My daughter Ana has recently began to take notice of her penmanship, and she would like it to be better than it currently is. She (and I) were recently able to review the New American Cursive: Penmanship Workbook #1 from Memoria Press. And what a treat this has been for her!
Don’t you just love meerkats? We certainly do and we both thought that Mr. Meerkat from her penmanship workbook was absolutely adorable! This cute and helpful character makes this writing process much more fun instead of the tedious task it used to be.
Each lesson was easy to understand and she was able to complete them on her own. This spiral bound book made it simple to flip the pages and move onto the next lesson with ease.
For Ana this workbook was to help her improve her cursive handwriting, as well as reinforce her technique, and she was able to complete a few lessons at a time. But, I truly think that for the beginner that is going to need to adjust their posture, workbook tilt, and how to hold the pencil, this is going to be an excellent first cursive handwriting course.
The lessons begin with technique, paper tilt, pencil grip, and then repetition. Each lesson was set to show the student how each letter is formed in cursive, such as say the letter, feel the letter, then write the letter. This constant repetition is a wonderful help that allows the student to visualize the cursive letters and how they relate the print letters they know.
Ana was able to sit and practice with her workbook for just a few minutes a day. The lessons were easy to understand and took just a small portion out of her day. She liked the fact that there were other things to do to break up the work in her workbook. After some of the lessons she was given blank space to draw her own letters and pictures. She was also encouraged to circle her best letters once her work was completed. This helped her critique her own work and helped her focus on what she could improve.
I found that she had a hard time unlearning how to hold her pencil when writing. Because each person learns to hold the pencil in the position that feels the most comfortable for them, this was something she tried to overcome when using this lesson workbook. She holds her pencil up higher than the curriculum suggests, so she tried to adapt, and she did better by the end of this workbook.
As she worked her way through this workbook she was shown over and over again how to tilt her workbook (or papers) so that her letters were formed correctly, how to correctly write her letters individually as well as to write her letters in connection with the other letters, and to grade her own work. This allowed her to feel more confidant in her abilities and allowed me to guide and instruct her with less correction. Yes, I did guided her and helped her to understand what was required but since she can read she was able to complete her lessons with minimal assistance.
At the back of the book there are more detailed pages that explain how each letter connects with either a smile, or a grin, or a jump. These were neat explanations that showed how each letter connects to the other letters in a word. There are also more pages that have copywork on them as well as blank pages that are able to be reproduced for extra written practice.
This workbook is geared for young students that are just beginning to learn cursive, but I think it was a wonderful practice workbook for Ana. Overall, this was a wonderful workbook that encourages the student and I will be looking forward to using it with Joseph when the time comes.
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In His Grace.
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