We have finished much of our Kindergarten curriculum so I've been getting a jump start on next year and exploring different programs.
I wasn't planning on starting Cursive First (CF) until at least June when I make my next SWR purchase. However, I was able to buy it used from a fellow homeschooling mom for a good price. This was great for us since D-Man has been begging to start cursive since we started K. It was also the motivation I needed to make a salt box for C-Monster.
The woman who sold it to me stated that she needed something with a little more handholding. I can see what she means; CF is a barebones program. It's filled with a lot more theory than how-to. However, I taught D-Man manuscript without a formal program (just the instructions in SWR) and had no difficulty. CF is the perfect amount of help for me to get him started in cursive. The CF style is very simple and nice for a young child. My plan is to have him master this style and then we can choose a "prettier" cursive style together later on. It is really important to me for my boys to have nice, legible handwriting.
When the package came in the mail, D-Man asked to start immediately. Without having time to read the manual, I decided that we could work on some easy letters like a and d on the whiteboard. He, of course, wanted to do all of them. He quickly changed his tune when he found that it was much more difficult than he'd thought. It turns out, he just wasn't ready for the whiteboard yet. While my husband put the boys to bed, I decided to read the manual which prompted me to make a saltbox. This took me about an hour, but was definitely worth it. Since then, I've been teaching D-Man his cursive letters using the saltbox. Only after he's practiced them several times in the box, we move on to the appropriate worksheet. The worksheets are simple, but exactly what we need. The first day, I even had to give C-Monster his own worksheet so that he could keep up with his big brother. The salt box has been a huge hit and very useful tool. He went very quickly from just forming the letters to learning how to connect them to forming simple words like 'cat' and 'dog.' Most of all, they think it's fun. It is also a perfect pre-writing exercise for C-Monster. He's been asking me to write a letter in the saltbox and then he'll trace over my writing with his finger. I'm really focusing on his formation as D-Man had developed a lot of bad habits by the time we'd started K.