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Easy Lessons in Homeschool Cursive

22 Dec

 

A little background…..

imageI’ve tried teaching my kids cursive a couple of times in the past, b ut it always seemed to fizzle really quickly.  This time, masha Allah, we’ve actually gotten through the whole alphabet (with my third grader)—yeah!— and she yesterday she started trying to do her schoolwork in cursive, masha Allah. 

I came up with a little different “program” this time and it really seemed to work, so I thought I would share it.  Also, thanks to my bud, Umm Abdul Basir, for her encouragement, because I think that is really what got me jump started this time and to keep up with it in those initial stages when its the easiest to fall off before you get on a roll.

So any way, here’s what we did.  In all, we’ve spent less than two weeks on this and I think its because when I started, we only had the first list and I didn’t really have a direction in mind. After making up the second list, I decided to look more closely at the letters we had done and come up with lists to “whack” out all the other letters without dragging it on, so in other words,  more systematic approach. Then too, I believe it all really depends on not just the program/method you use, but also the interest of the student. My third grader was gung ho, my fifth and sixth graders, though interested, were not as enthusiastic.  But now that I have seen success with one, alhamdulillah, I’ll try the final “program” with more direction on the older ones and see where that takes us, insha Allah.

Anyway, the basic idea is that I thought doing themed word lists would be more fun to practice with then words put together because they had similar shapes (my prior method).

 

Our “program” outlined

  • This outline covers all lowercase and uppercase letters

Theme

Word

New Letters

Capital letters

Colors

red

r, e, d

R

 

blue

b, l, u

B

 

green

g, n

G

 

black

a, c, k

 
 

yellow

y, o, w

Y

 

white

h, i, t

W

School Supplies

     
 

pencil

p

P

 

scissors

s

S

 

eraser

 

E

 

ruler

   
 

desk

 

D

 

notebook

 

N

 

book

   
 

paper

   
 

school

   
       

Animals

fish

f

F

 

quail

q

Q

 

jaguar

j

J

 

monkey

m

M

 

zebra

z

Z

 

fox

x

 
       

Foods

apple

 

A

 

cookie

 

C

 

ice cream

 

I

 

hamburger

 

H

 

veal

v

V

 

egg

 

E

       

Fruits/Veggies

kiwi

 

K

 

lemon

 

L

 

olive

 

O

 

tomato

 

T

 

ugli fruit

 

U

 

xigua

 

X

 

How we worked it…….

Day 1: Introduce 1st word on the first list

  1. Show student how to form the letter ‘r.’ Show several times while student watches.
  2. Have student try on his own several times. Check for height and that letter does not go below guideline. It’s important now and throughout to watch how the letters are formed because incorrect formation makes writing more tedious as student may be producing more strokes than necessary. The main point to learning cursive, for us,  is that it is a faster way to write.
  3. Show student the second letter, “e” in same fashion as in steps 1-2
  4. Now have student practice the combination of r and e:

First, you write the following while student watches:

Line 1: r

Line 2: re

Then student do the drill

r

re

For each letter/combo, offer tips/feedback, but also praise efforts as well

If student has little or no problem with this, move on to next letter. If there are severe problems, go back and either word on individual letters or the “re” combo.

One thing my kids seem to love, whether we are doing print or cursive is to look back at what they have done and choose the one they think they wrote the best and circle it.

For me, I didn’t expect perfection. My feeling is that with consistent, daily practice, they will eventually work out the kinks, insha Allah. So, if I thought it was a reasonable product, I moved on. If not, we stop and go back and practice, briefly.

  1. Next, introduce the letter “d” s in 1-2, then add d to the work in number 4.

Have student write out the following drill a few times, or as necessary

r

re

red

r

re

red

I prefer this method, though it may take up more paper, than having the kids sit and repeatedly write line after line of one letter. 

It also helps reinforce previous letters in the word as you are repeating them.

  1. Now, introduce capital R in same manner as above (steps 1-2)
  2. Drills:

R

Re

Red

Red Red Red Red

  1. If student shows interest, continue on with next word in the same manner. If not, do the second word in the next session.

If student asks what does a certain letter look like, draw the letter for student and then get back on with lesson. If student want to practice writing the letter, then let him/her, insha Allah, so as to keep his interest.  My first inclination was to say, oh we’ll get to that, insha Allah, but I’m learning to be more tuned in to their interests because it makes learning more engaging for them, I think.

Subsequent Sessions

After the first session

1. Begin each session with review of letters and words. Use the table to quickly see which letters and words have been introduced. Dictate letters and words to student to write. This should be quick, so as you add on more letters and words, you probably shouldn’t attempt to do all words, all letters every session, but rather cycle through them across sessions.

2. Work on new word(s) as outlined in Day 1

3. Once one themed list has been completed (or even when several words area finished), give a fun activity related to the theme such as this:

List items in environment or just off of the head, have student write the color of it in cursive (see Cursive Themed Page: Colors 1), or you can give student clues and they have to write the word in cursive to match (e.g. you are on the animals list; this animal has gills and swims in the water—-fish).

After the Lessons

After these initial lessons (with the themed lists) have been completed, all letters will have been introduced. Keep up the daily cursive practice with fun activities such as these:

· Give student a daily themed word list to copy

· Give student clues and student must answer in cursive; again, using themed word lists can make it more fun.

· Student can look on books or boxes and copy the text in cursive

· Give student sentences to copy in cursive

· Give student a short paragraph to copy in cursive

· Give student a topic and see how many related words student can come up with and write in cursive (this can be timed for fun)

· Give student mini writing assignments such as writing a letter to a family member in cursive; let student help you write the grocery list in cursive

· Student may want to start writing school work in cursive.

 

 

So that’s it. It may not work for everyone, but as we have had some success, I wanted to share.  The beauty of it, masha Allah, that I marvel about, is that we didn’t need any fancy program or workbooks or worksheets. I had initially started making worksheets up, and printed out the first one, but didn’t let them write on them so all who were learning could use them, lol—trying to be thrifty with the printing. So basically, what we have been doing is that I model the letters or combos in their notebook, and then they just write in their notebooks.  We’re not even using primer paper.  I just tell them to make sure they go up to the top blue line or down to the bottom blue line when necessary, and to just kind of eyeball the halfway mark for letters or parts that only go about half up.

But if you want worksheets…….

Insha Allah, one project that I am working on with Umm Abdul Basir is to make worksheets up for these as well as additional themes, one has already been made up for the first list, Colors 1. I still would like to have my kids do these worksheets from time to time as I think they sometimes get a kick out of them, but now I know, that having premade sheets and fancy lessons, aren’t necessarily necessary.

 

If you try this……

If you try our little program, let us know how you did and what variations you come up with…..

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 22, 2009 in Handwriting

 

Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Easy Lessons in Homeschool Cursive

  1. Zainub

    February 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    salaams
    MashaAllah a very interesting and excellent website with loads of info
    keep it up
    Interested in more printables for arabic writing exercises pls

     
    • talibiddeenjr

      February 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      wa alaykum us salaam,

      Ma sha’ Allah. Glad to hear it. Will try to get more Arabic writing exercises, in sha’ Allah completed.

       
 
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