We were so excited to be able to use New American Cursive: Penmanship Program Workbook 1 by Memoria Press for review. My oldest son (age 8.5) had just asked me about learning cursive when this review became available! You couldn’t ask for more perfect timing!
This program is very straight forward. It has s small Parent Guide at the beginning of the book that lays out the program. It suggests playing classical music during lesson time, which has turned into us using classical music all school day! (It’s been a great addition to our schooling).
This cursive instruction is given with the paper slightly tilted (as opposed to straight up and down). Honestly, I never realized there was a difference, and am not sure how I was taught.
Several of the lesson also have drawing space. My son enjoyed this feature. It’s a great practice for fine motor and pencil grip.
Another great aspect of the program is after they complete a page, they are to look over the page and pick their best letters. This really gave my son some ownership in his writing. He caused him to really look at how he was writing and see where he did well, or maybe not as well as he could have. I wish I had thought to do this before with handwriting!
Each page introduces the lowercase and capital letter, as well as a short word. The word allows them to practice connecting the letters. Before writing the letters, they are to say the letter, trace it with their finger and then write the letter on the page previous to the one shown. The lesson is repeated the same for each letter introduced. They are introduced in ABC order.
We used this program each ‘school’ day, which constitutes 3-4 days a week.
My son does not like writing (I’ve said it many times before). He loved this program! He has mentioned to me several times how much he likes it, how fun it is and thanked me for getting it for him. This is NOT normal behavior for him! I know part of it is that he WANTED to learn ‘fancy writing’, so the timing was perfect, but the program is laid out nice and simple and that works well for him.
As a matter of fact, he would often do more than one page in a sitting, another rarity!
I have always been under the impression that in order to start cursive, one needed to be doing well in print. This program claims otherwise. It is designed for grades 1+. They give writing samples of those who started at a young age, compared to those that started later, and the results are amazing! Now I’m considering starting cursive next year with my 6yo who will be in first grade.
Cursive writing is becoming a lost art, but studies have shown that it is good for brain development. Even if that were not true, the fact that it has gotten my son to enjoy writing more, is reason enough for me!
This book is available for $22.95. This is the first in a series of 3 books of Cursive Handwriting instruction.
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