Homeschool Cursive Writing with Memoria Press {a review}

Recently, we have been using a cursive program from Memoria Press-I love so many of their products and there is always something new on my wish list. This time,we have been using New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans).

We began learning cursive a few months back at my 7 year old daughter’s request. With a few developmental struggles (vision dysfunction) that make writing difficult, cursive has been a wonderful gift for my daughter when it comes to writing. Memoria Press’s New American Cursive 2 has been a large part of that. After learning the basic letters and connections, this book has stepped in for extra practice and fun learning!

New American Cursive 2- Famous Americans

There are a several things I love about this program, one being the ease of the letter formations. The letters are at a slight slant, extra strokes have been eliminated, and the letters are very similar in appearance to those in print which children read every day via books and on paper. This is makes it easier for them to remember what the letters look like, how to form them, and also accommodates their small hands and earlier fine motor skills. For example, a traditional F in cursive is more intricate to form with loops and curls than the F in New American Cursive. My daughter has learned writing them both ways, and prefers the New American Cursive script.

The Introduction and Teaching Guide in the first 8 pages of the student book are helpful & motivating! For a parent and/or teacher, teaching cursive can be … well, intimidating! But Memoria Press has taken that out of the equation. The simple, clear, and encouraging explanations found in this part of the book offer support:

  • ideas for extra practice
  • words of encouragement for our children
  • tips on what to focus on (progress vs perfection each time)
  • ideas for testing/grading work (including allowing the child to self-evaluate)
  • and alternative exercises to help wake up the whole brain, which is so important for fine motor skills like penmanship

Teaching cursive is so easy with this program; it is open and go! I also like that I can apply all their teaching helps to many aspects of our homeschool! Such a great reminder of all our freedoms in homeschooling.

memoria press- completed cursive page

Lesson Structure:

The beginning of this book gives a refresher on forming the cursive letters; it covers the letters themselves and their connections. There are 125 lessons total, with the spiral at the top of the book making it easy for left or right handed writers. The book is geared towards most first graders; I believe you could use it for a student in varying “grades,” based on their development.

Lessons give simple cues for the different types of connections using Mr. Meerkat, who is found throughout the book. I love that each lesson is only a page (most of the time), the instructions are simple and easy for students to follow independently, and students get to circle their best letter in many lessons-this created a sense of ownership for my daughter, taking the “work” out of writing. She loves making her “very best” letters and words.

In later lessons, students focus on different skills of cursive: slant, spacing, and size. There are gentle reminders instructing the student to focus on these areas, which is very helpful.

This book uses quotes from famous Americans like Ben Franklin, to build character and confidence. My daughter recognized many of the quotes from our studies in the past, and enjoyed writing them for practice. We used some of the quotes as reminders in our homeschool these past few weeks, which was fun.

Creative Writing

Between the practice lessons are wonderfully fun creative writing pages:

  • journaling prompts with illustrations
  • opportunities for dictation
  • capital letter usage
  • writing thank you notes
  • addressing envelopes
  • writing proper letters
  • and more!

In the back of the student book you will find reproducible pages in different line sizes. These are meant to be photo copied for extra practice at your convenience; different students have different fine motor skills. Some children will need smaller lines while others will need larger spaced lines for now.

What We Think

We have LOVED this book! My daughter often picks it up outside of school time to practice. It is relaxing for her, she looks forward to the lessons, and enjoys seeing her progress. Again, Memoria Press has brought a program into our home that is easy on my time, has built my child’s confidence, and allows independence. We will definitely continue using this book all through our summer this year, and move on to the next level when she is ready!

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