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s/o handwriting copywork thread. When do you start cursive?

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My dd is starting 2nd grade next week, and is just turning 7. Her printing is atrocious. It has come a long way, but still has that 'young' look to it. Her copywork looks great, but after the first 2 sentences she starts getting careless and the letters get sloppy. I'm wondering if I should work on printing again this year and start cursive next year, or start cursive this year? WWYD? WWSWBD? :D

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LOL @ WWSWBD!! That's fantastic!


FWIW, with my 9yo/4th-ish grade son who deals with some fine motor skills, we are working on D'Nealian/Italic style writing. When he is regularly producing readable work in that style, THEN we will move on to cursive.


I was going to do it this way with his manuscript: wait until I could read it before moving to cursive (or D'Nealian). Then, he began asking to do cursive. No way with his handwriting was I going to let him do cursive, and this "median" style was a great solution for us.


For my other kids, I'll probably introduce D'Nealian/Italic at about halfway through the second grade, if their print is decently legible, or during third grade if they have issues similar to my oldest ds. I've told my son that if he can produce legible D'Nealian writing this year, that I will consider moving him to cursive for 5th grade (it might be halfway through).



Personally, I was taught D'Nealian style writing in the second grade, and we moved to learning cursive in the third grade (towards the end of the year), and were expected to produce all of our work in it by the end of the fourth grade. I'm tweaking that for my kids and their individual needs, but it's kind of the guideline I have in my brain. :) HTH!

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I would start with manuscript again, unless she's having letter reversal issues (switching to cursive helps letter reversals because it's pretty much impossible to form the cursive letters backwards).


Also, I wouldn't force her to do much more than she can do neatly. If she gets sloppy after two sentences, then do two sentences plus one word. Add a few more words every few days as her stamina increases. A few lines of concentrated effort, with good formation, is better than line after line of sloppy writing. You want to develop good habits, not practice bad ones.


So, for now, I'd stick with manuscript, and don't push her if she is fatigued (is her grip stiff, or relaxed?)


Both of my kids wanted to switch to cursive about halfway through second grade. But, it's been a very gradual transition. I like that they can do both.


Family is calling. I need to go. I hope this makes sense, and sounds nice! :)

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Thanks so much. I couldn't remember when I started cursive in school, so I was at a loss. I think it was 2nd grade. So thank you all for giving me permission to 'release' that guideline :D. I knew that I should probably wait, but it just didn't 'seem' right. Does that make sense??


dalynnrmc, did you teach regular manuscript THEN move to d'nelian? And then are moving to cursive? I'm thinking that might be a good move. She is very interested in cursive. Maybe after Christmas we'll start with some D'Nelian handwriting, and then move to cursive next year. :001_huh: So much to think about...

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