Just as literacy suffered in the last century when the school systems abandoned phonics instruction, many people contend that handwriting suffered by the same educational system's insistence on beginning with manuscript handwriting. "Cursive first" is their rallying cry! Wanda Sanseri became convinced of this approach and has encouraged it as part of her Spell to Write and Read program. The Cursive First program was developed by Elizabeth FitzGerald to be used either with the SWR program or as a stand alone program of handwriting instruction.
The Cursive First program is comprised of a Teacher's Manual, Practice Sheets, and the Cursive Phonogram Card Set. The Teacher's Manual is designed to convince you of the merits of starting with cursive. But it also includes information for preparing your student, specific "how-to" directions for using the Practice Sheets/Card Set and a "troubleshooting guide" - how to detect visual and perceptual problems. The reproducible (for families/classroom) Practice Sheets get quickly down to the business of practice - no cutesy graphics. Lowercase letters are taught separately from uppercase and connections are taught from the very beginning in the natural context of multi-letter phonograms. Although solid and dotted line models are provided, the student is quickly weaned from tracing to more active writing utilizing narrow ruled, dotted lines for practice. The Cursive Phonogram Card Set (yellow cardstock, each page to be cut into fourths) includes instructional dialogue for writing the phonograms on one side and a sample of cursive writing on the other. Both numerals and the first 26 phonograms are included. Laminating these would preserve their use through multiple children.
In addition to the program described above, we also sell a package that includes both the program and a set of SWR's 70 Basic Phonogram Cards. These are needed if you are using Cursive First as a stand alone program (without the SWR course) as the program is designed to both introduce the phonograms and how to write them in cursive. An SWR mobile app is also available to demonstrate the sounds of all 70 phonograms from the card set. - Janice