Why Cursive: The discipline of learning to write a legible script is as much an opportunity for character training as it is an exercise in handwriting. The physical act of writing requires focus, discipline, patience, attention to detail and accuracy – priceless skills for the young child at the beginning of his academic career. Students who struggle with poor penmanship frequently write minimal answers on tests. They are often not getting scored for what they actually know. Cursive improves neural connections in the brain and is faster and easier to learn than printing.
When: Starting cursive in the first grade teaches the beginning student basic skills of concentration, accuracy, correct spelling and the patience and persistence required to do quality work.
How: 15 minutes a day in the New American Cursive Workbook (NAC) establishes the basis for good penmanship. A Teaching Guide is included in each book.
Kindergarten: Correct pencil, paper and posture position are essential instructions to set the student on the right course. Learn how to recognize and form each printed letter. Introduce cursive by teaching students how to write their name in cursive. Startwrite/NAC software (Windows only) can be used to make individual worksheets.
First Grade: NAC Workbook One is a complete introduction to cursive. Instructions and exercises on how to form each cursive letter. Start integrating cursive with other subjects as soon as the student knows the alphabet.
Second Grade: NAC Workbook Two is focused on developing legibility and speed. Spacing, size and connections are emphasized. Practical applications of good penmanship are illustrated. All work is written in cursive. Now in Scripture or Standard versions.
Third Grade: NAC Workbook Three develops individual style, speed and fluidity. Polite manners and letter writing exercises are used to emphasize legibility, neatness and the importance of good penmanship in this fun workbook. Now in Scripture or Standard versions.
Research indicates that waiting to change from printing to cursive until the third grade slows students down to a first grade speed level for at least a year. Learning cursive early frees up instruction time in the third grade. Most young students are eager to learn cursive and see it as a rite of passage. The three main reasons to start cursive training as early as the first grade are: