My ds is 8, 3rd grade, and we are starting cursive, I'm going to have dd (6) join in as well since she seems ready, reading and printing fluently. Any tips? Should I just focus on one or two letters a day, or have them copy out the whole alphabet each day for practice...? What about HWWT? I never used their primary stuff, but I like the style of their cursive letters. Is it worth the $, I'd only get the workbooks?
We love Handwriting without Tears here. Ds#1 has beautiful cursive (and printing) thanks to the program. Ds#2 is just now starting the cursive workbook. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a program. We only buy the workbooks (have never felt the need for the teacher's resources) and have had much success with the program.
my daughter used HWT. she is already through with it & now we just do copywork in cursive. her handwriting is really beautiful (her manuscript? not so much). i know there are other popular programs, but we love HWT and i plan to use it with my ds later on too. he also used HWT manuscript, and his print is coming along nicely.
ETA - we only buy the student workbook too.
HWT has been a great resource for us. I have used it from the beginning with my kids and I'm very happy with the results. Dd (8.5) is almost done with the first cursive book and writes beautifully; I have the second cursive book, but I think I'll let her decide when to start that. Anyhow, I found the actual cost of the HWT books to be very nominal - $8 or so? We don't buy any of the teacher's manuals or anything though.
I'm no expert, but I know my MIL and mother (both ex-elementary teachers) both have said that there is a certain level of muscle coordination that is needed for success in cursive; in schools they don't start that until late 2nd or 3rd grade for that reason.
We're doing cursive this year also (dd is 7.5; grade 2). This is a perfect year for her to start because she's interested and ready. We are working our way through the first cursive book. At the end of it, we'll practice writing some letters to grandparents using cursive.
I also write some notes (or poems or whatever) in cursive and then let her read it out loud, just to get her used to reading cursive. She likes that because she is happy she can now read cursive.
Thanks! Pretty sold on the HWT, hopefully I can order them next week, think I'll pick up the manuscript workbooks too as ds' printing could use a boost, he's gotten a little careless with speed.
They're cheaper then I thought.
DD is already adding swirls and loops- sort of doing her own version of calligraphy to her letters when she is writing notes to her girlfriends. Dd likes to tag along with a lot of ds' subjects anyhow.
I'm not personally a fan of HWT simply because I don't like the look of their font. But that's a personal subjective opinion and no statement on the quality of the course.
As for your more general questions, I've always preferred the approach of one letter at a time, and not in alphabet order -- rather in 'shape' order. Like, i, then u, then w, because they're all the same shape. e and l go together. Then there's the "magic c", which later becomes a, d, g, and q. Etc etc. "Cursive First" does it in this method, as an example. So does Penny Gardner's Italics cursive book, which we used for DS when he was older and needed to VASTLY improve his handwriting.
I'm currently using A Beka's cursive K4 books with DD. I'm not using the rest of the A Beka curriculum so I don't have a lot of instruction to go with... so I'm doing the pages out of order in the way that I think makes most sense. We're also doing things like writing the letters large on chalkboard. She loves to trace trace trace, so I wrote a big letter "i" and she traced over it with a dozen different colours. Drawing it in the air too. It really helped with her smoothness and 'flow' of the letter.
I'm also always tempted by Barchowsky's Fluent Handwriting program, which has a regular course and a beginner's workbook for younger kids. It's also more of an Italics cursive rather than traditional. I like its emphasis on rhythm in writing. Just from their samples, I got the idea of reciting a simple little chant to help remember the form of each letter, and DD just LATCHED onto that. Actually, there's a similar idea used when teaching numbers in RightStart math, which we're also using, so she says "arouuuund and arouund" when writing 6, for instance...
We are using HWoT here as well, I love it. We are currently on the printing portion here. Ds is writing so neatly and absolutely loves doing it. The books are cheap, like pp said only like $8- well worth it. I like the order they are introduced, how they are done. True it is not the prettiest font, but to have a child that LOVES handwriting a boy nonetheless and is working ahead is priceless. I bought the little golf pencils for him this year and it was really helpful.
I'm a little late here, but we LOVED Cheerful Cursive, and my dd has beautiful handwriting.
Our DD just turned 10yo and her cursive just wasn't much good, she didn't remember how to connect all the letters and she wasn't enjoying writing in cursive. Now we're using the book "Teaching Cursive-This Method Works!" and we love it!
This book was recommended by a HSing mom who did DD's annual testing/assessment. At first DD thought the book was a bit silly b/c she's a little older and thought she didn't need it. But then she really started enjoying it...says it feels like "art". I love the method (10 mins a day) and DD enjoys doing it daily. Her cursive has improved so much just in 9 lessons.
Here's a link--http://www.teachingcursive.com/index.htm
We started in 1st grade using New American Cursive, really loved it.