March 26, 2014 Edition 

        Why Should I Teach Cursive Writing?                

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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


It's been a busy and stressful couple of weeks at our house, so I'm going to skip writing about this week's topic and focus on some encouragement:

I want to remind you that for as much as you love your own precious children, God loves you even more than that. You cannot begin to fathom his great love and the delight he holds for you. So every time you begin to doubt your worth, or feel insecure, stop and look at your kids' faces. Are they insecure about your love for them? Do they doubt their own worth in the presence of your love and care for them? Of course not. Mama you know they are strong in body and mind because of how you have cared for and loved them all the days of their lives. They are secure and they know it. Why do you think they go running to you every time they fall down, both literally and figuratively? Mama makes it better. They are strong in that knowledge.

How about you, Mama? Are you not loved far more by your great God and Savior? He loves with a perfect love. And He directs that love straight to your heart. Don't you dare doubt you are cared for. Put away any thoughts that you are alone. If your kids are secure in the imperfect love you give them, how much more secure and strong should you be in the Perfect One's loving embrace?

His hand is on your head. He will never leave you. Just as you won't abandon your children, He won't leave His alone either. Lift your eyes up to Him who saves you. And accept freely that you are okay today. His hand is on your head.


~ gena


Why Teach Cursive Writing?


By Howard Brinkman

Publisher, Write with WORLD


Should you teach cursive handwriting? Some people believe that cursive handwriting is outdated, and most adults develop a personal mix of cursive and printing anyway. Other people believe that teaching cursive handwriting is important for conveying ideas legibly, and because it's good for improving fine motor skills and brain development.


The debate about teaching cursive handwriting spiraled to national levels when the Common Core State Standards excluded penmanship classes. That doesn't preclude schools (or homeschoolers) from teaching it though.


Why are schools erasing cursive?


If you look at penmanship narrowly as a means of conveying words, you might conclude that typing and texting are more practical today. Plus, teaching time is weighted toward subjects included in standardized tests. Ironically, those tests involve handwritten sections, and some studies show that neat, legible handwriting earns higher scores. And then there's the money. Many younger teachers never learned cursive or how to teach it. If penmanship were required, schools may have to pay for additional teacher training.


Why teach cursive in your homeschool?


Beyond conveying words, cursive writing's sequential movements activate large areas in the brain that involve thinking, language and memory. Keystrokes don't do that. Tests among second, fourth and sixth-graders showed them composing better and faster handwritten essays than when typing them. And penmanship's fluid movements are a way to improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.


Sure, teach your kids to type. But many parents see cursive or other handwriting methods as a way to help develop their children's minds so they have ideas worth conveying! Penmanship isn't the only way to encourage brain development. But it also yields a handy skill for self-expression, it's advantageous on written exams, and it's a practical way to capture thoughts, make notes or convey instructions at any moment. No batteries required.

Write with World   
About Write with WORLD: 

Write with WORLD is the writing curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking. It began with educators and professional writers who analyzed college students' typically poor writing. Then they applied their real-world classroom and newsroom experience to create a practical, flexible writing course that both eager and reluctant students enjoy.


If you want your students to think clearly, write powerfully, and stand out in the real world of college and career, try Write with WORLD.


"This is the best middle school writing curriculum that I've been able to find...."

-- Homeschooler Jennifer W. 800-951-5437 


The Familyman 
Just got back from the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, S.C., and on the way home, we stopped for dinner at Culver's for their incredible butter burgers and frozen custard. As we sat around the table, I mentioned the topic of cursive writing and ignited a small firestorm of discussion.

One of my teens was "for" teaching cursive writing because, "It's just good to be able to do," and one was against it because, "No one uses cursive anymore except to sign his name." I have to admit that I think it's a waste of precious time, because a homeschooler's time is precious ... and I NEVER write in cursive.


Today, people type on computers or print to fill out the Publisher's Clearing House giveaway. The thing is cursive isn't required and is hardly used.


But out of that passionate conversation, ONE wise voice spoke truth (and it wasn't mine). My wife wisely said, "I'd say, if you have a child who wants to learn to write in cursive, teach him/her. Otherwise, it's not that big of a deal."


Wow, I've got a smart wife. She's right, you know? In this case, it really is about the child and not about the skill. The fact is you have a limited time of teaching. You can't teach everything. Cursive is a fading and non-essential skill. BUT if you have a child who wants to learn it (we've had a few) ... you should teach him how to. If he is sloppy at it and can't seem to get it ... let it go.


That's from my smart wife!!!!


Be real,



P.S. Hey, I just came out with a little book called Family is Hard--Deal With It! It lays waste to the notion that there is a silver bullet out there offering easy fixes with kids, teenagers, homeschooling, and marriages. There are none. You just need to face the fact that GOOD things are hard and hard things are GOOD ... AND the promise God offers to those who do not grow weary and give up.


This super quick read (just 67 pages) will give you hope and the strength to keep at it. So whether you're in the midst of a tough marriage, tough relationships, tough homeschooling, or a tough life, you NEED this little book. Order it now. 

A Beka Book

A Beka Book
cursive writing program develops good writing habits and strengthens reading skills. By joining letters, cursive writing reinforces the blending of sounds within words. Children learn cursive writing in a matter of months. Get a FREE catalog to see the cursive writing!

A division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members! No limits!

Like writing itself, cursive writing is an art form. And like many art forms, it is losing some of its popularity due to the ever-changing technologically-based world we are living in. It's also an art form that is working to preserve through Everyday Copywork on the Schoolhouse Dailies tab.
Everyday Copywork


Every week, Everyday Copywork shares practice for print and cursive handwriting. Each includes a traceable portion as well as a portion to copy. Our copywork includes Scripture portions, classic literature, and words and phrases related to topics ranging from nature to world history.  


For a sample of our Everyday Copywork, click here .

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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Diana has been very busy this week and wasn't able to write for us, but you can go to her website to see what she's been up to. She'll be back in two weeks.


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Does Play Still Have a Purpose in a
Device-Driven World?
Spotlight on 5

Take a look at the March Spotlight on Five!



The Making of a Confident Writer
TOS Article
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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.



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Contest Corner 

For the month of March, 2014  


The Book of God (Graphic Novel)


The Book of God shares with us how the Bible came to be created. The beginning words, in a tribute to Dr. Henry H. Hailey, sets the tone for the intention of the book, "The Bible is not man's account of his efforts to find God but rather an account of God's efforts to reveal Himself to Man." Set in the design of a graphic novel, the content is quite meaty.


This book is set in four parts: The Production of the Bible, The Process of the Bible, the Preservation of the Bible, and the Proof of the Bible. Each area digs deep with quotes, historical time lines, and questions that lead the reader to want to discover the answers on the next page. Starting with how the Bible has shaped the world history, governments and laws then moving to how the Bible is still shaping countries and cultures with the abundance of versions and massive availability. The journey is with a main character who leads you through how the Bible was written from the Old Testament to the New with the authors and time lines.


We walk through how the canons were created, listening in to the men who left records of how different letters were included or left out. As we read we sit beside those who wanted to preserve the Bible. With the printing press we learn how those in authority wanted to ensure the preservation of the truth of scriptures were upheld. Each part of the book builds on the page prior with more questions as we turn to the next topic. (Read the rest of the review. . . )


You can WIN the Book of God!


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Book of God" for a chance to win* the book for your family!    


In this week's issue:

Perterson Handwriting

Great Homeschool Conventions

Molly Green

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