We are using Heart of Dakota Bigger Hearts for His Glory as our spine this year (3rd Grade) and one of the suggested items within that curriculum is Cheerful Cursive (which can be purchased at Mastery Publications, the makers).
My son, who is almost nine, has NEVER enjoyed writing. EVER. I have worked really hard to get him to at least not completely hate it. With that, I’ve had him do minimal actual writing up to this point – when possible I have him dictate things and I’ll write them or I’ll just have him answer to me directly. He did start cursive last year and did really well with it, but we only worked on the individual letters of the alphabet. This year we’ve tackled much more and we’ve got a lot left to finish! This curriculum item is suggested for grades 2 – 4.
Cheerful Cursive is comb-bound making it easy to use as the students write. It consists of 160 black and white pages (using front and back of each page). There are fun “stroke friends” that walk the students through their lowercase cursive learning: Ski, Loopy, Surfer Sam, Bumps and Wags. Header, Handy, Dolly, Lyle, Flags and Sarge help them through their uppercase letters. Seven Suspenders, known as “Sven,” helps them all throughout the book. Honestly, at first I thought the character thing was kind of cheesy, but as we’ve gotten into it more, I really appreciate the “stroke friends” and the meanings behind their names (kind of another way for the kids to associate the hand movement with the letters).
This course starts with lowercase letters and progresses to uppercase. I really love how short each lesson is – this works WONDERFULLY for my “I don’t like to write” son! He can get it done easily and quickly, he can learn what he needs to and then we can move on. It is working REALLY well for both of us! And his writing is improving and he’s doing a wonderful job!
I also appreciate that this curriculum asks students to recognize the letters in other cursive writing; as well as fill in the different alphabet letters – they don’t let them forget what they’ve already worked on, which is helpful and important! It is also Christian based so the “find the letters within the sentence” areas are different things related to Jesus. For instance when finding the “i” the sentence is: Jesus is a faithful friend to every girl and boy. So they circle every “i” within that sentence. This has proven to be very helpful for my son and his ability to READ cursive. So simple yet so effective!
Currently we are only about one-third the way through this course but we are loving it so far! Here is a sample of one of his recent completed pages, it will also give you an idea of what the workbook looks like. I will also show you a previous letter page he completed so you can see how those pages are done as well. As you will notice, he is working on WORDS with SEVERAL letters, and we are not even half way through. WOW!
So, if you are looking for a wonderful way to teach your students cursive, we really loved this one!
As a side note, this curriculum DOES allow copying of pages for other students within the same family. (Bonus!)
Here’s praying you have fun learning!