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Coco_Clark

Get er done cursive

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Long time no see on the boards but I'm having a hard time finding a good, easy to implement, cursive program. I hate the way handwriting without tears looks, but otherwise am not picky about style. It would be for boys ages 7,8, and 9...all three have decent handwriting when it comes to printing.

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This is going to sound ridiculous, but when I taught the kids they were in school-school and I was reluctant to spend money on this. So I just printed out the worksheets from Kidzone and had them do two a day. Then I showed them the capitals and started making them copy out a sentence or two every day, and after a month of that I said "Okay, you can write cursive better than I can*, I want you to use it all the time for homework" and sat on top of them to enforce it. When they started homeschooling, I enforced it all the time for schoolwork too.

 

I didn't even pay to print them, I called up a friend whose office doesn't care if she does a few extra printouts every day and asked her to do it.

 

* They can. My handwriting is blah. I blame poor instruction - most teachers really don't know how to teach lefties, in my experience.

Edited by Tanaqui
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I am just teaching DD8 cursive.  I am not using a program, just showing her how to write the letters.  Today, we reviewed letters A, B, and C, capital and lower case, and then I showed her how the letters connect to each other and just had her practice a bit.  Then I showed her letter D, had her trace it and then practice it.  With the letter D, she can now write the word Dad, to show her daddy when he gets home. 

 

And really, this all I am doing.  She's excited to learn, she wants to look very neat and fancy so she's trying hard too.  If she was pitching a fit or really struggling, I might look for a particular program, but at this point, I don't need to. 

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I'm using Handwriting without tears now with the youngers since I have too many things going, but I taught my oldest to write in cursive using a $3 dry-erase placemat from Walmart - I liked it better than HWT. 

 

Here's how my year of cursive went.

 

She traced the letters on the placemat and said the letter name aloud after tracing. A few weeks.

 

Then I dictated letters (to make sure she knew which letters were which). About 6 weeks.

 

Then I wrote sentences in cursive. She copied below. I used this site http://pangrams.net/ interspersed with silly, made up sentences in order to get all of the letters some review. A couple months. 

 

Then I used Writing With Ease 1 (I already owned it) and had her "translate" the print copywork into cursive. Another couple of months. 

 

Finally, I required all dictation to be done in cursive. 

 

My oldest has dysgraphia, so the time we spent on each step seemed long. I would think a child without dysgraphia could pick it up much quicker.

 

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This might not be the best choice for boys, but when my dds were learning cursive, we used the Queen's Homeschool books.  They have lots of artwork in them which boys may not be as impressed with as girls. But the books were super easy to use -- my girls just did a line or two of copywork per day.  We used all the books over the course of a couple years.

 

Some more standard suggestions would be the Memoria Press New American Cursive books, or the Zaner Bloser books. 

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We are using the Zane Bloser 2C workbook. We do one or two pages tops a day. I skipped through the first third of the book which is print review. It's fairly painless. I don't criticize too much because I don't want him discouraged. They talk about the four S's - spacing, slant, size, and shape, which I do like even though I'm ignoring them mainly - his slant is non-existent while his spacing and sometimes size can use work. But I'm just focused on him getting the strokes mainly, and he's still doesn't have them all down in his head. I do sit with him for his page every day because he can still make mistakes on the shape/strokes and I feel you have to monitor and correct immediately on that until it's down. But otherwise it could be done independently. We are done learning lowercase letters and are moving on to Uppercase (and numbers, though I don't know why). Anyway, it seems ok to me.

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We did HWT, which was simple to learn... but neither my daughter nor I liked the style. So we switched to Pentime, which is more beautiful and equally simple to implement. They do a page most days.

 

My second daughter is using the Pentime 2 Transition book and we won't use HWT cursive at all.

Edited by indigoellen@gmail.com
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We used New American Cursive from Memoria Press, but I think almost anything will work as long as you are consistent.

I wanted a non-fancy font and my kids are both lefties.

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We're trying Cursive Logic this year in 4th grade. We tried cursive last year, but it just didn't work-he wasn't ready yet. But he really enjoys Cursive Logic and it's fairly independent.

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Pentime, hands down.

 

Easy to use.  My kids really love it and as a bonus, after I purchased the transition to cursive book, my ds discovered that there is a dot-to-dot to do on almost every page in the cursive section.  He's happy, I'm happy!

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We use Pentime, although full disclosure both my kids started learning cursive with Abeka during their one year of private school.

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Joy of Handwriting works for us. It's a $10 pdf, so I can use it for multiple kids. We have not yet used Drawing for Better Penmanship for Cursive, which is more of a supplement since it does not provide instruction on how to form the letters. It's just some extra practice. Dd loved it for printing after becoming really bored with Seton.

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We don't do Classical Conversations, but I use their cursive series, PreScripts, and love it.  It requires very little from me and integrates history or Bible and art.  My boys, ages 8 and 10, have made great strides using the program.

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Handwriting Without Tears if you need that much instruction.

 

If you just need to spend 10 minutes a day, I was thrilled with Teaching Cursive by Linda Corson.  It was definitely git 'er done fast and right with no extra bells and whistles.

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Pentime question, it looks like cursive starts halfway through 2. Should I start at the beginning of 2, even though they have decent handwriting, start halfway through 2, or can I start with 3?

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This is going to sound ridiculous, but when I taught the kids they were in school-school and I was reluctant to spend money on this. So I just printed out the worksheets from Kidzone and had them do two a day. Then I showed them the capitals and started making them copy out a sentence or two every day, and after a month of that I said "Okay, you can write cursive better than I can*, I want you to use it all the time for homework" and sat on top of them to enforce it. When they started homeschooling, I enforced it all the time for schoolwork too.

 

I didn't even pay to print them, I called up a friend whose office doesn't care if she does a few extra printouts every day and asked her to do it.

 

* They can. My handwriting is blah. I blame poor instruction - most teachers really don't know how to teach lefties, in my experience.

 

I also used these sheets and really love them! I went to pentime penmanship after that.

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I used HWOT to teach how to form the letters, it does a great job of that, and then move on to copy work. Their handwriting didn't stay like the HWOT, it changed to something a little smoother

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Pentime question, it looks like cursive starts halfway through 2. Should I start at the beginning of 2, even though they have decent handwriting, start halfway through 2, or can I start with 3?

It's fine to start with book 3.
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Pentime question, it looks like cursive starts halfway through 2. Should I start at the beginning of 2, even though they have decent handwriting, start halfway through 2, or can I start with 3?

We started with 3 and it was fine. After that we used the free copybook from barefoot meandering for continued practice. Pentime was easy to implement, painless for ds, and inexpensive.

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I taught the capital and lowercase of each letter, one and at a time, on the chalk board and she practiced on the chalk board.  We kept up learning something new/reviewing until she had the alphabet and then starting writing words and connecting letters.  Less than five minutes at a time and totally painless.  For copy work practice, we have used Queen and now Prescripts from CC.

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Pentime question, it looks like cursive starts halfway through 2. Should I start at the beginning of 2, even though they have decent handwriting, start halfway through 2, or can I start with 3?

DS7 is doing book 2 right now. He also has decent print-writing, so I started him on the cursive section at the beginning of the school year. I have no idea how book 3 starts out, but starting in the middle of book 2 has been successful for us.

He especially likes the dot-to-dot!

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We used Joy of Handwriting....and it was exactly that...a get er done cursive.   I liked the font, and the practice was sufficient.   For $10, I've taught 2 out of 3 of my kids cursive so far.   Not bad.  :)   

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Joy of Handwriting was good, but then Rainbow Resource started carrying Zaner-Bloser so that's what we use because that's what I prefer.

 

Joy of Handwriting is nice because it's printable. Either is open and go and easy to get done, though.

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I have used both Zaner Bloser and Handwriting without Tears for different kids. They're both what you are looking for. If you don't like the look of HWOT, then go for Zaner Bloser. They aren't super cheap, but they definitely work. It's just basic handwriting instruction and the style probably looks like what you were taught in school. So it's easy to help them with it when needed.  

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Pentime question, it looks like cursive starts halfway through 2. Should I start at the beginning of 2, even though they have decent handwriting, start halfway through 2, or can I start with 3?

I bought Pentime 2 and 3. I started my son half way through 2 (where the cursive begins). His cursive is so nice that he probably will not use book 3. You could start with book 3, though, because it goes back over strokes and single letters.

Edited by MyLife

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Teaching Cursive: This Method Works. Cannot recommend highly enough! Simple and straightforward. (Looks like it's only available used at this point, but it's definitely worth tracking down.) It's just a single spiral notebook, broken down into like 56 lessons or something. But she teaches "like" letters together (so, lowercase a and d are taught in the same lesson, for example). There is plenty of copywork and plenty of examples. (She shows common errors and things to avoid, etc. also.)

 

I did this book with my oldest when she was in second grade (took a semester) and then as soon as she finished the book, I had her write only in cursive for schoolwork from then on. Will start it next year (or possibly over this summer) when my little one starts second grade. Couldn't be easier to teach and all you need in addition is a pencil and handwriting paper. 

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Once a good strong hand is established, there is no need to spend a lot of time and effort on cursive.  We really liked Linda Corson's "Teaching Cursive".  Quick and easy to implement, and effective.

 

ETA:  I just noticed that the person above me recommended the same thing.  You CAN buy it new.  http://teachingcursive.com/

 

I loved Handwriting Without Tears for my kiddo that needed a lot more, but for my kid that had good print handwriting, this was quick, easy and very effective.

Edited by MeganW
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Once a good strong hand is established, there is no need to spend a lot of time and effort on cursive.  We really liked Linda Corson's "Teaching Cursive".  Quick and easy to implement, and effective.

 

ETA:  I just noticed that the person above me recommended the same thing.  You CAN buy it new.  http://teachingcursive.com/

 

I loved Handwriting Without Tears for my kiddo that needed a lot more, but for my kid that had good print handwriting, this was quick, easy and very effective.

 

So glad to know it's still available new; didn't realize she had a site since I bought my copy new on Amazon a couple years ago. Now I can send friends there when they ask! Thanks for the link! :-)

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I used Cursive First, loved it! Then The Memoria press product... but found the most effective way was using A clock so I could talk to my kids the directions.

<----- look at my avatar... I made clock papers so they could practice not floating their letters and later on how to do connections. But that was in addition to teaching them Cursive First.

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We are using the Zane Bloser 2C workbook. We do one or two pages tops a day. I skipped through the first third of the book which is print review. It's fairly painless. I don't criticize too much because I don't want him discouraged. They talk about the four S's - spacing, slant, size, and shape, which I do like even though I'm ignoring them mainly - his slant is non-existent while his spacing and sometimes size can use work. But I'm just focused on him getting the strokes mainly, and he's still doesn't have them all down in his head. I do sit with him for his page every day because he can still make mistakes on the shape/strokes and I feel you have to monitor and correct immediately on that until it's down. But otherwise it could be done independently. We are done learning lowercase letters and are moving on to Uppercase (and numbers, though I don't know why). Anyway, it seems ok to me.

 

This is exactly what my 9 year old is using independently. He does a 2-page spread each day and it is working well. It's actually good therapy for his perfectionism, LOL. He just finished all the lower case letters.

 

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