Tag Archives: cursive

Cursive, Day 1: Qapla`!


Mikey likes it! He learned lowercase “a” and “d” today, and so was able to spell out “dad” a couple of times, which made him happy. I ended up teaching him by demonstration, letting him focus on the “deconstructed” letter that was shown at the top of the page, then made up phrases describing the shapes and directions he was supposed to make with his pencil to make a proper cursive “a” and “d”. I stole the first part from the Sparklebox website, which describes the leading curve as a “caterpillar”, so I chanted as I guided his hand “make a caterpillar, then curve back and around, sweep up, then down, and make a tail”. He chanted this over and over while tracing the practice letters, and seemed to enjoy it quite a lot, until his wrist started cramping up. I think one of the problems that causes him to have wrist pain is that he doesn’t hold the paper down with his left hand, and so he presses hard into the paper to prevent it from shifting or something.
So I shake raise my pencil/batleth high and shout “Qapla!”

This week: Cursive!


Z has already left for his dad’s house, but I’ve decided that when he comes back on Wednesday (have to figure out a way to get him here earlier in the day…) we will start learning and practicing cursive.
Why now?
I’ve been inspired by David H. Alpert to just go for it and dive right into the more advanced stuff. As he recounted in “Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery”, when one of his daughters started to have trouble with 5th grade math, they gave her 7th grade math. Also, a poster over at secularhomeschooling.com mentioned that if she could do year 1 over again, she’d purchase a curriculum called “Cursive First”. Apparently, according to the poster and the website (it seems to be this one: http://www.swrtraining.com/id17.html ) learning cursive before print actually helps with longterm penmanship and makes it easier for the student to not reverse letters. Hmmmm. I have no idea how much research has been done on this, and I guess I could look into it further, but that’s another post for another time.

I think Z is ready for it. I think he’ll enjoy learning “advanced” stuff that only a few of his other classmates are doing. Mostly, I think that cursive learning and practice will boost his confidence levels in writing and that will reinforce his reading skills as well.