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happykid25
08-23-2010, 11:24 PM
Fairly new here and wanted opinions/options on teaching handwriting to DS (4).

I currently have Handwriting without Tears for print (we haven't started it yet). I also have been reading that teaching cursive first can solve a lot of issues that come up in handwriting (spacing, reversal are the two primary), so thought I might want to go this direction, but don't know really what to use to teach it, most of what I have found is for approx. 3rd grade.

I asked him tonight if he wanted to learn to write in cursive or print. He said "Both." Okay. So with this piece of information I thought maybe I could teach both, just not sure the best way to go about this. Any suggestions?

We did spend about 30 minutes tonight going randomly through the alphabet tonight writing each letter in cursive. DS did okay overall with me stumbling through decribing how to write the letters. I thought I'd grab the chance to introduce cursive while the iron was hot so to speak. Problem was it was 10:00 at night! (I might be homeschooling from 8:00 PM to Midnight at this rate :p - I've got a nightowl on my hands, at least I'm one too.)

Shoe
08-23-2010, 11:34 PM
My kids learned to write in the public schools, and apparently learned both print and cursive. That said, I've never seen them do ANY homework in cursive, and my son ended up typing most of his assignments last year. I don't have any recommendations on how to teach either, but it seems that people are actually using cursive less and less these days.

Teri
08-23-2010, 11:48 PM
My kids learned to print really really early. (I have a picture of Joseph with his magnadoodle and it has his name written on it and he wasn't quite two.) So, I decided to not mess with trying to unlearn and relearn how to print. Joseph makes some really interesting letter formations that are not efficient AT ALL.
Libby is dyslexic and printing to her was like art....and it might as well have been Arabic for all the meaning it had to her. ;)
Caroline, also learned to print very young.
SO....when Libby started her dyslexia class at Scottish Rite two years ago and started learning cursive, the other two were interested and I bought HWOT cursive for BOTH of them. Joseph was 8 and Caroline was 6 (Libby was just turning 7).
In other words, I skipped print because they were "adequate" and we have been trying to learn cursive ever since. :lol Caroline is better at it than Joseph, but she chooses to use it more.

Interestingly, my 21 year old who went all the way through public school was NEVER taught cursive because it wasn't on the TAKS test. They kept putting it off and putting it off and then it just didn't happen. So, he had to try and figure it out on his own when he switched schools. They were appalled that a 5th grader had never been taught to write in cursive.

happykid25
08-24-2010, 12:11 AM
Just wanted to add DS can print some, he's been printing his name in caps for a long time now. Most of the capital letters he's good on and some lowercase - though I never see him use lowercase. Numbers are so so I guess. Sizing is currently the biggest issue, but he's not ever used lined paper or anything.

So it's been mostly a free for all, with no real "instruction" which has been fine up till now. Plus, it's not something that I have had him work on at all at any point. He just writes when he wants, and I'll help him out if he wants it.

Teri
08-24-2010, 12:15 AM
I will add that my youngest daughter's biggest issue was with size when we started. HWOT helped a TON with that though. Before that she had a hard time keeping words to less than 1/2 of a page tall. :lol
Her handwriting is the messiest of all of them. But she is also the really gifted, intelligent one, so it could be because of that or that she is still just 7. :p It's hard to know when they are reading at an 8th grade+ level to know where the writing level should be.

happykid25
08-24-2010, 12:25 AM
My kids learned to write in the public schools, and apparently learned both print and cursive. That said, I've never seen them do ANY homework in cursive, and my son ended up typing most of his assignments last year. I don't have any recommendations on how to teach either, but it seems that people are actually using cursive less and less these days.

I've heard that said about cursive being used less and less, and I think it's because it is put on the back burning in schools. But I couldn't imagine getting through college without cursive for taking notes. I can write way faster in cursive than print. I use it most of the time even now when I'm writing on paper.

I'd like both options available to DS and I'd like both to be comfortable for him. Now I could care less if it is proper cursive (mine is definately a hybrid and not all letters are formed correctly, and uppercase tend to be manuscript), but I would like him to learn the fluid writing of cursive as I think it is much more efficient generally speaking. If DS finds he likes writing in print all the time, and it's more efficient for him, so be it. My husband is a printer (all caps - all the time).

happykid25
08-24-2010, 12:33 AM
SO....when Libby started her dyslexia class at Scottish Rite two years ago and started learning cursive, the other two were interested and I bought HWOT cursive for BOTH of them. Joseph was 8 and Caroline was 6 (Libby was just turning 7).
In other words, I skipped print because they were "adequate" and we have been trying to learn cursive ever since. :lol Caroline is better at it than Joseph, but she chooses to use it more.


How does the HWOT cursive work for your 6 year old? Since its "graded" for 3rd grade which I think of as approx. 8 years old. I'm worried that the line size will be too small in the workbooks and that the words and sentences will be too much for DS (considering he's 4 going on 5 and just learning to read.) This has been my main issue when looking at any cursive curriculum.

Melyssa
08-24-2010, 01:53 AM
My daughter went through ALL the Handwriting Without Tears books from about age 4 through age 8 including the cursive which she LOVED. She really went through a phase where she wanted to learn to "write pretty". But now that she's just shy of 11...she only writes in print. For everything. I haven't seen her use cursive in at least a year. But on the other hand I am glad she knows it because I've noticed it helps her read other people's handwriting in certain situations plus she can write that way if she WANTS to which I prefer over just not knowing at all.

hockeymom
08-24-2010, 06:34 AM
My son also learned to print before he was 2, but public kindergarten messed him up on a couple of the letters. Go figure--I have no idea what they did to him. Anyway, he's now 7 (ps grade 2, homeschool grade 3++) and starting to learn cursive. His printing was pretty messy until this summer when we discovered the magic of elementary lined paper (the kind with the extra dotted line in the middle). It made an immediate difference on his handwriting. For cursive I bought an erasable white board at Target (in the dollar section) that has preprinted cursive letters to trace and space to practice. On the back are common words to practice. He loves it.

I've never heard of a child learning cursive at age 4, probably because fine motor skills aren't typically quite up to the task yet. Then again, I'm all for introducing things when the fire is burning, as you said, but you might expect to reintroduce it again at a later time if needed. All kids are different too, so if yours can learn it now, good for him! :)

I was just talking about cursive yesterday and apparently they don't teach it here any more in public school. My son wants to learn it because he wants to be able to read it, that's his main motive. I doubt he'll actually ever use it as a handwriting tool, but I guess it's good to know.

hockeymom
08-24-2010, 06:37 AM
How does the HWOT cursive work for your 6 year old? Since its "graded" for 3rd grade which I think of as approx. 8 years old. I'm worried that the line size will be too small in the workbooks and that the words and sentences will be too much for DS (considering he's 4 going on 5 and just learning to read.) This has been my main issue when looking at any cursive curriculum.

I don't use HWOT, but you can print out so called elementary lined paper from superteacherworksheets.com. The line size has really helped my 7 year old.

StartingOver
08-24-2010, 11:00 AM
We do print first in my home. But if you are wanting to do cursive first, I have heard good things about Cursive First (http://swrtraining.com/id17.html) . I have not personally used it though.

Shoe
08-24-2010, 03:46 PM
I've heard that said about cursive being used less and less, and I think it's because it is put on the back burning in schools. But I couldn't imagine getting through college without cursive for taking notes. I can write way faster in cursive than print. I use it most of the time even now when I'm writing on paper. I had to stop taking notes in cursive in college because my handwriting became so horrible that I couldn't read it. I ended up printing-taking less notes, but hopefully more relevant.


I'd like both options available to DS and I'd like both to be comfortable for him. Now I could care less if it is proper cursive (mine is definately a hybrid and not all letters are formed correctly, and uppercase tend to be manuscript), but I would like him to learn the fluid writing of cursive as I think it is much more efficient generally speaking. If DS finds he likes writing in print all the time, and it's more efficient for him, so be it. My husband is a printer (all caps - all the time).That seems to make sense. I'm "all caps all the time" too-I think it came from learning "lettering" in mechanical drafting class. (Actually, I lie-I try to use a keyboard as often as I can. I can actually type faster than I can print or write.).

Slightly off topic...is "shorthand" in use at all anymore? I never learned it (nor even really understood what it was), but remember that it was offered at my high school for those who wanted to go on to secretarial work.

Wilma
08-24-2010, 04:01 PM
It used to be that kids didn't learn printing in school; they just started with cursive. There are some schools of thought that the continuity of cursive is easier than ball and stick, hence the reason continuous stroke manuscript, like Getty-Dubay, Zaner-Bloser and D'Nealian.

My kids learned whatever method they preferred when we went to the store and let them look at different approaches. Handwriting is an expression of personality, IMO, and I felt they would learn better if they found one more visually appealling. That being said, they prefer to print. Cursive is faster, and if they can print legibly and quickly, I don't worry about it. They can read cursive and write it if necessary. So I'm happy.

Riceball_Mommy
08-24-2010, 07:49 PM
I think which is faster really depends on the person. For me I write faster in print than cursive, mostly though I think it's because I don't like it and now that it's been so long it takes me awhile to think of what the letters should look like. I never learned short hand, but I did learn a few abbreviations to make not taking easier.

laundrycrisis
08-25-2010, 09:22 AM
I am teaching my kids a "modern script" italic or "cursive italic" with letters that can easily be joined when they want to. It's been inspired by the D'Nealian stuff, the Getty Dubay stuff, and the Barchowsky stuff, but I haven't spent the money to buy any of that. I bought the e-book for "modern printing" from Teacher Created. It's close enough. I also print the handwriting filler sheets from the Donna Young website and make my own handwriting practice sheets for them using a colored marker they can trace over.

http://www.bfhhandwriting.com/about.php

http://www.handwritingsuccess.com/example-italic.php

http://www.dnealian.com/samples.html

http://www.teachercreated.com/products/modern-printing-3329

belacqua
08-25-2010, 07:01 PM
My kids learned to write in the public schools, and apparently learned both print and cursive. That said, I've never seen them do ANY homework in cursive, and my son ended up typing most of his assignments last year. I don't have any recommendations on how to teach either, but it seems that people are actually using cursive less and less these days.

I agree. My son took the SAT last year and said the high school kids were freaking out because they had to write a few sentences in cursive (some sort of I Didn't Cheat statement) and many just didn't know how.

I've actually never gotten the hang of cursive, myself. What's worse is, my biggest difficulty is with the letter that begins my first name. So my signature looks like I scrawled it holding my dominant hand behind my back. In the dark. Drunk.

SherryZoned
08-25-2010, 07:04 PM
i am teaching both. Personally I do a print/cursive writing. Some loop and some don't. Whatever is fastest.

kcanders
08-26-2010, 04:27 PM
How does the HWOT cursive work for your 6 year old? Since its "graded" for 3rd grade which I think of as approx. 8 years old. I'm worried that the line size will be too small in the workbooks and that the words and sentences will be too much for DS (considering he's 4 going on 5 and just learning to read.) This has been my main issue when looking at any cursive curriculum.

My daughter used HWOT cursive when she was around 4-5. I don't remember her having trouble with the line size. She started learning cursive around 3-4 because she was attending a Montessori School, so she already had some experience before HWOT.

Both my kids learned cursive before print. Currently Maddie still prefers cursive and Ian mixes them both up in a bizarre way. :)

InstinctiveMom
08-29-2010, 09:58 PM
My Loverly Husband and I disagree on handwriting. We're starting cursive, which he's opposed to (he's strictly a printer). He says they'll never use it; I disagree. Cursive is somewhat easier to write - my kids both started out with D'Nealian print, so they're halfway there. Like someone else said, I think cursive will improve spacing and sizing in a way that printing does not.

I think 4 is young to start writing well - both my boys were about 6 before they really started writing legibly (and we did do pre-school work). They just didn't have the fine motor control.
Even now, at 7 and 8 years old, they both still have sloppy handwriting. We're working on it though :)
~h

MicheleD
09-01-2010, 12:53 AM
Several teachers here in Iowa told me that cursive is no longer taught here because it's not on the Iowa tests.

elkhollow
09-02-2010, 08:55 PM
Have you looked at the site for Cursive First? This is a Christian company and there are religious references in the teacher's manual but there are none in the student materials. If you are thinking about teaching cursive or if you are interested in the rationale for teaching it first (or early) you might want to check out the website.http://www.swrtraining.com/id17.html My dd started using this at 7 years old and we like it.

In order to help her I also use software called StartWrite, which costs about $40 and is some of the best money I feel we have spent on learning materials. With the software you can choose what type of writing (Handwriting Without Tears print, cursive, and others), how large the font will be, and how dark or light the dots will be. I type out dd's copywork and she traces over it. She struggled with fine motor coordination and it seemed to help. I no longer have to do this for printing but it helps her practice cursive.http://www.startwrite.com/

garett
09-02-2010, 09:25 PM
My daughters are 9 and 10, this is the first year that they will not be in public school, and they have not been exposed to any cursive at all!

As for whether or not to do cursive first or second, or simultaneously I don't have an opinion. I do think that cursive writing is a little less of an "essential" skill as it used to be, but it's still important to be able to read cursive. And it doesn't hurt to learn to write it as long as no sacrifices are being made (by which I mean dropping something that you feel is more important). When my daughter was asking me why she had to learn cursive I spoke to her love of art and told her all about the art of calligraphy and how practicing penmanship, and learning to write in different fonts and shapes can help her. She's excited about it now.

Suzakin
09-06-2010, 12:12 PM
We subscribe to the Spalding Method. It is a COMPREHENSIVE ELA program that uses writing as a road to reading. It includes very specific methodology for handwriting. I figure eventually, when the fundamentals are learned, he will develop a hybrid.

This subject was my initial reason for looking into homeschooling. My 12 yo son has terrible handwriting. Nor has he EVER been taught cursive. It really came to light when he couldn't read many of the birthday cards he was sent this year because of the caligraphy, script format they were in and had to ask me to read them to him. That's when it really hit me, he doesn't need to learn these things because they are prescribed but because he needs to function in this world as an adult.

I started with the basics and the light in his eyes when I described the method for writing some of the letters was inspiring.

I figure it like this, it is a skill that never hurt anyone by possessing it, kind of like driving a stick shift!! : D