Who knew there would be so much to write about pertaining to a Penmanship book? I sure didn't know anything like New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans) existed! The Deputie household was beyond blessed with the opportunity to review New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans) by Memoria Press! Ahavah, my 7-year-old, has not only improved her handwriting skills, but has come to understand the application of neat handwriting in all areas of her life.
What New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans) Entails:
This cursive writing book begins with an in depth teaching guide previewing how to instruct and guide a child through the workbook as well as reviewing the three "p's" of cursive writing: posture, pencil, position. Children begin by doing some review sheets including copying the whole alphabet in cursive, some facts about themselves, reading a paragraph in cursive writing, and the several different shapes of letters (smiles, grins, and jumps).
The lessons then transition to systematically working on each letter through the alphabet thoughoughly, but not exhaustively. One page covers two letters followed by a page of writing words that include the letters practiced. Sprinkled throughout these pages are some "Fun Pages" where a child is asked a question or given a topic to write about as well as a space to draw a picture. This nicely breaks up the mundane routine and reminds the student that writing is fun and practical.
After the alphabet is overviewed, other lessons that most cursive writing books I have used don't cover are focused on. These lessons include exercises that zero in on the size of letters, the spacing of words, the connects between letters, and slant. These concepts are practiced with fun exercises such as copying famous quotes and what they mean to the writer, days of the week, free writing using certain words provided, journaling pages, and some other writing games. There is even a section where different styles of cursive writing is demonstrated inducing excitement and uniqueness in the writer's penmanship!
The quotations that the child is encouraged to copy, meditate on, journal about and memorize are pieces from the Declaration of Independence, quotes from the founding Father, and other pieces of wisdom such as "Leave everything a little better than you found it". I am absolutely IN LOVE with the idea of this classical education, building a firm foundation in character, ethics, and ideas of liberty!
There are some rather unique exercises in this curriculum! The student is challenged to write with their "other hand" as well as with their eyes closed. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the importance of practicing with the dominant hand as well as portray the clear growth that the writer has experienced when evaluating how well they really can write in cursive!
In the back of the book are some blank journaling pages and some sheets of lined paper for extra writing practice. The journaling pages are intended to be used as special assignments when a student is finished with the exercises of the day and have extra time. They can write the date and a journal entry. This type of "free writing" encourages the child to enjoy writing without correcting and, in turn, their passion for writing and their communication skills improve!
What We Thought:
I love this penmanship book! It makes writing fun, applicable, creative, structured, and includes instruction in so many areas that I never even took to deep thought when I write. I love the New American theme and the quotes and ideas and values that my children have meditated on while using this book. After using this cursive writing curriculum, my husband and I plan on switching from our current penmanship staple in our home to the Memoria Press Penmanship books! They are a bit pricey ($22-$23), but the line up so well with our passions in instructing our children in a Bible-based worldview and importance of reading, writing, and communicating.
I also really like that these aren't just copy work books. They are lessons books that challenge the student to grow and improve and refine the skill of writing. This is needed more then ever in our ever technology driven society: children raised to read and write and communicate properly.