“Should I Teach My Child Cursive If She Hasn’t Mastered Printing?” (Our Story)

“I want to learn cursive! I want to learn cursive!”

Is that something your child is saying too?

And are you as overwhelmed as I was by that statement?

Last year at this time, my daughter was ready to learn cursive, but here’s what I was concerned about:

She hadn’t mastered printing yet.

Sound familiar?

HOMESCHOOL MOMS: Is it OK to start teaching cursive if a child hasn't really mastered regular printing? That was my dilemma last year with my 7-year-old daughter. I was torn… she really, REALLY wanted to learn, but was it OK to teach? Here our story (and the solution we found to this problem!) If you’re in the same situation with your child, you’ll appreciate this!

Fine motor skills: why are they so important? How I'm using Write Through the Bible Jr. to use fine motor skills to transition my daughter to cursive writing next year. Vibrant Homeschooling

Is it OK to start teaching cursive if a child hasn’t really mastered regular printing?

We need to ask that question not just from a child’s skill-set level, but also from an emotional perspective. My daughter may still need more work in her printing, but would have crushed her heart if, instead of introducing cursive, we continued to practice printing.

So many things to consider, right?

And then I got a brainstorm: D’Nealian style. That would be the perfect transition between the two since it wasn’t quite printing and it wasn’t quite cursive.

It seemed like the perfect halfway point.

Fine motor skills: why are they so important? How I'm using Write Through the Bible Jr. to use fine motor skills to transition my daughter to cursive writing next year. Vibrant Homeschooling

thickpaperbackfront_604x964--WEBI’d heard about the merits of Intoxicated on Life’s other handwriting program Write Through the Bible and learned that they were about to release Write Through the Bible, Junior (which seemed like a great fit for her).

I happily received a review copy and was thrilled to see that Princessa took to it so quickly.

In fact, all I had to tell her was that this new book
was the “big girl transition step to cursive” and she was completely sold.

What I really like about this 32-week handwriting curriculum is that it incorporates scripture into the learning lesson.

In fact, our daily handwriting lessons in Write Through the Bible, Junior have become a fun way for us to talk one-on-one through that week’s Bible verse and character trait.

Each day’s lesson also includes some sort of an activity sheet (cut-and-paste, color, circling, etc) which adds an element of fun (and an additional layer of fine motor skills practice).

Fine motor skills: why are they so important? How I'm using Write Through the Bible Jr. to use fine motor skills to transition my daughter to cursive writing next year. Vibrant Homeschooling

Mr. Charming wanted to join the writing fun. Or at least the coloring part.

We are using the ESV Version, but there are King James Versions also available, as well as traditional printing (“ball-and-stick”), D’Nealean and cursive styles in both translations.

I love that you can even download the first lesson for free.

How Can We Best Prep Our Preschoolers for Handwriting?

Luke Gilkerson of Intoxicated on Life (publisher of the Write Through the Bible curriculum) shares this about the importance of teaching kids fine motor skills.

In our home, our youngest is still not quite ready for a formal handwriting curriculum, but I’ve committed myself to start intentionally building his fine motor skills now so that we can be that much more ahead for the preschool-to-early-elementary years. I probably didn’t do enough of that with my daughter.

To start, we will be using the free Fine Motor Skills Printable Pack (also from Intoxicated on Life). This free download is a companion product to the Write Through the Bible, Jr curriculum, but it also works as a stand-alone resource.

Fine motor skills: why are they so important? How I'm using Write Through the Bible Jr. to use fine motor skills to transition my daughter to cursive writing next year. Vibrant Homeschooling

It looks like so much fun: making faces with Play-Doh mats; building letters with Wiki Stix; learning to draw by grid, etc! Mama may have to do some parallel play here.

Along with more information about the free printable, the post mentions 21 other tips for preparing preschoolers for handwriting success.

So many great ideas here! I am going to have to put together a “fine motor skills” bin (with all of these goodies) for my 3-year-old to play with.

Eventually, in about a year, we’ll start him on the Write Through the Bible, Junior: D’Nealian curriculum. I think it will be a great fit for him too!

No matter where you child’s handwriting ability is, it’s OK to customize your curriculum to help them get where they need to be!

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Heather G. @ Golden Reflections Blog - March 18, 2015 Reply

I think you may be surprised if you were to start cursive with your daughter now. Many kids who are struggling with print do a lot better with cursive. Either way, WTTB Jr. is going to be an awesome addition, I can’t wait to start it with my daughter! 🙂

    Alicia Kazsuk - March 18, 2015 Reply

    Heather, I agree! After working with WTTB Jr. for a few weeks now, I can see that we’re going to breeze through it much faster than the typical student just learning to write. My goal is to have her finish it by the end of the school year and start her on cursive in the fall. I see this is a great in-between tool to learn the strokes and get ready for cursive. I think I may start my preschooler on D’Nealean (instead of ball-and-stick) in 6 months-year so that it will be easier for him to transition to cursive at an early age. Thanks for your thoughts!

Luke Gilkerson - March 22, 2015 Reply

When we first invented our Write Through the Bible books, we started with D’Nealian manuscript and cursive because we really felt like that was best for students. We’ve since added the Ball-and-Stick because of the demand for it, but we always recommend either going right to cursive or doing the D’Nealian manuscript as a transition to cursive.

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Vibrant Homeschooling 35 Ultimate Preschool and Kindergarten Teaching Tools - Vibrant Homeschooling - May 26, 2015 Reply

[…] I wrote about this great handwriting curriculum a few months ago. I love that it’s a gentle way to slowly introduce handwriting skills (when a child is ready) and to incorporate sharing about character qualities/principles at the same time. You can purchase the book as either a digital download here or as a printed version on Amazon.  […]

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