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Monday, July 6, 2015

CursiveLogic - (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)






Many (MANY!!) years ago when I was in school, we began learning cursive writing in early elementary. I want to say it was roughly around 3rd grade and by 5th grade, all classroom assignments were no longer allowed to be printed in manuscript and instead had to be in cursive. Today, with the prevalence of computers and technology, learning to write in cursive has fallen to the wayside in favor of computer classes.

We were given the opportunity to review the CursiveLogic Workbook produced by CursiveLogic. Since my youngest daughter was already doing another cursive program, I decided to instead use this particular program with my oldest daughter who is in the 11th grade.  She already had the basic understanding of writing in cursive, however, the process was extremely slow for her and the outcome lacked a lot to be desired. I felt she would be a perfect candidate to try this new cursive formula and see if it would work well for her.

What is Cursive Logic?

"CursiveLogic is different from other handwriting methods because, instead of relying on rote memorization, CursiveLogic relies on the inherent structure of the cursive alphabet."

CursiveLogic was founded by Harvard graduate Linda Shrewsbury, a homeschool mother, teacher and college professor who developed the CursiveLogic way of teaching cursive in order to meet the needs of one of her adult special education students who wanted to learn to sign his own name.  From there, Shrewsbury along with her daughter, Prisca LeCroy, also a Harvard graduate and homeschooling mother, have put together the CursiveLogic style of learning cursive to help educators teach their own students cursive in an easy method. After a successful Kickstarter.com campaign, CursiveLogic became a reality.

What Is CursiveLogic?

The CursiveLogic method of teaching cursive works on the inherent structure of the cursive alphabet:

• Letters grouped by shape: Four basic shapes make up the entire alphabet. CursiveLogic teaches all of the similar letters in one lesson, greatly simplifying the learning process. Rather than teaching the letters alphabetically, CursiveLogic groups the lowercase alphabet into four groups based on the shape of the initial stroke of the letters and teaches all of the similarly-shaped letters in a single lesson.  Letters are also taught in a specific order that reinforces the pattern.  By teaching all of the similar letters together, CursiveLogic captures the natural synergy of the alphabet itself, allowing each letter in the series to reinforce the proper formation of all the others.


• Letter strings: Rather than teaching letters individually, CursiveLogic teaches all of the letters that share a common shape in a connected string. This allows the letters to reinforce each other and means students are writing cursively from the very beginning. CursiveLogic captures the flow of cursive by teaching all of the similarly shaped letters in a connected string rather than as individual letters. 

• Color coding: Each letter string has a theme color that helps students remember the shape.

• Catch phrases: CursiveLogic uses “verbal task analysis,” or saying an action verbally as it is performed  manually, to aid the development of muscle memory and to give students a mnemonic they can return to over and over. Students learn a simple, rhythmical chant that describes the path of the writing instrument as the letter shapes are formed.  The process of verbally describing a motor task while performing it aids the acquisition of new motor skills. 

• Real words: Because CursiveLogic teaches a group of letters in a single lesson, students can write real words at the end of the first lesson. For some students, this immediate success is a huge motivator.

How Did It Work For Us?

As mentioned above, my oldest daughter had a basic understanding of writing in cursive. However, for her it was a long process and for her to do any sort of copy work took a lengthy amount of time if she cared for it to be legible.  A simple sheet of copy work with two or three sentences would take her nearly 30 minutes to complete.  With SATs right around the corner for her, I hoped that learning a more efficient system of writing that would both speed up the process as well as increase overall legibility might help her.

Her speed and efficiency has noticeably improved.  She doesn't seem as if she's got to think about the formation of each letter.  The same sentences that I asked her to write prior to the start of CursiveLogic took about half the time the second time around.  The legibility of the writing has also improved over what it was when she was forced to write quickly - before it barely legible when she was rushed and now it's pretty similar to that of before when she would take her time.  With both the increase in speed and efficiency, I will say that the CursiveLogic method indeed made a marked difference in her penmanship.

This program would work well for both the beginner writer as well as the older student who's penmanship needs improvement.  In my own opinion,  I would recommend it for either/or.   The CursiveLogic Wookbook can be purchased from the CursiveLogic Website for $29.00 and includes all lessons and materials needed to teach/learn the CursiveLogic Method.

CursiveLogic can be found both on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


CursiveLogic Review

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