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Thread: Handwriting - New American Cursive

  1. #1
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    Oct 2005
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    Hello,

    We have used Reason for Handwriting for the past 6+ years with our oldest 2 (of 4) children. The 2nd child, now in 3rd grade, struggles with dyslexia and other processing "issues" and seems to be having more difficulty with the transition to cursive than I would have anticipated.

    Though it is hard to think about switching gears completely, I am considering moving to either Handwriting without Tears or New American Cursive for the coming year. Our 3rd child will be in K, and it would be a good time for a switch if one needs to be made.

    Can anyone give input on either of those 2 handwriting programs?

    Thanks!
    wendy

  2. #2
    I also use Reason for Handwriting. My 4th grade son (age 10), also with dyslexia, has only this year started to show improved fine motor skills and better handwriting. He prefers to write in all capitals whenever he has opportunity. He can write in very legible manuscript and cursive.

    Keep in mind that dysgraphia typically goes hand-in-hand with dyslexia. The fine motor skills required to hold the pencil correctly, use visual-spatial skills to both align words on the paper and use the lines to shape the letters, have even pencil pressure, and then follow slant, shape, and formations to make handwriting legible, not to mention the visual skills necessary for copywork and the auditory skills necessary for spelling!

    I am not a fan of Handwriting Without Tears, but have friends who think it is wonderful.

    I prefer to teach cursive strokes and then combine the strokes into letters and connect them into words. The closest program I've found that matches the way I teach beginning cursive to kids with special needs is old Zaner-Bloser materials. I will try to do a search for some and do another post. Also, Guided Handwriting Practice books have a cursive strokes component. A few other programs that are good: PAF: Handwriting for Righthanded or Lefthanded, SRA Cursive Writing Program, Handwriting Simplified.

    I've developed an incremental program for teaching cursive using the strokes, but it is not at a publishable stage. I'd be happy to share some of the ideas, but perhaps one of the above programs would be helpful.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2006
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    Kansas City, MO
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    I have a 9yo son with similar handwriting challenges, we are using Italic Handwriting (Zaner Bloser) and I can see a good progress.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2005
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    Thank you both for your responses and your time. We are just returning from a few days away, and I look forward to considering your ideas this week.

    Thanks,
    wendy

  5. #5
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    Jul 2006
    Location
    NC
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    I've used Handwriting without Tears and love it. Besides the student materials there are many helpful tips and hints given in the teaching books directed at children who are struggling.

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