We had the chance to review Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive from Logic of English. Because our older kids (ages 5 and 7) are both learning at the same grade level and both have difficulties with fine motor skills I had them share the book to split the work. This worked well for us as each letter had multiple lines for different sizes, and each of them would use a different line. Because of their fine motor difficulties they actually tire easily when writing, so this was also a good solution for not having too much work for just one of them.
Logic of English recommends starting with cursive as it is a fluid motion that comes more naturally. It specifically breaks down how to write each letter with instructions using the baseline, midline, and top line. The book comes with a helpful reference chart for each letter. This was good for me, so I could use the chart as a reference when they were using the book.
Before the children begin writing the letters I would first go into the detailed instructions on how to write the letters. It also recommends reinforcing phonemics while teaching the letters as well. I would have to work with them individually since they were sharing the book. They were introduced two at a time and were grouped by style. For example: swing letters, curve letters, loop letters, and so on. Each letter in the group would have a similar style. Lower case letters were introduced first since a majority of the letters we write are lowercase. The chart also broke down the different terms, so if I needed to review the terms I would know the exact term.
After we went over the instructions multiple times, they would then trace the letters with their index finger on the book while saying the instructions with me. This helps reinforce the motions. I would also write a few of the letters on the whiteboard so they could see how I write it as well. I would also have them write a few on their whiteboard for some extra practice before beginning to write them in the book. I found it was easier for them to get some practice making the motions in the bigger movements first before moving to the smaller motions of writing them in the book.
We worked on two letters a day for four days per week. This was a nice schedule for us. At the end of each group of letters there would be a whole page to review by writing each letter they had learned. I tried first by having them tackle the whole page, but this was really too much for them. They got tired, and their hands were hurting.
So after that first day I realized we needed to break up the reviews in smaller chunks, so we did them four letters at a time. I allowed them to do them on their own time, so if they needed to do two and then come back to do the other two that was fine as long as they finished it by the end of the day. Not only did this help avoid their feeling overwhelmed, but they also felt really great about having this sense of responsibility. They both usually finished fairly early!
Another feature of the Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive book that was helpful for us is the pages tear out easily. At first it was easy to write with the pages in the book, but the further along we got I realized it was easier to tear the pages out so they could lay flat rather than try to work over the curve of the book. This is particularly true since our children already have fine motor challenges! Cursive really has been much easier for our children to work on due to their fine motor challenges, and they feel more encouraged and accomplished when writing cursive letters.
Logic of English Rhythm of Handwriting is recommended for ages 7+ though it does have instructions for using it with younger children, and our 5 year old did very well with it. She is going to be starting 2nd Grade when we start our new school year in a few months, though. I hesitate to say anyone is “ahead” or “behind” in a grade level because I feel each child learns at their own level. It is generally recommended, though, that students ages six and under learn one letter per day, but I followed Schedule 1 for Students ages 7 and Up, which is the two letters per day. There are two other suggested schedule possibilities for ages 7 and up. Schedule 2 is to learn four letters per day, and Schedule 3 is to learn all the letters based upon one initial stroke each day. I knew Schedule 2 or 3 would be too much for either of our children, but Schedule 1 was definitely a good fit.
Overall, I feel like Logic of English takes a really thorough approach to teaching cursive writing. I love that they offer a variety of complimentary products as well. You can view a sample of Cursive Writing. Logic of English also offers a lot of great resources. The Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive Student Book can be purchased for $18.00 for a printed copy or $15.00 for a pdf.
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