Monday, April 13, 2015

Review of Memoria Press' New American Cursive

Memoria Press Review

Memoria Press just keeps getting better and better! I first fell in love with their Latin more than eight years ago, but they have continually added curriculum over the years. The first time I saw their New American Cursive: Penmanship Program Workbook 1, I didn't envision using it with my children. I prefer a more formal style of cursive. As with all things, though, the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray, and I ended up with a child who is, I believe, dysgraphic. Writing is not easy for him. There is no way I am going to get beautiful swirly cursive out of him. Memoria Press' style of cursive is perfect for him, thus I was thrilled when I got the chance to review this workbook!

Even better (spoiler alert!), he loves this penmanship program.

The New American Cursive Penmanship Program is specifically designed to allow students to begin cursive at a younger age (due both to its simplified letter style, which eliminates many of the cursive strokes that other programs teach, and to its teaching format which utilizes the character of Mr. Meerkat to show students how to draw each letter). Now, Michael is 10, so he is definitely not the target audience of this program, however, he is not yet writing in cursive and has not had much success with other cursive programs that we have tried. He needed something that showed him exactly how to make the letters, since he is prone to things like reversals. Even better, Michael is able to write much more quickly and fluently when he writes in cursive.

So what does a typical day of cursive look like? Pretty much whatever you want it to :-) Seriously, although you can purchase lesson plans on Memoria Press's website, the instructions for teaching cursive even to very young children are so clear in the workbook itself that you really don't need anything else. The first thing taught are straight lines and curved lines (one page of instruction in each). Then capitals and lower case letters are taught in alphabetical order (a method that really worked for us, since Michael is older and has had a crack at cursive before). The pages are very minimalistic with everything in black and white, and the top is spiral bound.

Depending on how old your child is and how much handwriting he likes to do per day, this book could last you a widely varying amount of time. Because Michael is 10 and not a cursive novice, he completed the book in a couple of weeks. He really enjoyed working on it. I didn't have to ask him to do his handwriting - he just did it as part of his school routine (that is actually a nice endorsement of this book!). I am seriously considering getting Book 2 in this series (Books 2 and 3 are each available for $22.95).

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