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A Beka Book has adopted a more traditional approach to writing. Before the 1940's, schools across the nation took this approach and, as a result, most American school children developed beautiful handwriting. Ball-and-stick manuscript came about as part of progressive education reforms in the 1940's. The change was made primarily to help children recognize the letters in the "Dick and Jane" look-say readers.

By starting with cursive writing rather than manuscript printing, we help the child develop good writing habits from the very beginning. This means that habits acquired from manuscript printing do not need to be unlearned.

Do not teach anything that has to be unlearned, and do not let a child develop a bad habit. Instruct the child to do it right from the beginning. -Samuel Blumenfeld

We also strengthen the child's reading skills. By joining letters, cursive writing reinforces the blending of sounds within words.

This knowledge acquired by the hand is transferred to the reading process. Thus, learning to write helps learning to read print. -Samuel Blumenfeld

Kindergarten children learn cursive writing in a matter of months. When we first introduced cursive writing to kindergartners at Pensacola Christian Academy, many teachers and parents were concerned that the children were too young to learn cursive. The first few weeks proved challenging, but as the children learned to form their letters and connect them, their handwriting began to improve. After four months of instruction and practice, they were writing neat, legible cursive script. Both parents and teachers were pleased.

Why not focus your students' energy and enthusiasm on the writing that they will use throughout life and strengthen their reading skills while teaching them good writing habits? You can do this if you teach cursive writing from the beginning.

The new handwriting program beginning in kindergarten . . . struck a resounding chord of joy in my heart; my master's thesis is being developed around the subject of penmanship-there is a standard. How exciting! Thank you! -Principal, Arizona

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Last modified: January 19, 2004