As homeschool moms, we teach our children so many things to give them the best education possible. Across the board, teaching cursive penmanship is a dying art. Many schools no longer teach cursive. However, it is a valuable skill that helps to build your brain and develop cognitive abilities. Cursive is also helpful for children with dyslexia and is actually easier to produce than manuscript printing. You may be wondering where to begin, though. Here is a complete guide on how to teach your child cursive writing.
Must-do Pre-Writing Activities
Like everything, teaching your child to write requires laying a solid foundation. This is where pre-writing exercises and activities come in. These help strengthen hands, increase pen control, and teach important strokes. Here are some ideas for pre-writing cursive activities:
- Pen Control Workbook
- Practice strokes and shapes in sand with your finger or a stick
- Draw in chalk on the driveway, sidewalk, or chalkboard.
- Write letters or words in cursive on large sheets of paper, have the child “trace” the letters in dots using a bingo marker
- Use Wiki Stiks or yarn to create loops, curves, and angled lines
How to Teach Cursive Strokes
Once you have completed enough pre-cursive activities that your child feels confident, it is time to start practicing strokes. Cursive writing is a series of strokes. These make up the basic form of the letters. Practicing strokes, helps children master letter formation before learning any of the letters. It also makes it easier to write fluidly once letter formation begins. The best resource I have found to demonstrate cursive strokes is this video. You can also use a tracing board that has strokes, and shapes on it for practice.
How to Teach Individual Cursive Letters and in What Order
Writing is made up of letters, so it is important to learn and master the letters one by one. Unlike manuscript printing, which is usually taught in alphabetical order, cursive letters are taught in groups. Each group has similar strokes. Generally, the groups progress from easier to more challenging strokes. Teaching the individual letters in this order will make learning cursive easier and more enjoyable.
Here are some additional resources for teaching individual letters:
- Free individual letter worksheets divided into groups
- Cursive Magnatab
- Montessori Cursive Letter Tracing Board
- Cool Cursive Flashcard Game
- Montessori Movable Alphabet
- Free Printable Alphabet Chart
- Cursive Poster and Flashcards
- Printable Bible Story Alphabet Chart
Practicing Simple Words in Cursive Penmanship
Now, your child is ready to start writing simple words. It is best to start with short words and gradually try longer ones. Remember to look back at the letter order. Choose words with simpler letters when children are first learning to combine letters into words. Use pre-made worksheets with common words or make your own. A cursive template is really useful for this, to get the examples perfect. However, do not expect perfection from your child. Mastering handwriting takes abundant practice and is something that improves with age. Young children, especially, are still building muscle control and hand/eye coordination.
Once your child has mastered short, simple words, it’s time to move on to sentences. Here are some excellent resources to get your child using his new cursive skills in various subjects.
- Draw and Write Paper
- Creation Bible Activity Pack
- Christmas Bible Activity Pack
- 100 Sentences for Summer
- Daily Writing Notebook
- Bible Verse Printables for Kids
Complete Cursive Writing Curriculum Choices
If you are looking for a ready-made curriculum to teach cursive writing to your child, here are some recommendations. A complete curriculum will offer the ease of having it done already. You should feel free to incorporate resources and items listed above to meet your child’s individual needs and increase interest.