Monday, July 6, 2015

Cursive Logic - A TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Review Crew
In May I learned that the Schoolhouse Review Crew had a new vendor, CursiveLogic

CursiveLogic wanted select members of the Review Crew to review their product, the CursiveLogic Workbook.

My son is now 10th grade, and my first reaction was that this must be a product for younger students. However, as I checked out the program I learned this was not the case. In face, CursiveLogic was actually created with the intention of teaching an older student how to write cursive in a very short time. Initially it was designed to assist a special needs student who wished to learn how to sign his name.

My 10th grade son went through at least two programs to learn cursive handwriting, but he still was not writing in cursive. This really concerned me because I consider cursive writing to be very valuable to students when they are taking college entrance exams and they get to the written portion of the test. It is much faster writing in cursive once you are proficient at it. Doing the written portion of an SAT in cursive enables a student to get more written before their time is up.

I have been very concerned about the recent trend in public schools to completely abandon cursive as unnecessary. Where I live, cursive has been completely abandoned. Students are taught to sign their name, and nothing else. What this means, among other things, is that students will now be unable to read original documents of our early American history: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and even The Gettysburg Address.

If this doesn't concern you, consider this: I was in a doctor's office last week and happened to overhear a conversation which I had to jump into so I could tell the ladies about CursiveLogic. It seems one of woman's husband was a paramedic. On a recent call, he and his partner were called to the home of an older couple where the wife was in distress, unconscious. The elderly husband handed a piece of paper to the paramedic partner saying it contained all his wife's important information: her medications, her last wishes, etc. The paramedic opened the paper, shook his head and handed it to his partner. He was embarrassed, but he could not read it. It was written in cursive!

So, on learning that CursiveLogic was designed for older students, I was very interested in reviewing the product. When I questioned my son, he seemed convinced that he already knew cursive. When I asked him why he didn't write his school work in cursive, he said it was too hard -- printing was easier. Personally, with a bit of arthritis in my hand, I find cursive much easier. I think there was enough that he did not remember that he really couldn't write in cursive. I also think he lacked confidence to try.

Our CursiveLogic arrived, and I started working through the instructions and got him started. He was asked to start by signing his name. He really didn't know how to make a capital "J". I tried to correct it upside-down, and only made it worse. And then he kept writing. This first sheet was to be for a "before" and "after" photo set.

Then he continued on into the rest of the program.

His grip on the pen was not a good one, even after I instructed him.

I didn't want to push too hard on this because I didn't want him to get discouraged, so we pushed forward.

The CursiveLogic program is built on the concept that all cursive lower case letters fall into four basic letter shapes. The student moves through each shape-type at his own speed, as quickly or as slowly as he needs or chooses to.

Very quickly my son took off on his own. He's old enough to read the instructions and do the program on his own, and he did. I would periodically look at his workbook to make sure he was truly working his way through the book, and he was. He finished the program. I have no idea what he did with the book at this point -- maybe it fell behind his bed or something.

What I do know is that suddenly I am seeing that he is writing in cursive! Entries on the grocery list, notes left behind on our recent trip, and notes on what he is studying in Civil Air Patrol! 

My son is writing cursive! He's writing in cursive! I can't tell you what a big deal this is to me! I am SO GLAD we reviewed this product!

So please hear me:
  • Cursive is important. You should make sure your students learn it; and
  • CursiveLogic can help your student learn cursive, and it is relatively painless.
Please consider this program. This is a small, start-up company created to fill a very real need -- teaching students that anyone can learn to write in cursive relatively easily. I hope you will give it a try. If you do, leave me a comment. I'd love to know!

Other members of the Review Crew also reviewed this product. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.
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