Homeschool printing and cursive can be the subject of controversy at times. There are very definite views on what is right and wrong. The fact is, the way you choose to teach your child is your choice, as long as she can function in society as an adult. Take a look at some schools of thought and see where you fall.
What to Teach First
The first school of thought in the discussion of homeschool printing and cursive is which form of handwriting to teach first. Some parents feel that a child must master printing first. Once that has been accomplished, the child may move on to cursive writing.
On the other side of the argument is the idea that cursive is easier to learn, especially for children with learning disabilities. It is also the way children were taught to write before print writing, also called ball-and-stick writing, came into fashion.
According to author Samuel Blumenfeld, teaching children to write with printing first creates obstacles later when they try to learn cursive. In addition, they also find it more difficult to learn to read. This is because in cursive writing, it is impossible for children to confuse certain letters like "b" and "d" because the hand movements to create them is completely different. This transfers over to the reading process, making learning much easier.
Another interesting point is that once a child learns to write in cursive, learning to print is very simple. However, learning homeschool printing and cursive in the opposite order isn't nearly as simple for a child.
How to Teach Homeschool Printing and Cursive
Another debate in the homeschool printing and cursive area is over the best way to teach it. Whichever form of penmanship you decide to teach, how will you go about teaching it to your child? Will she have a new handwriting workbook every year? Will she learn the basics and then implement them throughout her other studies?
If you purchase a regular handwriting program, you may find that it asks you to purchase new materials for each grade level your child attains. However, you should ask yourself if this is really necessary. Could you just as easily teach your child printing or cursive by showing her how to make her letters on a sheet of paper and allowing her to copy you?
If you like the idea of having a workbook to teach your child, consider using one that will teach the basics. Then allow your child to use her other subjects for penmanship practice. This can be done with any school subject and will allow you to squeeze more teachable moments into each day.
Instead of having your child copy useless sentences from a handwriting workbook year after year, you could allow her to copy material from a valuable book such as a science book, a history book, the Bible or another book that you want her to learn from. In this way, she is learning important information while also practicing penmanship.
If you'd still like to use a curriculum to help you teach the basics, there are many available to you. One that is very popular is called Handwriting without Tears. Other helpful curriculums include A Reason for Handwriting and Peterson Handwriting.
You can also find an abundance of free homeschooling worksheets online that you can print and use. Here are a few for you to try:
- ABC Teach offers a variety of templates and themes for handwriting worksheets.
This is just a sample of what is available. You'll discover with a simple search that there are more free handwriting worksheets than you could ever dream of using.
While teaching homeschool printing and cursive may seem like a controversial subject, the choice you make is up to you. That's why you decided to homeschool after all. So you could make the best educational choices for your child.