Cursive - Can I add this to 1st?

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Jenn in NC
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Cursive - Can I add this to 1st?

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

schelean wrote:My first grade daughter really wants to learn cursive writing. I think I would like to go ahead and teach it to her since she has a real interest in it NOW. Her printing is good and I don't really see any reason why we should delay cursive when she has a real interest now.

My question to all of you wonderfully helpful MFW users is what would be the best way to teach cursive in 1st grade. We are on day 58 in MFW1. Should I add an extra 15 minutes each day and teach the alphabet? At what point do I require her to make the switch to cursive on our daily work in the Workbook, copying the bible verses, etc.?

I do already have the cursive books recommended by MFW. Just curious if any of you have encountered this and how you made it work. Thanks for any help you can offer :-)
I have hesitated answering this post b/c I haven't done what you are proposing... but in the absence of anyone else with more wisdom than me coming forward I will give my .02 on it, fwiw.

I do have one amongst my kiddo's who had an early fascination with cursive but I was stingy and told him he had to wait. Maybe that was the wrong choice... ?? At any rate my thinking on it went something like this: if the child is not yet a highly fluent reader, then I felt it was still a tad early to be introducing new letter forms. I felt this way primarily because of the natural reinforcement that occurs when the letters they read look like the letters they write. And what they read will generally be manuscript.

But perhaps your daughter is already reading really well or perhaps you don't agree with my reasoning! :) In which case I am thinking, you could always just give it a try and see if she likes it and does well with it. If it goes well then she is happy and ahead of the game -- if not then nothing is lost, just put the book away till next year.

What do you think?
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
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Unread post by cbollin »

Just agreeing with Jenn that if your child is interested, it will probably be ok to try and then adjust. Shelve it if necessary or she loses interest.

You ask for suggestions on how to teach and when to require all daily work to be in cursive.

*I just wanted to give my experience with the books that MFW sells and let you adjust. And hoping that someone who was able to easily use the books will chime in with helpful hints. I was expecting a book with some kind of instructions to form the cursive letters. But that book just didn’t really have enough direct instruction that I was able to help my child. There are direction arrows --- but they are so small, my kid couldn't see them easily. There is plenty of practice available in those books that MFW sells. Also, with those books that MFW sells, I can’t remember this --- some 6 y.o might or might not have a problem with the size of the line spacing. I wish I had a success story to share about those books, but I know that others over here have really liked them. We switched to HWT cursive to make it easier on me and the kids and meet their individual needs.

*I think adding in a few minutes of handwriting instruction would be ok. If she can't tolerate it for 15 minutes, just do less time.

*when to require all daily work in cursive? Very subjective on that. It might not be for a few years. I didn’t push it as a requirement with my oldest. It just happened that she wanted to do almost all in cursive this year. She’s in 6th grade this year.

I’m curious when other people require it. I never really thought much about it.

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Some experience with cursive...

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Abeka has a program to start cursive in K. After a year of manuscript, my dd (who was 6 for 1st) was excited to do cursive. They taught a new letter everyday for cursive - the letter we were covering in phonics. So, they taught the vowels, and then the letters. Once we started putting letters together to make words in phonics, we were working on writing words in cursive - showing tricky connections and all.

The other thing they did, once they learned all capitals and lowercase, if there was stuff to be written on a chalkboard/whiteboard for her to read or look at, they suggested it be written in cursive (and still do).

I would just teach it to her, and then let her write however she wants. If she knows how to write all the cursive letters for a word, then let her write it in cursive. Once she knows them all, and you've taught her how to connect the letters into words, then I would ask her if she wants to write it all in cursive or not.

The funny thing is, my dd does all her "school work" in cursive. But, if she is doing something on her own (like recently making a Christmas list), she does it in print. Sometimes she'll write a note to someone in cursive, but she usually reserves it for "school".

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Jenn in NC
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Unread post by Jenn in NC »

cbollin wrote:We switched to HWT cursive to make it easier on me and the kids
Ditto that. HWT does a good job of hand-holding you through the teaching process. And it is visually appealing to the kids, uncluttered, simple, fun. We liked it.

The Carson-Dellosa books that MFW recommends are a good follow up though.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850
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Unread post by niki »

I took my own twist from A Reason For Handwriting, which seemed overwhelming/discouraging to her...she's a 1st born, perfectionist.

So, I write out a short, verse from the Bible (a Proverb, or an adaptation of one) and write it out at the top of her paper and let her do her best at it. It does help her if she watches me form a letter on the board that she can't coordinate. All in all it's working for us, at least for now.

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Unread post by schelean »

Thanks to all for your insightful answers. I will let you know how it goes.
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