Four Simple Steps To Cursive ~ CursiveLogic #Review
My daughter Cheyenne, just-turned-13, still enjoys handwriting practice. At first, asking her to try new handwriting curricula was a way to encourage her to improve her readability, and later, it was her own idea, propelled by a desire to “beautify” her handwriting.
However, it can be a challenge finding handwriting materials designed for older-than-elementary students. She’s recently been using a new product from CursiveLogic. Designed to be user-friendly for elementary on up through high school and adult learners, the CursiveLogic Workbook is an all-in-one resource for learning cursive.
The workbook is bound at the top with a smooth-turning spiral, and includes 98 pages. The covers, plus a couple of extra pages at the back, are printed on sturdy stock, and are reusable write-on, wipe-off pages. The remainder of the interior pages are printed on thicker than typical paper, especially nice for handwriting practice. There’s no skimping on quality, this feels like a nice, solid book that will hold up to regular use.
There’s little I can say about the particular instructional method – wouldn’t want to give away any trade secrets, you know – but I can say that it’s based on specialized grouping of the letters by shape in a way that makes a great deal of logical sense. This tactic actually goes a long way toward reducing the length of time that it takes to learn cursive, because it makes it strikingly apparent to the student that the very structure and strengths of cursive itself are the repetitive nature of letter formation.
These groupings, rather than being taught individually as disconnected letters, are taught in “strings”, causing the student to be writing in cursive immediately, complete with connections between the letters. These shape strings are identified in the material by color, allowing the student to associate a visual tool to aid in memorization.
Each of the groupings also includes a “catch phrase”, as they call it, which is a saying to be used as a mnemonic to aid them in learning – and then recalling – how to create the structure of each type of letter shape.
Even at the end of the very first lesson, students will be able to write real words in cursive, because they’ve been learning both letters themselves and how to connect the letters. This can really be a mental positive for some students, because a portion of the “reward” arrives so much faster than if the student were spending days upon days merely practicing disconnected letters, without any idea of what else to do with them.
What Did We Think Of Cursive Logic?
Chey was irritated with the extensive instructions that began the book, and especially displeased about the insistence that good posture is necessary to create quality handwriting. (Her specific words? “The posture thing sucks.” I did notice that she was doing it, though – sitting at the table, even – which is not at all her norm. Her reaction amused me, because she followed the instructions, while I probably would have rolled my eyes and ignored that part.)
She also told me that the letters and lines are too big. (They start out at about 11/16″ and then move down to about 9/16″.) While those are likely standard handwriting paper spacings, I can sympathize with her complaint – I have tiny hands and always struggled to make my letters big enough to fill up all the space.
She did really appreciate the color-coding for the different kinds of letters. She felt it was a nice touch that wasn’t absolutely necessary, but made it much easier to remember which kind of letter was which.
As for my thoughts… it’s well-organized, in such a way that an older student should be able to quickly be able to teach themselves cursive without much difficulty, and no need for endless repetition. The grouping of the letters by shape, isn’t, in my opinion, all that innovative… because I remember my third-grade public school handwriting to start out just the same way. Additionally, we connected letters – they were just all the same letter. So I suppose that what is truly different with CursiveLogic is the particular strings that are used, along with the other adaptions to make learning quicker and easier.
Any which way, if you have an older student, upper elementary or above, that just needs to learn and get it over with – this would definitely be a good choice, because there’s not a lot of busywork involved. The basics with CursiveLogic, plus some practice afterward as part of their regular assignments, and your student should be good to go!
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