New American Cursive
Handwriting with a bit of a different approach will teach your child cursive skills beginning in first grade. There are fewer strokes, a natural right slant, and the strokes are simplified. The philosophy is that students have the motor skills to write cursive at the first grade level, and when we wait to teach them at about third grade, they literally go back to the speed of first grade writing as they transition from print to cursive.
Each book includes a 7-page teaching guide, 68 instruction and exercise lessons, illustrations and exercises for letter connections, and practice sheets with quotes and Bible verses (a secular version of Book II uses quotes from famous Americans in lieu of Bible verses). Book II has in addition a handwriting evaluation form, review of paper placement and pencil position, review of letter and number formations, and progress reports and test pages. The books have an uncluttered, visual appeal with uncramped space to practice. Since the books are intended for first grade, the spacing is very important.
'Mr. Meerkat' guides your child through each book as he shows the way to draw each letter and encourages creativity. Each lesson includes 3 different types of practice pages. The first page in each lesson is the 'instruction page' on which students follow a 3-step process under Mr. Meerkat's direction. Students first say the letter; the second step is to feel the letter. In this second step students trace large format letters with their finger and are also encouraged to write the letters in the air or draw them on a table with their finger. The third step is to write the letter, both upper and lower case, first by tracing and then by forming the letters. The second page of the lesson is a practice page, and the third page is fun exercises and artwork. Students will practice letter connections, words, and short sentences and even have an opportunity to draw something fun. A reminder for proper paper placement and pencil position is placed at the bottom of pages throughout the book.
The third book still incorporates whimsical Mr. Meerkat as your child's guide through the lessons. There are 100 lessons, one lesson per page, which should take only about 10-15 minutes daily. Many of the lessons are intended to increase creative writing skills by asking the student to write about something familiar, and there are still opportunities for artwork. Other lessons are copy work, which incorporate scripture (KJV and NKJV) and lessons on manners. The first section of book 3 is review of letterforms, connections, size, slant, spacing, and proper pencil, paper, and posture review techniques. A test is provided in lesson 4 to help you evaluate your child's letter formation.
Before the 1940s, children were taught cursive in the first grade. This course provides the opportunity to use this simple technique to bring back the art of handwriting. - Donna