Many parents are concerned that teaching cursive first will confuse children while learning how to read. Our experience is that students do beautifully learning to read bookface and write cursive simultaneously.
Concepts to Consider when Choosing Handwriting Style
- the brain's letterbox, used for letter recognition, distinguishes between various fonts
- readers encounter many different kinds of fonts that must be recognized when reading
- handwritten text is different than book print (consider a and g)
- once cursive connector strokes are explained, the differences between handwriting styles are not significant
- the differences between bookface and cursive letters are discussed each time an A-Z phonogram is introduced in Foundations
It takes practice for the recognition of the written and printed phonograms to become automatic. This is why we included so many games and activities in which students need to recognize or match both. The most important point to remember is to pick one handwriting style--cursive or manuscript-- and teach it with explicit, systematic, and direct instruction until strong muscle memory is created!