Can you teach spelling and cursive at the very same time?
Lori* is a real mom with two real kids who use All About Spelling. Cursive writing was a skill that Lori’s kids desperately needed to improve, but she was struggling to fit another subject into their school day.
So Lori did what any enterprising mom would do: she figured out a way for spelling lessons to serve double duty.
When she decided to “piggyback” cursive into their AAS lessons, Lori discovered a double benefit. Not only did her children’s cursive writing improve, but they also got in some extra spelling practice! And she was able to check two subjects off her to-do list—with just five extra minutes of work each day. Now that’s good planning!
Would you like to find out how your children can practice cursive in just five extra minutes each day? Read on!
I’m excited to share how I piggyback cursive onto our regular All About Spelling lessons. I am working with two older students: a sixth grader and a dyslexic high school student who really struggled with cursive, especially reading it.
We follow Marie’s advice and spend 20 minutes per day on spelling. I set the timer for 20 minutes, and when the timer goes off, it’s time for cursive practice.
Here is how our cursive practice has progressed over the last year.
At first, I would just ask them to write one sentence using the spelling words they had written in their notebooks. Then they had to copy the sentence in cursive. When that became easier for them, I allowed them to skip the first part and write the sentence directly in cursive.
Here’s the part that was the key. I did the same. Using their words, I wrote a cursive sentence too. Then I had them read my sentence two or three times for fluency. As the year progressed, the difficulty progressed. At first I wrote my sentences on the white board in large, careful letters.
Gradually, I transitioned to smaller letters. Then I moved to lined paper, writing on every other line with very carefully formed cursive. Now they are reading sentences on every line, written more normally—meaning less carefully.
We are now writing two sentences at a time. At first I allowed them to write any two sentences. Now the sentences have to be related—a tiny story—but always using the spelling words they have studied that day.
They write their sentences in the notebook, so the words are right there and accessible to them. They can always add extra words to make a good, interesting sentence. I correct the extra words too, especially if they follow a spelling rule that the kids should know.
Our cursive practice is always short and sweet, never more than five minutes. We often make silly sentences or stories. This has been a great way for us to squeeze in cursive practice, which had often been shorted before. Plus, this method has provided a practical and painless way to reinforce what my children are learning in spelling.
In the past, my son always said my handwriting just looked like a bunch of squiggles to him, but now he is reading my writing fairly easily. Now that’s progress!
I think the next step may be to ask Dad to write some sentences so they can practice reading other people’s cursive, too.
Lori shared some great tips for combining spelling and cursive writing! Here’s what especially stood out to me:
Did you enjoy Lori’s story? Read more stories in our Real Moms, Real Kids series.
Do you teach cursive writing? If so, what method do you use?
*To preserve the privacy of the child featured in this story, we did not use the family’s real names.