No announcement yet.

Cursive first and phonics ?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Cursive first and phonics ?

    I am hoping someone can help me understand the nuts'n'bolts of teaching cursive before (or in place of) manuscript, while also teaching phonics.

    Both my eight and eleven year old boys experience manuscript reversals and other printing struggles. I intend to switch the eleven year old to cursive (I think his manuscript has plataued due partially to having Aspergers), but I feel like I should not switch the eight year old until his manuscript is neat - I feel he needs to master it before moving on.

    With the next three children I'd like to just *skip* the many problems we've had with manuscript all together, and begin with cursive.

    I've heard many advocate "cursive first", but how does this really work with learning phonics/reading at the same time?

    With the exception of Blend-Phonics, and similarly Don Potter's explanation of using Alpha-Phonics in cursive on a board, every phonics program I have seen is in manuscript. The physical books and readers are in manuscript, and many include some form of copywork, also in manuscript.

    For kindergarten, could I use New American Cursive for writing, and First Start Reading for phonics? What are the nuts'n'bolts of this, as First Start Reading has quite a bit of manuscript practice in it?

    I could even see using something like First Start Reading and simply using the manuscript copywork to help reinforce the lessons. But after that, once the child is reading, do you wait for their manuscript to be neat before moving into cursive? Or do you dive into cursive even if their manuscript is horrible?

    Alternatively, if I took the (considerable!) time to print up a vintage primer or phonics program in cursive, and made all the needed copywork also in cursive... do children easily connect the cursive they've learned, with the manuscript everywhere around them? (Books, street signs, cereal boxes, etc.)

    I hope my questions make sense. Thankfully I have a year or two left to figure this out - my "next student" is only four years old.

    Thank you for any insights.

    I can't answer all of your questions, but can say this:

    1. There is actually a cursive writing program called Cursive First, so that's another option. Here's a review by Cathy Duffy.

    2. We just started Memoria Press' New American Cursive I, and think you could use it with a kindergartener. Except for the first page for each letter, the size is slightly smaller than most K manuscript programs, but that doesn't bother me. (The reason is that in the previous program we had been using, A Reason for Handwriting, they write in a large size for longer than I think they should have. I do not recommend their "transition" to cursive, as it's not really a transition at all.) There isn't as much writing practice in this book (MP's NAC I) as I have seen in other handwriting programs, so you may want to add a MP cursive copywork book--maybe someone can chime in on the letter size in Memoria's cursive copywork?
    [Edited to add: It looks like the MP copybook cursive is intended to be used alongside the MP NAC II book. It's too advanced for a Kindergartener who needs more practice, even if they are learning cursive first. Perhaps the StartWrite CD would be better for additional practice.]
    Last edited by ameliabedelia; 08-24-2013, 11:11 AM.
    dd12: 7th grade
    dd10: 5th grade


      Our Cursive Copybook is a 3/8" font with a middle dashed line.