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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Memoria Press- New American Cursive: Pensmanship Program Review

Memoria Press Review
     Handwriting also known as cursive writing or penmanship is a dying art among children today.  A lot of public schools do not even teach it anymore due to the rigorous restrictions on the other information they must cover.  My oldest son is in 8th grade and he barely manages to sign his name, I have worked with him on learning better cursive and even let him practice with this program a bit on correct letter form.  For the younger three that are homeschooled my Husband and I decided they would still be taught cursive writing.  Memoria Press provides many great classical curriculum options for a classical education they have a few handwriting programs.... one being New American Cursive by Iris Hatfield.  I was excited to get a chance to review to review their first book in this series.  It is designed for younger children around the 1st grade stage, so it worked great for my 1st grader.  I have one in 2nd grade and one in 1st grade.  I loved that it started by going over correct posture, pencil position, and paper position.  Check out a sample of New American Cursive 1 .....

     My 1st grader loved this program.  We work on one lesson per day and while learning cursive hasn't exactly been his favorite activity now he does it without complaining.  My son can't wait to get to the last page of each lesson and be able to Fancy up the new letter that he has learned.  It is a great way to reward him for working so hard on the practice pages.  Each lesson consists of three pages; The Instruction page which helps your child learn how to Say the Letter, Feel the Letter and Write the Letter, then we have the practice page, followed by the Fun Exercises and Artwork page. We definitely plan on buying the following two books in the series.  There are two different options for book 2 (secular or non-secular). The program also offers an optional software program to help you prepare extra practice for your lessons, wall charts and specific lesson plans.  All the products range in price from $5-$30 and they are well worth it.

    I love that the book provided clear and precise instructions for making the letters in the correct form.  This made later lessons so much easier when it came time to learn about joining letters together (or making them hold hands as the book says).  The instruction page gives the students a chance to trace the letters with their fingers so that they get the feel of it.  I think that is really important when you are learning to form new letters. My absolute favorite thing about the layout of the book is ( and this is going to seem silly if you are not left-handed like me) that it is bound at the top instead of on the side.  This makes this curriculum right and left-handed friendly.  For left-handers it is so hard to write in a book that is bound on the left side, it is uncomfortable and makes your work sloppy.  Especially if you are doing something as tedious as handwriting.

Memoria Press has many other great curriculum offerings so I definitely suggest stopping by their website to check them all out.


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