Thursday, September 12, 2013
Logic of English - Cursive Handwriting
Ah, the art of handwriting. It almost seems as if it's becoming a lost art. If what I hear is correct, some schools are no longer even teaching it. And that is something that I can't believe. Just because we live in an age of computers, smart phones, tablets, and more, that is absolutely no reason to abandon the handwritten word (in my humble opinion). I want my daughters to have the ability to write a proper note for any and every occasion. I know that I can't be alone in my love a handwritten card or letter that is sent my way.
So, I was enthusiastic as I presented this cursive handwriting book, Rhythm of Handwriting , and a Quick Handwriting Reference Chart , by the company Logic of English , to my seven year old.
This book begins with several pages of tips for teaching cursive writing. Honestly, they were not tips that were applicable for us, simply because my daughter already has experience in letter sounds, manuscript, and handwriting. These pages are good for those who are just beginning the subject. But I will say that they are helpful and I would have put them into practice if we were at that starting point. And I'll share a few of them with you too.
Interestingly enough, and a bit of a surprise to me is their suggestion that you begin with Cursive before Manuscript. Why? Because it is less fine-motor skill intensive. All of the lower case letters begin in the same place on the baseline, the spacing within the words is controlled. And for those of you with children that confuse b's and d's, it is difficult to reverse those letters in cursive. Food for thought.
You are also encouraged to use all of the senses while teaching the lessons. Show the student the letter, speak the directions, have the students do the action as they repeat the directions. Additionally, there are a lot of ideas for encouraging fine motor practice, letter practice, and writing. Again, many of these look to me like they are ideal for students on the younger side of the spectrum, but good nonetheless.
The mentioned age range is 7+, but it could be used with children 6 and under, or even slightly over age 7. As such, there are a few possible schedules that can be used. Since I used this with my 7 year old we went with 2 letters a day. We actually could have done more, but I really wanted her to go a little more slowly, and focus on writing as neat as possible. I'm very glad that this was the route we took, because the results have been great. Her penmanship has definitely improved. In fact, she has applied herself quite a bit to this task, and during one lesson on the letter d, she called me over and proudly exclaimed, "Would you just look at that d!" And it was a very nice cursive d ! :)
Lowercase letters are the first to be tackled, and are grouped with other letters in like groups - swing letters, curve letters, loop letters, bump letters, and so on. The layout of this book is a little different than what we have used before.
There are frequent pages with a very large handwriting line, and this meant for the student to trace the letter with her finger. Then the practice pages themselves have handwriting lines in various sizes from smallest to largest. These were a little daunting for my daughter at first, until she began writing. Then she became comfortable and worked through the pages well.
So, what do we think of this handwriting book? My daughter has taken to it quite well. She's turned a corner in her penmanship, and this book has had a big part in that. She likes the work, and the fact that it has lines in varying sizes. That way, she said, she can practice writing at a bigger kid level. As for me, she's doing the work, she's doing it well, and she's enjoying it, so what else could I ask for? I will say again though, that this is especially good for beginning students, as it has so many ideas for practice and games. Check it out at the links below, and also click on the crew review links, as there are other resources from this company that were reviewed.
Logic of English
Rhythm of Handwriting - Cursive Printed Student Book - $15.00
Handwriting Quick Reference Chart - $10.00
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.