Fun, Pretty, Easy & Short Cursive Handwriting Lessons
“It’d be nice for you to begin cursive handwriting.” I said to Super Hero early this school year. –”Yeah!” he replied, “I’d like to learn those pretty letters.” Not too long afterward, we got the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s notification about the New American Cursive workbook. Talk about synchronicity!
Watch Super Hero as he unpackages the workbook, and completes a couple of lessons. Watch the review or just continue reading below.
What We Received
Workbook 1 is intended for children in first grade and above.
What to Expect
Expect a top-spiral-bound workbook, friendly to both, right and left handed children. The first few pages give reasons why it’s a good idea to begin teaching cursive handwriting to children as early as first grade. Memoria Press claims that all children benefit from an early start, including, or rather, especially, those with Dyslexia and ADHD. Then, they move on to some teaching guidance. Posture, pencil and paper positions; instruction, practice, and play; and size, slant, and spacing. Such are the topics covered in greater detail.
The actual instruction is divided into three sections:
- Instruction Page
- Practice Page
- Play: Fun Exercises & Artwork
On the Instruction Page, the letters are fairly big in size, indeed quite suitable for youngsters. A cute cartoon named Mr. Meerkat, is Workbook 1’s writing buddy, and introduces each letter using three steps:
- 1. Say the letter
- 2. Feel the letter (the child is to trace it with his finger)
- and 3. Write the letter (the child traces the letter in uppercase and lowercase)
On the Practice Page the child gets to trace and write the letter in lowercase for two lines. And the same again for uppercase. Some relevant words appear as well. At the end, Mr. Meerkat asks the child to circle his best lower and uppercase letters.
On the Fun Exercises & Artwork Page the child traces and writes the letter without any visual cues. Then he draws an artwork, anything that might have been sparked by the exercise.
Each lesson introduces a new letter in alphabetical order. After a handful of lessons, a review blends all that’s been covered so far.
How We Used New American Cursive
Super Hero’s been using The New American Cursive – Workbook 1 about 4 times per week during the last 6 weeks. He picks it up pretty much on his own.
“Down, up, to the right, curve around, go on!” –he says to himself repeating Mr. Meerkat’s wordless instructions on the Instruction Page. He then moves on to the Practice page. –”Up, down, curve around” for the two lowercase lines, and again for those of uppercase. He picks his multicolor pencil to circle his best letter. Often he hesitates for a few seconds. –”Which is my best letter? I kinda like many of them.” Such a treat! Memoria Press scored big points encouraging the child to celebrate his victories, small as they may seem. Lastly, trace then write then draw, in the Fun Exercises & Artwork page. Just a couple more lines of letters put together in short words, or by themselves. Mr. Meerkat still climbing & sliding during the last page in the sequence in his cheerleading sort of way.
That’s it. The cursive practice must pack a punch, though, because Super Hero’s handwriting seems nicer. Though he hasn’t actually used cursive yet in his writings, I can see his print is prettier, more even in size and slant now. He says he wants to finish Workbook 1 before he begins to write in cursive. That’s fine of course. There’s no rush.
“It’s fun, short, easy, and I like the writing they showed.” Super Hero’s succinct opinion of Memoria Press’ New American Cursive. Indeed, it doesn’t take him more than 10 minutes per lesson. That’s short. And it’s super easy. Granted, he’s already 9. Holding a pencil and drawing letters is obviously easier for him that it would be for a 6 year-old first grader. Still, Workbook 1 succeeds in introducing cursive in a simple and effective manner.
Clearly Super Hero’s partial to the way The New American Cursive looks. I agree. It is quite beautiful. Not too formal. That would’ve been a turn off, for me, at least. Not too contrived. I don’t like those either. Neither does Super Hero. This one is more casual yet graceful, and even elegant. It’s pretty and flows effortlessly. In fact, it’s inspired me to better my own handwriting. I’ve caught myself going up, down and around sprucing up my own letters. Who said the kids couldn’t share in the fun? Ain’t us, grown-ups, wish to spiff up our handwriting prettier, too? 😉
As far as continuing on, Super Hero will for sure finish Workbook 1. I haven’t quite decided whether to go on to Workbook 2 & 3, yet, or get their cursive software, StartWrite. Memoria Press is a Christian company. They do offer secular choices for level 2, just like level 1. Perhaps for level 3 too, but I couldn’t find it. StartWrite, in the other hand, will, no doubt, let me plug in all sorts of neat –secular– writings so Super Hero can continue to sharpen his cursive pretty.
We’ll see what we decide. In the meantime, Super Hero, Mr. Meerkat, –and myself– have a cursive workbook to enjoy 🙂
Memoria Press’ New American Cursive in a Nutshell
In a Nutshell
The Bottom Line
“It’s fun, short, easy, and I like the writing they showed.” This statement comes straight from the horse’s mouth. That’d be 9-year old Super Hero. He’s been using Workbook 1 about 4 times per week during the last 6 weeks or so. –’Nuff said.
If You’re Interested
You can buy The New American Cursive – Penmanship Workbook 1 for $22.95.
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