Thursday, October 5, 2017

Making the Time for Cursive (Review)

Handwriting is not a strength in our homeschool. From the very beginning, the girls have struggled with letter formation and I have struggled with the best way to teach them. And trust me, we've tried it all. Even though Madison doesn't have picture perfect print yet, I knew I wanted to start her on cursive now that she's in second grade. Not only do I think it's an important skill that needs to be taught (and taught early) I've read that it can actually be easier for kids who struggle with printing to master. Add to the that the fact that we've been working through the Colonial Period with the American Girl Felicity as our guide, and Madison was sold on learning how to make "fancy" letters. Easy Peasy Cursive from from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks is perfect for someone who is just learning how to transition from printing to cursive.

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

This is not a handwriting curriculum and it won't do the "teaching" for you. What it IS is a practice pad that has taken all the pitfalls of handwriting practice and addressed them in a way that is effective. The spacing, shading, and slanting of each page helps the writer visualize "letters that are tall, letters that are small and letters that fall" (I cannot for the life of me remember where Madison read this, but it's stuck with her). The slanted boxes keep the letters the proper size and it even has spacers between the letter boxes.

Channie's Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook

The majority of the book is single letter practice. There are three pages for each letter, each gradually stepping down the "help". The first page is tracing with guidelines in red for the direction of the stroke. The second page is tracing without red guideline arrows. Finally, there is a page just for practice, with only a single letter as an example, but plenty of space (and the boxes still there). The final two pages are words.

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

I assigned Madison three pages (three letters) a week. Rather than write one letter per week, I wanted to get her started on the formation of each letter. In a nod to our Felicity unit, I did allow her to choose pen while she was tracing. She loved how "fancy" it made her feel, but the added benefit was really allowing her to see her letters, instead of the dotted lines. After a few letters of switching back and forth, she was asking to do her letter writing, and grabbing one of my special pens, usually off limits to her. The paper is strong, and the pens don't bleed through - a bonus!
 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks
We aren't done with printing, and printing practice. Right now, for a four day school week, we've decided to spend our handwriting time split between print copywork and cursive letter formation. Once Madison learns all the letters in cursive, she'll have the option of doing any of her other work in print or cursive.

I like the set up and durability of these practice pads, which just seem to zero in on exactly what visual learners need to keep them on track. I'm sure we'll start keeping them stocked for handwriting, wherever our need is. We'll make sure to check out Easy Peasy Alphabet for Reagan, since we're working on getting her letter formation just right, and now it's time to see if we can get the size of her letters down and teach her how to write on lines.

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Reviews}

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