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Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive

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!

Here’s Lori…

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.

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive Writing - All About Spelling

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.

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive Writing - All About Spelling

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.

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive Writing - All About Spelling

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.

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Spelling and Cursive Writing - All About Spelling

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.

Here’s What I Loved about Lori’s Story

Lori shared some great tips for combining spelling and cursive writing! Here’s what especially stood out to me:

  • She gives “real life meaning” to cursive practice: her children see the practical application of being able to read other people’s handwriting.
  • She dovetails spelling and cursive practice.
  • They use a timer, and cursive practice takes less than five minutes.

Products Lori has used with her children:

Lori has also found these resources to be helpful:

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.

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Leave a Comment

Becca

says:

Awesome. Great idea

Teresa

says:

I’m going to try the timer too.

Miranda

says:

What a great idea. We use the clock for motivation as well.

Courtney Wise

says:

Thank you!

Regina

says:

Would be a blessing to win!

Deanna

says:

Thank you so much for such a great idea. I’m going to implement that today in our spelling. I am in our second year homeschoolin and I really appreciate all the great tips I read on this site. I started AAS and AAR this year and I am ama zed with the progress with my 2 children. Thank you Marie!!

Deanna

says:

….homeschooling
I hate when I don’t proofread before I submit

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Deanna. I hope this tip works as well for you as it has so far for me. I just started using these cursive tips myself yesterday and today, and I can see that it will make a lot of difference in them becoming comfortable in reading and writing cursive. I’m happy that we can provide helpful tips and ideas to you, but I’m happy to enjoy such ideas myself too!

Lee

says:

What a great idea!!!

Kara Mattson

says:

Thanks so much for this very inspiring idea!

Kathrine K.

says:

That’s a great idea! I’ve never thought of that.

christine

says:

Love it!

Jessica Norris

says:

I am definitely trying this next year when we start cursive! What a great idea.

Christina Wells

says:

We have not got to cursive yet, as my oldest is only six, but we do practice printing with the spelling words.

Renee

says:

Great info. Thanks!

Maria Nelson

says:

This is great! My daughter’s using AAS and I will ask that she do her writing in cursive.

Stacie F

says:

Love this article.

Chris O

says:

I love this idea. We always have done spelling in cursive, enabling me to work on letter formation and spelling at the same time.

Kelly

says:

Using a timer is a great idea. My kids often ask when spelling will be over.

I love the idea of using a timer to know when the set time is done. Great idea.

Mahmoud Sultan

says:

I am really grateful for the bright idea that you suggest.

Alicia Langstraat

says:

What do y’all use to teach the cursive writing in the first place? I love this for practice, but I’d like an example of how to teach the letter formation to begin with.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Alicia,
There are a lot of options out there for teaching handwriting. I prefer Handwriting Without Tears. It was developed by an occupational therapist, and takes a child’s development motor skills into consideration. I particularly love that it stresses just short amounts of practice each day.

Michelle

says:

By introducing this method, she has also tackled sentence construction. :) THANKS for the tips. God lead me to buy two timers last week and I will began today!

Victoria

says:

I plan to incorporate cursive next year when my son is 8 – I like this method for practice!

Anne

says:

I’m so looking forward to implementing this! Thanks for the inspiration 😊

Lisa

says:

For my older children who need on-going cursive practice, I take a one subject notebook and once a week I copy into it a quote from a fairly famous writer, person from history, religious figure, etc. I write it in my own handwriting, using cursive, to give the student practice reading cursive. The student is then required to copy the quote in cursive. As the year goes on and they become more proficient, I then ask them a question about the given quote, and they have to give me their own answer in cursive. Sometimes we even do a back-and-forth discussion. This way, the cursive practice is interesting and gives my older students (grade 6 and up) ongoing cursive writing practice. My college-age children have appreciated being able to quickly take notes during classes using cursive. It is much faster than printing! I know that some students like to use laptops to take notes in class, but this method has worked well for teaching my children practical, cursive writing.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lisa,
Great ideas here on how to move to more difficult, ongoing cursive practice.

Research strongly suggests, by the way, that notes taken by hand are much more effective on long term learning than notes taken on a computer. Cursive is much quicker than printing, it is arguably a very important skill, even in today’s modern age, to have.

Kathy K.

says:

Excellent and efficient ideas — I’ll use these with my easily frustrated son! Thanks so much!

Deanna

says:

This is a wonderful way to work cursive into our routine. Thank you!

I like that she has them read her cursive writing, too. What an excellent tool she is providing them with.

Stacey J

says:

What a great idea! My youngest is currently learning cursive and could use more practice with it and her spelling.

tracy

says:

I love it when we can reach two goals at the same time. It helps the kids accomplish so much more with less effort and time. Thanks for the ideas.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
I know, right?! This is the first I’ve seen this too (I don’t always know what each week’s blog post is going to be ahead of time), and I am going to jump on some of these ideas. The one about writing sentences for my kids to read is especially appealing to me.

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