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How to Teach Handwriting to Children

Handwriting - specifically cursive - is a lost art for our children. 

Not only is at a lost art, it is also a lost form of communication. 

We all know the benefits of learning cursive - it aids in early reading, builds a habit of attention, and is quite simply a beautiful form of communication.

I still remember my third grade teacher teaching us cursive. I use that cursive to this day, and people often remark about my pretty handwriting. 

My own children's handwriting, however, has been elusive - it's an area where I feel I didn't quite do them justice. I'm so pleased to share with you today a program that I WISH I could have used when my children were young. I think our handwriting would have been better.

This might be a different way to teach handwriting - different from what you have been taught to believe is right - but it works and that's what MATTERS.

 How to Teach Handwriting to Children

* I received the Script-n-Scribe Handwriting Program to review. I have not been compensated for this post, and never promote anything we don't wholeheartedly recommend. This post contains affiliate links.


I've watched my own children learn the physical act of print and cursive. One child learned in school until the third grade when I brought her home. The approach was hodge podge - learning a cursive letter a week in school during a quick morning time on the board. My daughter didn't learn good handwriting or the importance of it in school. 

When I brought her home for school we tried to remediate, but I think the stage was past. Her handwriting is OK - but not great.

My youngest began handwriting instruction in preschool and then I brought him home for school where I continued teaching handwriting from a simple workbook. His handwriting is GOOD, but there are some things I would do over - some letters I wish he knew how to form better. 

One very interesting thing I noticed, however, was that it was easier for both of them to learn CURSIVE.  I thought this was odd (considering all I had been taught about handwriting in public school) - but went with it because it worked for MY CHILDREN.

There's a lesson in that -- what you learned in the public school is NOT gospel!  Go with your gut and your own research! 


About the Script-n-Scribe Handwriting Program

 

Brandy, at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood, noticed this same thing, too, and began developing a handwriting program to use with her own children.

Oh, how I wish my children had been able to learn from the start with this program. It is so well organized and perfect for all types of learners. 

And, if you know Brandy and are familiar with her work as a Classical homeschooling mother and writer, that work is of the HIGHEST excellence.

This program reflects Brandy's background as a Classical homeschooling mother. It teaches our children the basic GRAMMAR of how to form letters, provides them ample practice, and then allows them to demonstrate their beautiful handwriting.

I have the 137 page handwriting resource, as well as the wood and acrylic writing cards. I can't emphasize enough - everything is BEAUTIFUL and inspiring! 

I took the downloadable pdf file to the office supply store and had it printed and spiral bound. My son will be working through this program this summer - just to be sure we've got his handwriting in good shape!

(Now a bound version of the workbook is available in the shop, too!)

 

What does this 137 page resource include? 

  • Lowercase cursive instruction cards
  • Uppercase cursive instruction cards
  • Bookface print phonogram cards 
  • Numeral instruction cards
  • 84 page practice workbook

From a very practical standpoint, this workbook walks our children through every single step of making their letters. It is sequential, logical, and sets our children up for success.

The roller coaster analogy is perfect: hills, ramps, drops, loops, and curves -- make this handwriting instruction easy to understand for children.

 

Cursive Handwriting Instruction for Tactile Learners

The most beautiful feature of this program are the sets of wood and acrylic cards for your tactile learners! All of these are hand cut by Brandy's husband in their shop in Tennessee. 

The wood cards can be finger traced to learn how to shape them correctly.

The acrylic cards can be traced with an Expo marker (Brandy even includes a small cloth for erasing).

When I showed these acrylic cards to my son his exact words were:

"Using these would have made learning cursive a lot more fun and a whole lot easier for me."

  ~ Grant, age 12

This tactile component to Brandy's program is the real clincher for me. I used another popular handwriting instruction method with my oldest, but it was extremely costly and had many things to purchase. 

With the Script-n-Scribe Roller Coaster Writer you simply need the workbook!  If you choose you can purchase the wood or acrylic cards for your tactile learners. But that's it. 

Simple. Easy. Done.   (just the way I like my homeschool resources)

*I also want to point you to Brandy's Poetry Penmanship & Memorization - such a lovely resource.

 

Find Out More About Script-n-Scribe Introduction to Cursive

Brandy has a thorough description of everything on her website.  I highly recommend you spend some time reading her reasoning behind why she has done what's she done with this program.  You will be impressed. 

The workbooks are available as a pdf download, or (newly available) a bound version!

I'm excited for the future of this handwriting program - it is in its infancy and I know Brandy and her husband are developing more products that will be available soon. What a blessing this is to homeschooling families, and I'm happy I could share it with you! 

 

Have you taught your children handwriting?  Tell me about it!

 

 How to Teach Handwriting

Create a Geography Table in Your Homeschool

When children are in the grammar stage (elementary years) they are ripe for memorizing facts and yearn for more.

Geography is the perfect subject to let them sink their teeth into.  There is just SO MUCH they can learn.

Being a part of Classical Conversations  brought to light the importance of geography. It equipped me to organize facts about geography and assist my children in memorizing them. 

As is so often the case, I am merely facilitating their learning - and learning right along with them. One resource I have recently discovered is Prisoners of Geography - fabulous for us to understand the WHY behind a lot of geography and to share that with our children - particularly our Challenge age children!  I also highly recommend reading the section about geography in The Core. 

 

 Create a Geography Table in your Homeschool

* This post contains affiliate links.

As a part of Cycle 3, my Foundations student learn 24 geography facts - all of these related to the United States of America. He learned all of the state capitals, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, features, etc... 

Our last time through Cycle 3 I wanted to facilitate an even deeper understanding of geography. I created a very simple geography table. (As you will see in the video at the end of the post, I simply repurposed a coffee table and put it in a sunny spot in our home.)

If I learned anything that year, it is that the memory work in CC is ENOUGH. First and foremost, I wanted my children to memorize the grammar of geography. My go to resource was ALWAYS the Foundations guide

*These resources are geared towards a study of US geography.

geotable1.png.png

Supplies for a Geography Table

{These supplies are highlighted in the video below.}

Globe and/or Atlas

DK Atlas (recommended by Classical Conversations)

Globe

Small White Board

Tracing Paper

Notebook with LOTS of sheet protectors  (I made the cover for the notebook in my word processing program.)

Continental Blob Mapping Packet (LOVE this!)

Traceable Maps (various maps I choose from CC Connected)

Sharpies

Geography Coloring Book(s)

Smart About the 50 States

Notebooking Pages    (My membership to Notebooking Pages comes in handy for so many things... particularly geography!)

Daily Geography Routine 

This was always an independent activity for my son. I need this time at the beginning of the day to meet with my daughter and get her moving with her schoolwork. Usually 30 minutes was spent at the geography table.

My son did the following EACH DAY: 

  • Copy the continental blob map on the white board
  • Draw the blob map from memory on the white board  (Doing this is SO beneficial -- I cannot stress this enough!)
  • Trace that week's map from the folder
  • Work on a state coloring page or notebooking page corresponding to the memory work
  • Review previous maps (this way we will be more well prepared for Memory Master at the end of the year!)
  • Free reading/reference:  Use Smart About the 50 States

Here's a video to explain about the geography table in more details.  Enjoy!  


Geography Resources

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the WorldFoundations Guide, 4th Edition Fourth EditionThe Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical EducationInteractive Globe for Kids, 2 in 1, Day View World Globe and Night View Illuminated Constellation MapDarice 9-Inch-by-12-Inch Tracing Paper, 100-SheetsBoard Dudes Metalix Magnetic Dry Erase Board 8.5 x 11 Inches (DDT37)Compact Atlas of the World: 6th Edition (Compact World Atlas)Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report (Smart About History)Sharpie Fine-Tip Permanent Marker, 24-Pack Assorted ColorsAmazonBasics Clear Sheet Protectors - Letter Size (100 Pack)United States Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)The 50 States: Facts & Fun (Dover Little Activity Books)Geography Coloring Book (3rd Edition)Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))

 

 

Is geography a subject in your homeschool?

 Do you study it on its own, or do you incorporate it into your history curriculum?  

I'd love to hear how everyone approaches geography!

 

You might also like:  

5 Ways to Supplement Foundations:  Simple Additions to Your Homeschooling Day

Goodies for CC Cycle 3