July 7, 2015

CursiveLogic ~ New [Logical] Approach to Cursive {Curriculum Review}

One of things that has surprised me about Little Britches, is that he loves to write in cursive. He's been studying it since the beginning of third grade last year. I have noticed though that it seems he still struggles with a few letter formations and of course...keeping it neat. When I learned about CursiveLogic Workbook from new company CursiveLogic, I was intrigued by their claim of a NEW way to learn cursive and I wondered if it might help Little Britches fix the things he was still having issues with--and I was interested in exploring it as an option for Baby Britches in the future.

Product Summary

CursiveLogic got its start when the founder, Linda Shrewsbury, felt compelled to help a 23-year-old student with learning disabilities learn cursive in a simple manner to be able to sign his name without the days and months of practice. In the course of figuring out what she could do, she discovered some things about the cursive alphabet's form and shape that lit a lightbulb and CursiveLogic was born and proven successful as her student was able to sign his name after just one session of using it. It is geared towards children who already are proficient print writers (Grade 2+).

The only thing you need is the CursiveLogic Workbook ($29.00), but CursiveLogic has a video seminar that goes with the class available as well.

We were given the CursiveLogic Workbook to go through with Little Britches (Age 9).

How Did We Use This Product?

We came at this book NOT as cursive beginners, so my method was a bit different than someone who was introducing it for the first time. We just worked through it together and he really just did most of it independently with me double checking all of his work. I really wanted to see how he would do with the method of breaking down the strokes and if they would improve his neatness and letter control.

We began at the beginning...
Begin by learning the Orange Oval letters
The way this program teaches cursive is to rely on the inherent structure of the cursive alphabet and teach focused on five aspects:

#1 The letters are grouped by shape
CursiveLogic teaches similar letters all in one lesson based on the similar cursive shape they have. The primary focus will be on lowercase, but there is some time at the end of the book for the upper case, where they are again grouped together.

#2 They teach letter strings
Instead of focusing on the letters of each group individually, the program puts them together in a string with the student immediately learning how to write in cursive through practicing the strings of letters. They are learning the shape, AND how to string them all together with a flowing motion.

#3 They use color coding
Each of the letter strings being learned has been given a color: orange ovals, lime loops, silver swings, and mauve mounds. By connecting the strokes being learned with a color, the student now has something they can verbally say as they are doing the action. This step further teaches the brain the idea of cursive and helps the child have a mnemonic when they are practicing.

#4 They use catch phrases
As I said in the last one, there are verbal catch phrases taught in this program to help the child remember strokes they are learning.

#5 They use real words
Right from the get go, the student will be learning how to put their new strokes into real words. This is because of the programs focus on teaching groups of letters at one time.

practicing the "dips: which allow certain letters to connect
Student can practice real words after learning their first string of letters
Little Britches found this method very easy and never had any problems doing what I assigned him. We typically did 3 pages a day a few times over the week. He liked having all the tracing to do, and I really tried to direct his attention to cleaning up his letter shapes. This is where the method of CursiveLogic really came in handy with the focused attention on the letter strings. I was quickly able to figure out what string we needed to spend the most practice on (the lime loop!).

Once your child works through the book, they are able to practice signing their name...
Little Britches is quite proud of being able to sign his name and does it on all his papers
The conclusion of the book takes a look at the capital cursive letters and the forming of each capital letter. The students practice by tracing and writing famous historical sayings.

There are dry erase pages at the end too, where your child can practice their letter formation and strings over and over again.

There is only one book right now, but with the dry erase pages, and the ability to receive additional practice sheets if you are subscribed to the newsletter, I think there is plenty to practice!

What Are My Thoughts on This Product?

Little Britches:
"It was way easy, but that's because I already know how to write cursive. But I don't mind easy. I like easy a lot."

Me:
I think that this workbook is definitely a gentle introduction to cursive because the focus is not on the letters, but rather the strokes. I love the way the letters are grouped by the similar strokes and how each stroke is learned separately. I love the idea of color coding the strokes to help remember the mnemonic pattern.

I especially love that the teacher guide and student book are together, AND that it's spiral bound. I love spiral bound books for school.

I think the extra dry erase pages are very helpful for further practice and can be used over and over again. I also love the extra copywork pages at the end of the book for cursive practice. I was happy to also see that if you subscribe to their newsletter they will even regularly send out practice sheets.

I don't really have anything I don't like about it, because it was just so easy to use and worked very well for us.

Will I continue to use the workbook until it's completed?
Yes. I think that Little Britches has "fine tuned" his cursive with this book and it has helped him with a couple cursive strokes he was having issues with, even though we have been doing cursive for two years now. I think that finishing the book will help reinforce what we have learned so we can then continue on in our penmanship books.

Would I Recommend This Product?

Yes. I think it's a gentle approach to cursive and it's very logical (as the name implies). I think it would be especially good for the much younger beginners--maybe 1st grade level. The verbal guidance would be ideal for that age group.

Want to Know More?

I'm sure that you are ready to learn MORE about CursiveLogic and their CursiveLogic Workbook ($29.00) since I only have given you a taste! To see what the rest of the crew members did with this product, make sure you click the graphic below!
CursiveLogic Review
Want to find CursiveLogic in Social Media? Here is the list of outlets where you can follow them:

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This ended up being a great program for working on making Little Britches' cursive writing more neat AND it helped him really fix a few of the random letters he was struggling with before. I like having this as another option for the day when Baby Britches begins to learn cursive!
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