(This product an introduction to cursive for children as young as 1st grade and this book is good for the secular & Christian homeschooler.)
Memoria Press has a series of books for teaching children cursive from a young age. I have always believed in the merits of teaching cursive early on because my second child had headaches every time he had to write until I taught him cursive, then the headaches suddenly disappeared. I became a strong believer. One of the hardest parts of teaching cursive early is the lack of work available that is purposely directed to young children. You cannot just hand a 1st grader something designed for a 5th grader and expect it to work. I used New American Cursive 1 with my 2nd grader to finish teaching him all the cursive letters. He did already know most of the simple letters.
New American Cursive 1 is very easy on the teacher. The book starts by teaching pencil grip, paper placement, and breaking cursive down into a few simple shapes. Each letter has an instruction page where the letter is introduced.
Then another page dedicated to practicing the letter. One thing that makes this cursive book a step above many others I have seen is that it alternates the child between tracing the letter and forming the letter without tracing. This really helps reinforce proper formation and also keeps it easy so they do not get overwhelmed.
After the letter page there is and a page called Exercises & Artwork, this is where the program provides a built-in review of the letters learned so far. This brings me to another point, many cursive programs don’t teach capitals along with lower-case, and/or don’t spend enough time on capitals. One of the most frequent questions from 4th & 5th graders in my house is “How do you make a capital ___ in cursive?” I believe this program is going to solve that problem for me. (Mine was so excited to keep practicing letters he did not want to stop to draw a picture, that is what the space at the bottom of the page is meant for.)
There is also a Review and Practice page, this is not between every letter, but after three new letters have been learned.
All in all I am pretty excited about this product and it is part of a series so I will be looking to get each of my younger kids an appropriate book for next school year. The rule in my house is that you have to keep practicing cursive until it is legible and you are writing your assignments in cursive. If you have a child in 5th or up, or want to learn cursive yourself, they even have a book called Teach Yourself Cursive. Also, there is a companion software program available which you can use to create your own worksheets, Memoria Press has thought of everything.
The Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed several other products from Memoria Press covering different subjects and ages, head on over and see what other goodies they offer.