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Cursive Now or Later?

Our efforts at school have been coming together in a miraculous ways lately.  The children have been enthusiastic about our time.  In turn, I have once again found my passion to continue improving as a teacher.  I recently had one of those moments where Montessori clicked at another level.  And yes, it has me pretty fired up.  I'm always amazed at the ebb and flow of the Montessori homeschooling journey.  It's certainly isn't linear.

As I hinted at in my post yesterday, I've been reconsidering the early introduction of cursive for some time now.  For those of you newer to the Montessori method, Montessori strongly believed that children needed to be taught cursive from the beginning vs the tradition print.  There are a host of valid reasons for doing so such as less confusion between similar letters like b and d and a greater ease in learning since young writers find curved lines much simpler than straight.  There are still schools that teach primarily in cursive.  However, those offerings are becoming less and less.

When I initially started procuring supplies many years ago, I intentionally decided to introduce print first.  I was primarily concerned about the over abundance of print that my children would be exposed to.  Unless I was going to make card material and early readers myself, it was going to be both challenging and costly to track down items in cursive.  When we initially set out on journey, I was also unsure how long Montessori would be taught at home and was concerned about the possible transition.   All school options in the area, Montessori and traditional alike, begin with print.  In fact, in our state, schools are no longer required to teach cursive, although some legislators are trying to reverse it.

I'm not sure what made the idea come around this time, other than my recent efforts to reevaluate my approach in all areas.  Elora is starting to write regularly but I still feel there's room to get a jump start.  William is experimenting with writing and I can see the challenges that print brings.  At the same time, they both are well versed in recognizing print letters.

I'm still on the fence and obviously, my materials are already in print.  Having to purchase new sandpaper letters and moveable alphabets does cause me to hesitate.  I'm debating bringing in cursive along side the print work we already have but my fear is that this might only add extra confusion and frustration at this point.  I don't want either of them to feel like they are starting over.  At the same time, how will they feel when they have to start over at the age of 8 or 9 since I do still plan to introduce cursive at some point?  I only recently learned that any child who can read cursive can generally read print without issues so it does make it seem like only introducing a few materials in cursive would be sufficient.

As I reviewed blogs and scoured the Internet, I did find this excellent post from Montessori for Everyone.  If you're interested in the topic then I highly recommend reading the comments as well.  There is some fabulous information there, including how to approach teaching cursive.  

Overall, I'm curious on your thoughts on the topic.  What decisions have you made on the cursive vs print debate?  Please leave your comments!
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