One of the things I find I struggle with is teaching our grandson to have a neat hand so I was pleased when asked to review the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic. Between ADHD and Dyslexia, the poor boy does have trouble with both his printing and cursive lettering, sometimes to the point of not being able to read it himself.
As soon as I watched the CursiveLogic Online Seminar (it comes in the Quick-Start Pack) I knew this program was different than others we have tried. The logical approach to teaching cursive letters gave me a positive feeling that we would achieve success this time. Hearing about the multisensory approach used by this program made sense to me and I was pretty sure it would make sense to EJ too.
I liked having the video seminar handy so I could be sure to stick to the program (I downloaded it on my Vimeo app to reference it on my phone anytime.) It contains a lot of information on the why’s and how’s of the program and provides some good tips on what you can do to make it even more effective for your child (like using colored markers or pencils during practice.)
While the seminar does explain how to teach the program to a classroom of children, I found I could use the same methods in our homeschool. We regularly use an easel with a whiteboard so we did our demonstration lessons on it (with a colorful set of whiteboard markers.) There is plenty of opportunity for positive reinforcement in their work with the first lesson day helping to create a solid base for good handwriting habits in the future.
Begining with the exercises at the beginning of his workbook, I found I had to remind EJ to follow the directions but once he got the hang of it he was excited to do his lessons and show off the full words he had learned to write. One of his challenges has been that he could copy cursive lettering but wasn’t sure of what he was copying once he moved on to handwriting his words. Almost like he was simply copying art strokes rather than letters of the alphabet.
In this program, he was learning his letters and words using verbal and auditory tools in addition to the movement of his hand. (I still remember the little songs and rhymes I learned as a little girl and find that auditory cues are great for learning and remembering things.)
The addition of color into the mix kept things even more organized in his mind. We added to this by using colored markers for some of his practice. The smooth writing, colorful pens helped make his practice fun.
Having the alphabet broken up into four shape based letter strings rather than simply alphabetical order helped EJ move ahead and learn the letters he needed for an increasing number of words each week. This helped him feel positive about the progress he was making as he was able to begin using his cursive letters to write small notes almost from week one.
As he worked through the program and he learned more letters, he became more confident in his writing as well. He was excited to incorporate cursive into his daily lessons whenever he could so we could see his progression throughout the days. He also enjoyed practicing on the specially coated whiteboard pages at the back of the book using our newly acquired colorful whiteboard markers.) His goal, to be able to copy the words of one of his favorite historical figures, Abraham Lincoln. (Fortunately, by signing up for CursiveLogic emails, I received practice sheets for both his Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address plus two other historical documents that I printed out for him.)
Over the five weeks of our review, EJ made positive progress in his cursive letter writing. Here are some samples to help you understand our joy in how much improvement we saw right from the start. (The first is from taking notes and the second from a spelling test.)
And here is a sample of his handwriting from Week 1 (orange is one of his favorite colors so he wanted me to post this one!):
Now on to the second part of my review, my part. I have to be honest with you all, I love to color. I have loved to color forever. My mother also loved to color and it was something we did together. When I found out we would also be reviewing The Art of Cursive, I was pretty excited. (Mom and I were also pretty fussy about our handwriting; I was even the handwriting monitor in my fourth-grade class. Yes, I was that child.)
So, of course, I had to try the adult version of the program and try tracing and writing the letters in my own book. (I realized how lazy a person can get about their cursive lettering as I made sure to reach the center line with my curves.)
I was quite excited to see how this all made sense, even to an adult, and challenged my hubby (who admits he has terrible penmanship) to give it a try. Being a leftie, he quickly tilted his page in the opposite way that I had and read the instructions. Although I saw him pause to think about the g and q, he did a good job of the orange string of letters. Then he took the opportunity to ask EJ about why he tilted his paper and his chair in a different direction to stress the importance of this part of his posture.
Now I was on to the coloring pages. There is a good variety of quotations that you can first copy out to practice your lettering and then move on to the picture on the other side. These pictures are set up to “color” in one stroke as though you were writing but I found some sections that leaned to more traditional coloring (the apples on the tree) and did them that way. One of my favorites so far to use a cursive stroke on is the little fish you see in the right side photo (I couldn’t resist using glitter markers for it!)
As a person who understands that learning cursive handwriting is still an important skill to master, I am so pleased to have been introduced to this program. I was speaking with some family members on the weekend and the conversation turned to the lack of neatness in their children’s notebooks and how cursive isn’t being taught in some schools these days. I quickly brought out our books and suggested they might like to try CursiveLogic in their own homes.
To make all of this better, the folks at CursiveLogic have kindly provided the Review Crew with a 20% Discount Coupon for our readers. Simply enter the code CREW2018 and you will save 20% on the Quick-Start pack which is the webinar and workbook combo. In my opinion, this program is a winner!