Cursive: Tricks, tips, and Techniques

Round 2
Last time I blogged about the order to teach cursive. Here are some more tips and tricks that have helped us here this summer.

Journal prompts and lines.
I've made a journal for each of my children. Each Wednesday they get an extra page of cursive practice. I created and printed these off from this website.  I printed them in landscape, then folded them in half to have them bound in our journals.

Pens, Pencils, Markers
Make it fun to write. Have a designated spot for fun pens, pencils, or markers. I found smooth pens that write well to help ward off discouraged penmanship. The children love to write in different colors-it makes it fun.

Salt Writing
I bought several cans of cheap salt. No need to have it iodized. Keep it in a tupperware. I pour out a few cups on a tray. This is a good way to help them practice with worrying about correct slant or form.

Pangram Sentences
Ever wonder what those sentences were called that used every letter of the alphabet? Pangram sentences! Here is a link to some short sentences.

I'll post some more as we continue our journey to learn cursive this summer.


How to Teach Your Children Cursive

The problem was that I assumed. I assumed that my children would learn cursive at school-a place designed for learning things such as cursive.  To my chagrin my children were not taught cursive-their teachers were more concerned about teaching them test taking skills. They didn't have "time" to teach them this skill. This summer I wanted to make sure my children knew this important skill.
I've done a bit of research to help their learning process go smoothly.  If you are trying to figure out how to teach your children cursive too, and you don't want to spend a lot of money on workbooks I've got some ideas for you.

First, do NOT teach cursive in alphabetical order! So many workbooks and online printables start this way. It will make cursive frustrating for all.  Here's where to start:

Print off a few blank worksheets. I found these worksheets to be great

Upstroke: show a basic upstroke. Start at the bottom of the solid line and go up. Google cursive upstroke to get a lot of images to show your child.

Downstroke: from an upstroke pull the pen down to from a down stroke. Think of the letter L-first your do an upstroke, then you pull the pen down to form your loop.

Day 1: Teach upstroke, downstroke, letters e,l show how to form a good loop-oval not a circle

Day 2: letters u, i, t  no loops, remember to dot and cross after the entire word is written

Day 3: letters c, a, d.  Show how to make a wave, help them remember each letter has an upstroke to start and a tail to end. The letter "d" goes all the way to the ascending line

Day 4: letters n, m. Children love these letters. 

Day 5: letters h, k. The loop connects higher than the l. Go over the k carefully. Show them how it relates to a printed k.

Day 6: letters f, q. This is the first time they will use the descender line. Help them with the q, it is hard sometimes to remember the loop is on the right. They may write a g a few times.

Day 7: letters g, p, j. More descending letters. They will have fun with all the words they can write now.

Day 8: letters y, z. Z is probably the most complicated one today. 

Day 9: letters r, s, x. These are important letters and require precise line placement. An R without a sharp point and look like an n. A sloppy S can look more like an O.

Day 10: letters b, w.  These letters are different because their tail comes off at the top of the letter. Take time to show how these letters connect to others. 

Day 11: letters o, v. Just like day 10, these letters connect differently.

Now your child can write the entire alphabet.  You can teach them capital letters in a similar order or go with alphabetical. I would start with the capital letter of their first name.

Next up...trick and techniques that have worked well for us.


Patriotic Pillows

I love to decorate for the 4th of July! A week or two ago I was at World Market. Towards the front of the store they had a display of fun patriotic things. I bought some red and white pasta in shapes of the flag, liberty bell, and such. They also had some napkins in red, white and blue. The napkins come in a 20x20 inch square-which is exactly what size I need for a pillow cover for the pillows on my couches.
I bought enough to make three different pillows, then used the zippers I had on hand. Twenty minutes later I had three patriotic pillow covers.
My couch went from this...
 To This!
 Here's a close up.
 Each pillow is sewn just a little differently.
 The red white and blue napkin has a frayed edge, I made sure the edge was showing.
On the blue and white pillow I followed the hem line, it made the pillow have a decorative edge.
The red pillow was your basic pillow-sewn inside out, the turn out and press and done.

Have a great 4th of July!
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