New American Cursive Penmanship Program Workbook 1
The character Mr. Meerkat is the book's guide, making learning tasks fun; step by step, he shows the way to draw each letter and encourages creativity. There are clear arrow directions for letter creation, and plenty of shaded letters to trace for practice. The book is bound at the top for equal access for left- and right-handers. NACs simplified strokes and letter forms allow first grade students to truly master beautiful cursive. We have used NAC in our Highlands Latin School, with dramatic results. Every child can master cursive in the first grade, and many of our first graders write better than typical third graders. Learning cursive early ensures that students are not slowed down or frustrated in the upper grades when they are focusing on other subjects, such as grammar and composition.
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
These materials span grades and include both instruction and practice.
Memoria Press now offers complete Curriculum Manuals and grade-level curriculum packages for PK-10 using the classical methodology. Recitation is used in every level for memorization of basic facts, systematic phonics and good books are used for reading education, copywork is used for teaching Bible truths, and music and art are included for enrichment in the early (K-3) levels. Each Curriculum Manual contains complete lesson plans for a one-year course of study. The Curriculum Manuals are well-formatted and easy to use. In the front of each book you will find a checklist of the materials needed at that level, an explanation of this curriculum, instructions for lesson implementation, a recommended schedule and blank schedule for your own planning purposes, and 33 weeks of detailed lesson plans. Lessons include assignments from the books used at each grade level, as well as activity suggestions. The appendices include a variety of material for that grade level, and may include: prayers, letter activities, recitation, memory verses, read-aloud book list, poetry list and selections, and a paintings/music list for kindergarten and first grade. These pages are reproducible for family or classroom use. Although most of the guides have been available for several years, the curriculum was restructured in 2015, with many of the programs originally included in 3rd grade now with a slower pacing to span 3rd and 4th grade. Guides for grades 3 and up have been modified to reflect this change, while the lower-level guides have only had minor changes. If you are already midway into the program with the original guides, you can still continue in that track with the older guides, now
There will be families who are very thankful for the appearance of this curriculum; for years it's seemed as though classical education and special needs might be incompatible. Then comes Cheryl Swope who just...does it. Not only did she start walking down the classical path with her special needs twins, but she quickly realized that it was the very best possible educational path for them. The combination of systematic repetition, language skills emphasis, gracious implementation and quality content has reaped amazing results, transforming their challenging lives into those with meaningful expressions of beauty and service.
Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. Swope, is essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list that moves gradually into some of the Memoria Press curriculum products (i.e. First Start Reading and Classical Phonics) as well as other early level curriculum products (i.e. Rod & Staff preschool workbooks). A quick look at these lesson plans might cause you to conclude that it is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You're not exactly wrong, but you're not exactly right either. It's rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons - rich in quality literature - progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning. The plans/program offers 10 key features:
- - The rich, beautiful content of a classical Christian education
- - A slower pace with ample review
- - An emphasis on books with elegant illustrations to cultivate a taste for excellence
- - A multi-sensory presentation of material
- - Oral language components
- - Skills checklists
- - Integration across subjects
- - Themed levels
- - A trivium approach
- - Socratic questioning
Introductory information for each level includes a program overview, readiness assessment, FAQs concerning where to begin, list of read-aloud books, supply list, brief teacher notes, and a week-by-week chart for recitation and memory work. The detailed readiness assessment for each level covers language, cognitive ability, emotional development, fine-motor skills, and gross motor skills and is followed by a set of skills in each area to develop during this level of the program.
Other than making sure you have read-alouds and supplies for the day, prep is practically nil. The four-days-a-week, weekly lesson plans provide a daily checklist with specific tasks in each of several areas such as calendar, alphabet/numbers, and motor skills. In levels B and C, Simply Classical Crafts is incorporated into the arts/crafts tasks. Opening and closing the learning period with prayer is not only encouraged but prompted with suggestions for prayers to learn. There are 34 weeks of plans plus eight weeks of review. 110 - 180 pgs, pb.
The Core Curriculum Packages include the Curriculum Manual (Lesson Plans) plus books/workbooks used throughout the year. The Read Aloud Packages include all the books used as read alouds for the year. The Supply Packages are a collection of school supplies that are needed to complete the program. ~ Janice
Grade 1 continues in the development of reading skills by incorporating more good books and focusing on vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and composition skills. Math at this level is Rod and Staff Grade 1, and spelling is introduced with Traditional Spelling I. The literature and read-alouds also serve to introduce children to history/geography and science, as well as good literature. Copywork, recitation, music, art, and cursive instruction are also included. Some resources are reused from Kindergarten; if you are entering the curriculum for the first time, then you will also need the New User package.
2 months ago
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over 2 years ago
My boys used it with double gain-writing and thinking better as old generations did.
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