

 

Susie

 

Yeah but government forms, job applications etc. all want you to print not write in cursive. Or at least up in our province they do.

 

I am going to start teaching cursive this year to my 3rd grader. I like it, I find it neater and faster for myself to use. :001_smile:

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Unless you happen to be left handed. I teach my kids cursive and I believe in upholding traditions just for traditions' sake, but I primarily write in a print/cursive hybrid. It's so tiring to push a pen across the paper with your left hand and try to get it slanting the right way. I was required to write in cursive all the way through Catholic school and I found it so tedious. I teach them and make sure they can do it, then I ease up around the preteen years. Then they can write however they wish.

 

Barb

 

Hmmm... I'm left-handed and find cursive easier and faster than print. I'm planning on teaching my 2 left-handed dc cursive first because I think it will be easier for them. We won't focus on slant for awhile, just letter formation. It took me a few years to incorporate a nice slant into my writing.

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I don't know which system you're using, but I love that in GDI lifts are taught when they make sense, with an eye to speed as well as aesthetics. Not all letters can be joined efficiently.

 

I was referring to the fully-joined cursive I learnt in school; it is similar to this (except the capital A). I am teaching my dd GDI handwriting (via StartWrite).

 

I agree that the join-only-when-necessary method results in faster & neater writing. As a general guideline for anyone writing Italics cursive, letters that curve back to the left (b, g, j, p, s, y) should not be joined to the succeeding letter.

 

When dd starts writing Italics cursive skillfully, I plan to teach her the join-in-the-air tactic as well.

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I was referring to the fully-joined cursive I learnt in school; it is similar to this (except the capital A). I am teaching my dd GDI handwriting (via StartWrite).

 

I agree that the join-only-when-necessary method results in faster & neater writing. As a general guideline for anyone writing Italics cursive, letters that curve back to the left (b, g, j, p, s, y) should not be joined to the succeeding letter.

 

When dd starts writing Italics cursive skillfully, I plan to teach her the join-in-the-air tactic as well.

 

Why are you switching your children from italic handwriting?

 

Whatever I teach my ds I know it is "set in stone" (that is just the way he is) so if I start with italic or cursive it better stay that way or risk endless battles later on. My own handwriting suffered from switching handwriting curriculums back and forth.

 

My vote: whatever you choose, stick with it.

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Yeah but government forms, job applications etc. all want you to print not write in cursive. Or at least up in our province they do.

 

I am going to start teaching cursive this year to my 3rd grader. I like it, I find it neater and faster for myself to use. :001_smile:

 

You are right! However, print is in all the books we read. It is very easy to print when necessary. No need to spend all this time on it.

 

Susie

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Why are you switching your children from italic handwriting?

 

I'm not! I'm teaching her Italic print handwriting from the start and intend to continue teaching the cursive joins once she can write the Italic letter forms effortlessly. I don't think she is ready for cursive yet.

 

When I was learning Italics, I started ambitiously with cursive, but found it difficult to get the correct letter shapes (old habits die hard...) I had to go back and practice the Italics print letter forms first.

 

Also, once dd can write cursive Italics effortlessly, then I will show her how to join-in-the-air in order to speed up her writing even more. The result looks like it is joined, but saves the writer the time & effort of actually retracing after the join. I believe this is the suggested strategy (tactic?) for Italic handwriting.

 

Also, as Moira explained earlier, in Italics handwriting, not all letters are joined; letters are only joined when it results in easier/faster writing.

 

Improving the writer's speed is also the reason that the Italics ascenders and descenders are shorter.

 

Do write back if you have more questions. :001_smile:

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But the b doesn't look like a b either. Same for s, r , f, and z. Doesn't this bother you?

 

 

Yeah it bothers me, and let's not forget that ugly Q. The b and d reversals can be addressed in print by teaching them to start b at the top and d in the middle like an a. This is what I did with my ds when he wanted to learn to write this past year. I guess because that is how I write them!

 

I will be teaching my child to read and probably write cursive, although I agree that GDI is much more attractive and legible. My husband, whose handwriting is atrocious, uses cursive as well as most of the grandparents and great-grandparents. And some of that is illegible too. So, for the sake of being able to read their writing, my kids will learn cursive.

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For correcting the b/d reversal, I read this tip somewhere: Tell the child, that when we say 'b', our mouth is closed, so start a 'b' with a line. When we say 'd', our mouth is open, so start a 'd' with an oval.

 

EDIT: I read it on ElizabethB's site. Thanks, Elizabeth!:001_smile:

 

This explanation appears to have worked for my dd (as also the fact that in Italics, b and d are not mirror images of each other.)

 

BTW reg. the ability to read cursive, when we did Blend Phonics last year, I would write the words on the white board for dd to read. I wrote in cursive, so she can now read my cursive well enough. One need not learn to write in a particular style in order to be able to read it. :-)

Edited by nansk
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After all this, I am going with HWT but will start cursive earlier, I think. I am very familar with the program having used it with my older 2 for many years.

 

I don't like the Teach your child italics books out there. Maybe someone someday will write one more in the vein of the HWT books. For now, I am going with what i know.

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