We had the opportunity to review a physical copy of New American Cursive: Penmanship Program Workbook 1 published by Memoria Press.
Importance on handwriting is often not given attention to until one sees atrocious writing by their child. Handwriting has always been a part of our curriculum. I was really diligent with my older two, but somehow dropped the ball with my youngest.
My intention was always to begin with cursive writing, but again, that did not happen.
The Memoria Press curriculum promotes the manual as one for children as young as six years old through the age of 10. If you have an older child who may need cursive handwriting training, then beginning with workbook one is also a good starting point. I am in agreement that cursive writing should be started early rather than at or after the third grade. Take a look at these samples that appear in the book.
Student taught cursive in the first grade.
Student taught cursive in the third grade.
You can see the difference in the appearance of the work. Since students do a tremendous amount of writing as they get older, having to learn how to write correctly along with learning other more challenging subjects may present a burden for the student, who just wants to just get the work done. That means the writing may appear in any manner. Handwriting is important.
I have a left-handed child and I am right-handed (fun). The book is bound at the top to accommodate either handed writer, which I like.
I had Canyon start from the beginning of the book. The introduction goes over proper posture, pencil holding and paper position, which is think is great. Do you ever watch how people write? I do and you can tell someone who may not have had proper instruction this simple skills. All three of those areas can really affect your writing s well as cause you physical issues as you get older.
The student is taken through basic instruction of cursive writing. According to the lesson, the dot, the straight line and the curve are the three basic forms of writing in cursive. Each of these are explained.
The workbook may be completed independently by your child, but I chose to sit with Canyon while he worked. This was mainly because I wanted to be sure he was holding his pencil correctly, positioning his hand on the book/page in the right place and had his body positioning right. I know this is a bit anal, but I treat handwriting as a subject just as math and English and want him to have a good foundation in the study. If he learns now, then that is one less lesson to learn or relearn when he gets older.
The book starts with the letter ‘A’ and continues through the alphabet. Each letter has three worksheets that apply to it covering instruction (teaching how to write the letter), practice (student writes the letter) and play (exercises and space for the child to draw and practice learned letters). You can choose the pace where you do all three sheets in one day or break it up. I had Canyon complete the instruction and practice sheets on one day and the exercise on another day. Because I thought he needed more practice, I printed my own sheet of the letter he was studying to give him more practice writing the letter. One sheet was not enough to hone the skill.
I would have liked for there to have been more pages covering the writing of the letters in larger sentences where the learned letters were connecting to make real words. Although the first grader is main student for this manual, I would imagine this would definitely be a benefit to the older student targeted by this curriculum.
Students can learn how to write the cursive letters from this book, but since it is geared towards younger children and those first learning cursive writing I definitely see it as a practice book. If I were introducing cursive writing to a younger child (five or six years old), I would like more pages dedicated to practice of writing the letters. The one page is not preferred.
You may see a sample of the book to decide if the level would work for your student.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
New American Cursive is available for $22.95.
You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members.