Teaching Cursive - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-29-2003, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,My 3 and half year old has learned to write most of her print letters. She is thrilled by writing, we do a lot of it.
I am really into Montessorri and read that it is better to teach kids cursive first, bec it is harder and it teaches more fine ahdn motor skills.
She would love to learn cursive, but is confused by it- where the letter begin, etc.
Have any of you taught cursive to your young children?
Any aids that helped- especially cheap ones or ones I can make?
Do they still teach cursive in "regular" schools?

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#2 of 7 Old 03-29-2003, 12:18 PM
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have you taught her regular block print or denelian print?
denelian worksheet

It is suppose to teach the strokes to easily adapt to cursive.
here's a google of denelian print

BTW-my dd is in second grade and learning cursive
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#3 of 7 Old 03-29-2003, 12:46 PM
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We use handwriting Without Tears and it is designed to go smoothly from prin to cursive. it isn't fancy writing, just a very legible streight cursive. perfect for a young child who could iprove upon it klater and make it fancier.

here is thier sample:http://www.hwtears.com/cursive.htm clink on the print link to see how similar they are.

These are cheap too. BAout $7 a book is what i paid. dd likes them enough to i guess. She has trouble when the page is too busy so the simple lines etc in this one realy help her.

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#4 of 7 Old 03-29-2003, 04:31 PM
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I taught all four of my dear children to do cursive, and I only taught them cursive. I feel that it is better to learn it right from the beginning.

I first taught them their name in cursive, and then taught them lower case letters in groups -

a,d,o,c,q,g is one group;

i, j, t, u, w, p, i another group;

e, l, b, k, h, f another group;

r, s, v, x, z, m, n, is the last group;

Teach the capitals on an as needed basis.

I discovered later that Samuel Blumenthal recommended this method in his book, How To Tutor . for teachiing cursive.

Originally, all school children learned how to do cursive immediately, but in 1924, an English educator determined that some children did not have the fine motor skills to do cursive so early, so block letters began to be taught to all children.

I also wrote their name very big on a poster board and they glued beans on the lines to help them get the flow of the line and to make it fun for them - this is THEIR name!

Later we did the same with glitter and tissue paper. My children have their name in cursive in all kinds of media.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-11-2003, 06:21 AM
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And just to play devil's advocate, I think (as a John Holt fan) that you only 'need' cursive to sign your name to legal documents!

I believe part of the Montessori philosophy is that children naturally intiate drawing with long, flowing curves and not with stop-and-start lines, but I don't know a great deal about that method!

I suspect that much of this varies from child to child. I remember as a child that some loved 'penmanship' and others suffered through. The childhood friend who suffered most is now a novelist and professor of English and her penmanship is still nearly illegible!
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#6 of 7 Old 04-12-2003, 01:02 AM
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Much of it is hand/eye coordination, small motor coordination and maturity.

To play the devil's advocate one step further, we do not need to teach cursive anymore nowadays because of the computer.

There is a public school near me that uses exclusively computers, and the students there have no pensmanship skills at all.

When I taught my dear children to do cursive, I taught them their name first. My dear husband's penmanship is really atrocious, and all 4 of my children write like him, so there must a hereditary component also. My DH's brother (my BIL) also writes terribly although he is a professor of public health.

I do think every one should learn penmanship and learn it well and write with pride.

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#7 of 7 Old 04-13-2003, 11:25 PM
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My son taught himself to read and write when he was two -- in block letters. He's 7 now and his penmanship is fine, but he doesn't write in cursive (although he can read it and on occasion uses it to "write fancy"). I'm not worried about it. I myself hate writing in cursive, even though I was okay at it, and stopped using it as soon as they let us. Additionally, the only person I know who writes legibly in cursive is my mother; from my personal observations it seems that people with poor handwriting generally do better printing instead. At least the reader has a hope of picking out the separate letters that way.

On the whole, I'd say cursive is a dying form of writing that is useful in reading historical documents or making invitations look good, but not for much else. Just my opinion, of course. ;-)

and Hollis, 12/95 and Annika, 3/98
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