1. Start early - a child does not have to perfect printing before learning cursive. We suggest starting in the first grade. Cursive is easier to learn than printing.
2. Use a simplified cursive alphabet, it is faster than printing. The New American Cursive Alphabet has 26 fewer strokes than the current three most used cursive styles. It was designed with beginners in mind.
3. Use a multi-sensory method of teaching letters. Emphasize the showing rather than the telling.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Have students trace and then write letters repeatedly so they are accurately forming letters and words until they become automatic.
5. Use art to develop fine motor skills. Elementary language arts are strengthened with drawing instruction and it is a fun way to supplement the curriculum.
6. Integrate cursive writing with other subjects. The StartWrite/NAC software allows you to create cursive worksheets for other subjects.
7. Use light classical music during handwriting practice to relax students and improve fluidity and a sense of rhythm.
8. Emphasize the three “P”s of Penmanship: Correct posture, pencil and paper position.
9. Evaluate their accuracy by having students draw large letters in the air.
10. Allow children to draw large letters and then add the starting dots and the arrows that show how the letter is made.
11. Have students circle their best letter or word on their practice sheets. It helps train their eyes as well as their hand.
12. Be enthusiastic. The teacher’s enthusiasm is critical to develop this valuable life-long skill.
13. Keep handwriting lessons simple; refrain from distracting pictures or over complicated directions for letter formation.
14. Allow flexibility in handwriting style so child’s personality can emerge.
15. Make it fun; writing should be pleasurable to children.
We suggest that children practice handwriting regularly until the age of twelve.