09 August 2011

New American Cursive - A Review of Workbook 1

When I decided it was time for my then six-year-old daughter to begin learning cursive, I began researching all the different options available. I wanted something that was pretty, without being too fancy, and also easy to teach and learn. My search led me to New American Cursive (NAC). The program seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. It was pretty, without being too fancy, and the website pointed out that it uses fewer strokes than some of the more popular cursive programs. There was also a convincing article about why it's beneficial to begin teaching cursive in first grade instead of waiting until third grade. (This was helpful, since the reason for the research was because K asked to learn cursive, and I wasn't sure she was ready.)

In addition to the fact that NAC seemed to be exactly what I was looking for in a cursive program, they also have a StartWrite CD that contains their font so that you can make additional worksheets for your children. This truly seemed the best fit for my needs!

So far, K has made it through the letter Q. I have been extremely impressed with her handwriting since starting school back up this past week. She always rushed when printing, unless I continuously reminded her to use her best handwriting. Now she seems to take pride in her cursive, and takes her time to form the letters correctly and neatly. Below is a sample of a page she did today.




Throughout the first book, the format is typically to be introduced to a letter, practice writing that letter, then do one of the Fun Exercises & Artwork pages, as above. Every three letters, they will also have a practice page to review the last three letters learned. 

Having the CD for extra worksheets has really been an invaluable resource for us. What I am doing this year is having her do the individual letter pages, one per day, and then on the day she is to complete the practice page, I also make my own practice page with words using letters she has used so far. For example, last week, I made a page with all names, so that she could have some more uppercase practice. It included Abel, Lee, Dale, Leah, Elle, Jack, Jill, and Bella. She was up through L at that time, so I stuck with names that included only letters she has learned. Eventually, once she has learned all of the letters, I plan to make copywork pages for history and science. 

We recently received workbook 2, along with workbook 1 for H. Workbook 2 appears to work on transitioning them to smaller handwriting, as well as writing on lines without guidelines. I will come back and review workbook 2 when we have actually begun using it a bit. In the meantime, if you are looking for an easy-to-teach, pretty handwriting program, I highly recommend NAC. 

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