Cursive - Cursive Connection reviews & experiences

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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Cursive - Cursive Connection reviews & experiences

Unread postby Melissa » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:24 pm

baileymom wrote:I think I remember that MFW changed their cursive curriculum in 2009? I've been thinking I'd wing it with DS, 8.5 yrs, but now I'm thinking maybe not...

What is your experience with teaching cursive? Do you like MFW's recommendation? Can I just teach it on my own (both my DDs learned in PS)??? Thanks for any input.

I have no experience since this is my first year hs'ing, but we're using Cursive Connections for my 3rd grader. I waited until after Christmas to start it and it's going pretty well. The book says it's okay to copy, so I just copy the pages incase he has a lot of trouble and needs to redo, but we have only had that happen once or twice. He's a lefty too, but it seems to be very self explanatory and he's not complaining about it. Once we're done, I know we'll need to continue with daily handwriting practice so I'll probably find a copywork book or something like that for him. Since I have nothing to compare it too, I'm not sure what others would say, but we've been happy with it.


Re: MFW's Cursive Curriculum

Unread postby TurnOurHearts » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:32 pm

When my son did cursive, I went with something I found in our local education store. Max being the perfectionist he is, I think he would have loved any program. ;) Halle, on the other hand, I knew would take a good program. (We actually decided to wait a year on cursive with her because her manuscript was still not where I wanted it to be.)

We bought Cursive Connections for her and I love it. There are neat things in the instruction that just make sense. Such as, when you learn to write a letter that is similar in formation (like 'l' and 't'), the kids actually practice them side by side so they can see the subtle differences ('l' makes a loop, 't' does not; both touch the top line, as well as starting & ending at the same place). It's very systematic & easy to teach, in my opinion. Plus, you have pages you can photocopy for extra practice. I like that. :) Overall, I've been very pleased.

HTH! :)

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Cursive Handwriting?

Unread postby albanyaloe » Mon May 21, 2012 1:57 pm

gratitude wrote:For 1st and 2nd grade I did Italic hand writing with my ds8. He did reach the book that had him do Italic Cursive.

The problem with it is very simple. He is still unable to read cursive hand writing from his grandmother or a copy of the original Declaration of Independence. (Side note: his reading level is high enough to read both) One of the cons of the program, acknowledged by one home school curriculum, is the fact that children who use it are unable to read traditional cursive. Thus, I would like to teach him original cursive.

I am considering using the cursive recommendation that MFW gives. What does it mean though by modern cursive handwriting? I want it loopy enough to cross the reading barrier. I have also considered Reasons for Handwriting and A Beka. I just don't want anything I choose to be too much writing with ECC.

Can they read cursive after using it?

I would say it is worth trying the MFW cursive program, but I also want to say, take it slow, and take heart. Is your son 8yo now? Perhaps he does not need to learn cursive right now? Could it wait or is it needed for your state? Not everyone learns cursive at the same stage. Ruth Beechick reckons if you get the timing right, it can be done quite quickly.

My son took a long while to learn cursive writing and also could not read it. The funny thing was, at age 10, he learned, when I had given up hope. :) We went on a vacation, and he rode his bicycle all holiday. He came home and started school in January this year, and wrote beautiful cursive. (He tells me it was all the riding bike ;) )

Have you seen a sample of the program MFW uses? I found one on CBD. I have not used it, but I have tried several others, as well as my own, and I think it is very good. Will use it with dd's. Try to view a sample if you can. Modern manuscript is usually slightly less loopy, with less flourishes than the very old fashioned, traditional cursive. I found some programs too loopy, therefore too difficult for my son to do.

We actually use a very simple modern manuscript only in South Africa, and I'd only seen "fancy cursive" in very old writings, or on certificates and such. CBD has a chart which shows the different handwriting styles in manuscript and cursive.

I am not sure what MFW says about this, so I hope I am not going against what they say, but, when my son was struggling with cursive, I didn't make him do all his writing in cursive. Only his penmanship lessons. Then we added some Bible verses as copywork. It was only after he'd shown me that he could write all the letters (upper and lowercase) that he started cursive writing for other lessons. And even now, I allow him to write his spelling word list in manuscript, as I find an extra loop can make an error, that he learns incorrectly on his list.

I hope this helps some,
Our first year with MFW, doing ECC 2012, Our 7th year of HS'ing
Joel 11 yo, Emma-lee 8 yo and Shelley 6 yo
We're from Sunny South Africa!

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Unread postby RBS in OH » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:12 pm

4monkeyz wrote:My ds is starting 3rd grade this fall, we will be jumping into Adventures with the whole crew. We never did a formal handwriting. I worked on letter formation in little bits with him, then as he started writing more I would correct and sometimes he would ask, needing a refresher. His handwriting is pretty good. Now I'm wondering if it is time to start cursive? What to use?? I know MFW has suggestions, anyone use it? your thoughts? I was taught Italic and my handwriting is non-the better, so I would prefer staying away from it, if possible. But then again, he is a guy and I would venture a guess that he needs readable handwriting and a decent signature. Italic might not be a bad choice. Whereas my daughters might like something more flowing, loops. Hm. And how do I go about teaching it?? A lesson every day or maybe one/two lessons and then practice through copywork, etc. Then again, should I wait a little longer before jumping in with cursive?? :~ Ah! So many thoughts swirling through my head.

The MFW suggested book is very easy to use in my opinion. The way we approached the book work was to do 1 page/day. Sometimes my kids did less (ie: 3 lines) . It's just important to do take the time to form the letters as taught. Everything the student writes is copied directly below an example--so easy to follow. We'd read the information at the top of the page on how to/not to form the letters, sometimes practice a few strokes on the white board (so the initial big mistakes could be caught right away and not placed in the book for discouragement), then it was time to write in the book. I would ask them to compare their letter to the example and offer help for correction. I would also choose their best letter/word and draw a star below it. They often would tell me which one was their best and sometimes it was hard to choose, so 2 letters would get starred (in the color of their choice). This took 5-10 minutes total.

Then keep a high standard for good handwriting in their other work. Last year (4th gr.) I required my kids to write in cursive for letter writing, spelling, and notebook pages. We've received a few unsolicited compliments on their handwritng, so the effort is truly paying off.

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!

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Cursive for my 2nd graders

Unread postby HeyChelle » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:09 am

daisylynn wrote:My daughter learned cursive in K with Abeka and has beautiful handwriting. But my boys (7 and 5, both going into 2nd grade) struggle with it.

I did see [MFW's Cursive Connections], but wasn't sure if it was the right thing. It says for 3rd graders and since my boys aren't the best in cursive, I was worried it would be too much.

Thank you!!

I think they would be fine with that if you work some basic connector strokes before you start. To get their hand 'warmed up'.

You can do this in more of an art class format, too. If you have Drawing with Children or I Can Do All Things, you can begin by repeating some of the first lessons on just drawing lines, lots and lots of lines. A quick google yielded this idea, too... ... -with.html

FWIW - I like this cursive resource from MFW. I have a few different cursive programs, but I keep going back to this simple, but effective workbook.
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

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A Plug for Cursive Connections

Unread postby Poohbee » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:53 pm

For anyone who, like me, is uncertain about what to use to teach cursive handwriting and whether or not the workbook recommended by MFW is a good one, I just wanted to comment on Cursive Connections. I am very pleased with this workbook!

For my first dd, I used the Transtion book in the A Reason for Handwriting series. I did like that book, but it costs quite a bit more than Cursive Connections ($14-$17 vs. $7.50). Also, in A Reason for Handwriting, students copy a Bible verse each week. Well, we are already learning and copying a Bible verse in EX1850, so I didn't think my dd needed another Bible verse to copy and learn. Also, the Bible verses in A Reason for Handwriting don't match the version of the Bible we usually use for Bible memorization. For these reasons, I decided to try Cursive Connections for my current 3rd grader.

I have been very pleased with the book. We started it halfway through her 3rd grade year (just as I did using the Transition book with my eldest dd). My dd was not looking forward to starting cursive, but after we started Cursive Connections, she realized learning cursive isn't so bad, and she actually enjoys learning and practicing many of the letters. The workbook covers a different letter on each page, with review pages thrown in now and then, and it continues to build on what the student has already learned. I have my dd do one page each day. We practice on a lined white-board first, and then she completes her workbook page. I have been very pleased with the simplicity of the instruction, and my daughter is learning to write cursive beautifully and painlessly.

So, for anyone who is uncertain or on the fence about this resource, give it a try! You may be very pleased with the results!
happily married to Vince (17 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
ds7--1st grade--Learning God's Story
dd11--6th grade--ECC
dd15--10th grade--variety

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Re: A Plug for Cursive Connections

Unread postby Joyhomeschool » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:39 pm

I used it this year as well for my third grader and really liked it! We used to use ARFH for all grades on top of MFW and found it expensive and overkill with all the writing mfw offers.
Living Happily Ever After with my Prince for 17 years!
Loving HSing my *7!* Dwarves

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Re: A Plug for Cursive Connections

Unread postby asheslawson » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:59 am

I also like cursive connections....

hsm wrote:Can one of you tell me how large the lines are for writing on? I am using ARFH transition book and the cursive lines are pretty small. My daughter has some struggles with her fine motor strength and writing small is a challenge for her.

Lori, the back of the book has several sizes to choose from. The ones in the main book are larger, but they offer masters in the book to copy in order to work 'down' to as your child is able to master smaller lines. It has been extremely effective for my daughter in 3rd, and for the 7th grader I am teaching this year who has had no cursive taught to him in public school, therefore his mom was concerned because he could not read anything he came across if it was written in cursive. I have used it for both.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD

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Re: A Plug for Cursive Connections

Unread postby hsm » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:18 pm

Thank you, that is very helpful. Hmmm, now can I convince my hubby I need to order a different handwriting book when we have one sitting right here....just cuz I want to ;) Maybe I will add it to my big order for extra practice next year.
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

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