June 6, 2018

Gentle Cursive Practice with New American Cursive from Memoria Press {Product Review}

I am one of those educators who is adamant about learning how to write/read cursive. I started each of my boys in 1st grade and continue to have them work through cursive copybooks to keep up their skills. Over the last several weeks, my youngest son has been working through New American Cursive 2 (Scripture) from Memoria Press (one of our favorite companies), and today I am going to share my review!

About Memoria Press and New American Cursive

Memoria Press is an award winning classical curriculum company. Their full line of grade level packages are much beloved in the private school and homeschool communities. They are also well known for their electives and other miscellaneous curriculum. Some of the products in their electives and miscellaneous categories include their New American Cursive curriculum, Traditional Logic curriculum, and their Classical Composition curriculum.

The New American Cursive curriculum includes:
New American Cursive 1
New American Cursive 2 (Scripture)
New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans)
New American Cursive 3 (Famous Quotes)
New American Cursive 3 (Scripture)

The New American Cursive course is an easy-to-follow book for teaching beginning cursive. There is a presentation of letter forms in a simplified manner with little pictures and tips to help your child in remembering their letter formation. Because of this, children are able to start learning cursive at a much younger age.

Each book is self-contained and is spiral bound for an easier use for writing--especially for left handed children.

We chose to review the New American Cursive 2 (Scripture) with my 7 year old who has cursive experience. The New American Cursive 2 (Scripture) contains:

●an Eight-page Teaching Guide
●125 instruction exercises for excellent penmanship development
●Practice pages include Bible verses and character-building quotes
●Includes exercises to develop creative writing skills
●Blank reproducible practice pages

This book is ideal for a child who has some background with cursive and is ready to move forward with their practice and skills.

Our Thoughts on this Product

My youngest loves writing neatly. He also has always enjoyed writing cursive from the get go--but there are times he forgets how certain letters are formed. I thought this book would be an easy practice and review for us, especially over the summer.

Initial alphabet practice
The book begins with a basic review of your uppercase and lowercase letters in cursive. The letter samples are written on the page so your child can see them in case they forget about the formation. The next page begins the actual lessons. Each lesson consists of just one page, making the work bite-sized. Some lessons will take longer than others depending on what is covered. Lesson 1 consists of having the child finish sentences like "My name is..." or "I would like to visit..." and they are encouraged to write their answers using their best handwriting. Lesson 2 is a review of how to hold the pencil correctly, Lesson 3 about how to position your paper when writing cursive, with notes for the lefties too.

Working on Reading the Lesson 4 Paragraph
I really liked Lesson 4--a "letter" from the author of the book written completely in cursive. The student is encouraged to read it and then circle any letters or words they couldn't read. I was happy that my son read most of it! He liked having the freedom to circle what he didn't know. We then went back and read the words he had missed. The next several lessons are reviews about how letters are formed--grouping similar letters together. Then a discussion about how to connect letters in a couple different ways. Lesson 13 is the beginning of the lessons focusing on the letters of the alphabet. Each letter sessing included the capital and lowercase practice for each letter--usually paired with side by side letters--and then a few short words to practice connecting strokes. The very next lesson is always a series of words that start with the letters being practiced. Scattered throughout are various formation reminders, random sentence practices, or quotations for copywork.

As of right now we are on lesson 21. While we didn't do it every day, it would be very very easy to do so since the lessons are a mere one page. We will continue to work through one page a day for the duration of our summer school time.

Here are some examples of what were included in the lessons we did, and a few pages for future lessons:
Practicing letter connections

an evaluation page for copywork

A fun page to practice writing in cursive. Can you tell we were working on adjectives in grammar?

Future Lesson on Capital Letters

Future Lesson for quotation w/o guidelines

Future Lesson reminding of paper slant
We like this program very much. It is so simple and perfect for morning time. This has been a great review and has reviewed a few letters that needed work. He loves the direction to "circle your best letter or word on each line". He picks some and then he has me pick my favorites. The main con--a few of the letters are formed differently in this book than the way we learned, but I just have my son write the way he likes the most. It usually was in the capital letters that we found differences. Again--this isn't anything major unless you have a child who would freak out about the minor differences.

For me, the greatest thing that would hold someone back from purchasing this book would be the price. It is currently $22.95 which seems a bit steep for a cursive practice book--but it really is an excellent book and would be worth the money for the time it takes to help your child have high quality cursive writing. I also love having the binding at the top instead of a stapled cover like many books are.

Want to Know More About Memoria Press Products?

For the last few weeks, we have been reviewing the New American Cursive 2 (Scripture) book from Memoria Press. I encourage you to visit other members of the crew to read their reviews of other books in the New American Cursive line as well as books from the Traditional Logic and Classical Composition curriculum!
New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}

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Once again, Memoria Press has come up with an excellent product! We've had a lot of success with their products, and I always enjoy using them when we are given them for reviews. Make sure you check out some other products from Memoria Press that I have done in the past!

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