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Favorite Cursive Curriculum/Program?


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The time has come.  The Fantastic Four are all ready to learn how to write in cursive (though I have doubts about my lefty littlest guy...his handwriting is TERRIBLE).  

 

I'm planning on teaching it over the summer.  We used HWT to learn print and so naturally, I plan on checking out their cursive program.

 

What do I need to know?  Any suggestions aside from HWT?  

 

For what it's worth, aside from the littlest guy and his lefty writing issue, my oldest has some spatial/integration issues.  Learning how to print was VERY difficult for her, particularly letters that had any kind of swoops...like lower case e, s, etc.  The directionality of the letter messed her up.  

 

So while I would like a "pretty" cursive, I'm thinking, at least for her, I need something that is more straightforward.  

 

Also, I introduced them to cursive at the beginning of this school year.  I wanted them to learn how to read it first, so that it would be easier when it came time to learn how to write it.  So all four can pretty reliably read it.

 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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If you're using HWT, especially with some that have trouble, I'd recommend HWT cursive. It's what is often recommended for kids with writing disabilities. My DS does great with it. Cursive in general tends to help reversals/directionality and some other problems. With multiple kids I'd just use one program and it'd be the easiest for the ones who need support.

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Your manuscript hand is vertical. Your lefty is almost certain to do best sticking with vertical hands.

 

Do you have access to a copy of Writing Road to Reading 6th edition? The handwriting instruction is a work of art.

 

Is YOUR handwriting slanted or vertical?

 

If your handwriting is slanted and you want to teach what is a strength for YOU, Don Potter's instructions for slanted cursive are also a work of art. An entirely different system, but just as OCD perfect and scripted.

 

I went through a period of tutoring several dyslexic lefties. Spalding was the only cursive that I was capable of teaching them. One in particular had such a contrast in success from before and after Spalding instruction that she literally cried.

 

I have stopped teaching uppercase cursive letters and just retain the manuscript uppercase. My reason for doing this is that modern writing if full of acronyms and they look silly in uppercase cursive.

 

Also when making flash cards, I switch back and forth between manuscript, cursive, and all caps to emphasize certain words. Using a manuscript and cursive hand that are so similar gives me this option. As a minimalist I make up a lot of lessons on the fly, so having a neat versatile hand facilitates that.

 

For most, the most important part of handwriting instruction is the instructor learning a SCRIPTED style HIM/HERSELF. And then being able to model it for students without being reliant on workbooks and software.

 

I prefer Alpha-Phonics for phonics and Spalding for handwriting. I have tried doing both programs exclusively, but for me and mine, when we hit the trenches of students who had been failing for decades, we sometimes finally nailed it with this mix.

 

I really tried to find a way to teach slanted cursive to one student in particular, but the MIX of dyslexia AND leftie left me at a loss of how to tilt the paper and some other nifty gritty issues that came up.

 

Students begged me to teach "Catholic school handwriting" and "rich lady handwriting" and all sorts of other labels they had for slanted cursive with ornate uppercase letters. It felt like a betrayal to not try; I did try. But I didn't know how to make the leap from what I could do myself to teaching it to students with such different brains.

 

To this day, I read and STUDY every source I stumble across about teaching slanted cursive to lefties. There is quite a bit out there. But when the pencil is applied to the paper with a dyslexic, it doesn't work as promised.

 

Maybe I'm just stupid. Maybe the hundreds and hundreds of hours I have studied this topic have just not yet unearthed the golden nugget that will explain how to REALLY do this.

 

I have reached the stage of giving up and fully settling into Spalding. Yup, it looks "childish" and gulp "working class". I am using it myself and for the most part have taught it to adults that I have been told "deserve better than than that". The opposition has been harsh from another local tutor and several students.

 

I gave that other tutor all my best stuff on slanted. Piles and piles of stuff. And I borrowed books from the library for her. And we spent hours and hours discussing it all in hopes that SHE could at least grab a student or two that could accomplish slanted. But at the end of a couple years, she has not remediated a single student that I know of.

 

So, yeh...I have just buckled down with my "pathetic" methods and have decided it is good enough.

 

My handwriting is like my hiking boots. It freaking WORKS especially when the going gets rough. And we all know I wallow in the rough, to the extent that the not-rough has become such a hazy memory that I have my moments when I question myself if it ever was real.

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I took a look at HWT Cursive and I will not be choosing that one, lol.  I hate the way it looks.  

 

After doing some looking, I think I want a Spencer-type cursive, but with limited flourishes.  Though I would like to retain the option to keep those flourishes as my 8 yr old (the goofy guy in my thumbnail pic) is exactly the kind of kid that LOVES flourishes.  He's been begging me to teach him cursive for the last two years and I had to forbid him from trying to learn it himself, lest he learn bad habits.  

 

I gotta say, Hunter...I don't love Spalding's cursive either.  

 

My own cursive is more Spencerian...that's what they taught us in grammar school.  I could always just teach them from my own hand.  As for slanting, you know, I distinctly remember them teaching us to slant, but now that I think of it, I rarely do.  My cursive is mostly vertical, unless I'm implicitly trying to slant.  

 

But it will be a consideration for my lefty.  I'm still trying to get him to slant his paper, just for the sake that he IS a lefty and has that age-old difficulty of erasing his writing with his hand.  I'm also trying to get him to angle his writing implement so that he is writing slightly above his hand instead of directly to the right or below.  

 

His handwriting is a struggle.  

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I used universal publishing's handwriting series for both kids and DDs cursive is lovely. DSs reluctant-writer transition is in progress. I'm not sure what you'd call the look but it's reminiscent of Zaner-Bloser. It's got a nice slant, some flourishes but not too many, and is straightforward.

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There's a new program just getting started.  The homeschool buyer's co-op might have it on sale soon, if there's enough interest.  It's called CursiveLogic (cursivelogic.com) - to me it looks a lot like Peterson Directed Handwriting which someone else mentioned above.  It will likely be cheaper than Peterson.  Another inexpensive option is Cursive First (under $20 and is reproducible, can find it at rainbowresource.com - there's a lot of different cursive programs that you can find there! - and you don't need the phonograms with it), which also looks a lot like CursiveLogic.

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Whatever Handwriting Program you end up going with, you might also look in to doing a few months of Callirobics *first*, as prep for cursive. It builds fluency with the motions and strokes that will be used in cursive, to make them more natural and fluid when it comes time to actually form letters.

 

FWIW -- While we didn't discover Callirobics until DS who had a "disconnect" from brain to hand for writing by hand, once we started with it, Callirobics really helped the quality of his handwriting and helped it move from laboriously copying letters to writing being a much more natural activity. 

Edited by Lori D.
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The Don Potter letter scripts are really very good. You can use that for the lowercase and then use something different for the uppercase.

 

The Don Potter scripts cannot be applied to vertical handwriting. Vertical cursive has to be more ball and stick style scripts.

 

HWT cursive is easy to explain, but awkward to write.

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My daughter loves Memoria Press' New American Cursive.  There isn't a lot on each page, so that makes it less intimidating.  We tried working through A Reason for Handwriting Level T (transition to cursive).  The letters are quite small, and there is a ton of writing required each day.  I prefer to have a small amount of quality writing than a large amount of "okay" writing.

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There's a new program just getting started.  The homeschool buyer's co-op might have it on sale soon, if there's enough interest.  It's called CursiveLogic (cursivelogic.com) - to me it looks a lot like Peterson Directed Handwriting which someone else mentioned above.  It will likely be cheaper than Peterson.  Another inexpensive option is Cursive First (under $20 and is reproducible, can find it at rainbowresource.com - there's a lot of different cursive programs that you can find there! - and you don't need the phonograms with it), which also looks a lot like CursiveLogic.

 

I'd love to hear when it goes on sale on Homeschool Buyer's Co-op.

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I'd love to hear when it goes on sale on Homeschool Buyer's Co-op.

Do you have an account at homeschool buyer's co-op?  An account is free, and if you have one, they'll send you emails letting you know what's coming, what's new, etc....

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Do you have an account at homeschool buyer's co-op?  An account is free, and if you have one, they'll send you emails letting you know what's coming, what's new, etc....

 

 

I do have an account, but get so many homeschool emails with advertisements I don't usually open most of them.

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  • 1 month later...

We use NAC with the LOE dry erase board. I use the Startwrite sw to print up copywork sheets.

 

I love the LOE dry erase! I have some from the dollar spot at target but I really like the large three lined line on the one side for kids who need a lot of space to practice strokes. Thanks for sharing.

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