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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive Schoolhouse Review #hsreview

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With the use of computers for almost everything, good handwriting seems to have gone by the wayside. I do have to admit that we don't write in cursive that much, but I want my girls to have nice penmanship. They all three have pen pals and I make them hand write their letters, so I want their writing to be legible and take pride in their letters. Alaina has been learning cursive using The Rhythm of Handwriting from Logic of English.

The Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive is 174 page book available for $15.00 for either the softcover workbook or the PDF file. It teaches fluid handwriting and can be used with children of all ages. The letters are first taught on a large scale using the pointer finger before using a pencil. Short instructions describe the motions to write each letter, and they are divided into groups by the initial stroke to simplify the learning process. Each page also contains all the sounds each letter makes in case you are starting your student with cursive and they don't know all of the letter sounds.

We received the workbook along with an 8 1/2 X 11 foldout reference chart. The first 14 pages of the workbook contains instructions on how to teach handwriting, tips for better handwriting, suggested schedules, and ideas for handwriting practice. Lowercase letters are taught first and writing words start after learning 14 letters. The uppercase letters start about halfway through the book & are used with words after learning 13 letters. Each lesson contains large letters and words, so the student can trace with their finger to help learn the flow of each letter.

The glossy trifold reference chart is basically two 8 1/2 X 11 sized pages that fold inward and contains all the lowercase and uppercase letters with a brief description of how they should be made. The third fold is 4 1/4 X 11 and this flap contains an example of every stroke with their brief description. The lowercase & uppercase letters appear in the order they are taught in the cursive book.

Alaina has been using the Rhythm of Handwriting and she is 8 years old. It is very easy to use and really only takes a few minutes every day. I really like that each letter contains 4 different size lines, so she could decide which size is right for her. The first couple of days she tried them all, but she decided she liked the 2 sizes in the middle the best. The day she learned a new letter she would use the larger of the two and then she would use the smaller line the next day for more practice. The first day she used a pencil and then each day she would go back and write a couple more letters using a different color each day. I liked her idea, because I would immediately know if her writing had improved from the previous days.

Denise Eide is the author of Rhythm of Handwriting and she includes 6 reasons why learning cursive before manuscript is a good idea. This never occurred to me before, but it makes sense. I have one daughter that is left handed and she always (no matter how many times I reminded her) starts her manuscript letters from the right side and move to the left. Once she learned cursive, it was easier for her to write correctly.
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The Rhythm of Handwriting is part of the Logic of English program. It teaches how to read, spell and write using a systematic multi-sensory approach. They use 74 phonograms and 30 spelling rules to explain 98% of English words without learning sight words. They also include meanings of root words, suffixes and prefixes to unlock definitions of thousands of words.
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