Monday, July 6, 2015

CursiveLogic Workbook ~ A Crew Review

Can I just say WOW!?! We have had opportunities to review many quality curriculums, games, and other products over our years here on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, but I have to say I have been blown out of the water by our latest review item from CursiveLogic! The 96 page full-color CursiveLogic Workbook has made a transformational change in Arlene’s writing in just five weeks. Before I tell you more about CursiveLogic, I want to take just a moment to tell you about why Arlene and I were intrigued to learn about a new cursive workbook.

cursive curriculum, all ages, writing

Arlene just recently turned 15. Most students who are going to learn cursive have mastered it long before this age, other students learned just enough to get out of third grade and have never used it again. 
The thing is, Arlene is not like most students. About a year ago we discovered Arlene has Dysgraphia. 
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes defines it like this: Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by writing disabilities. Specifically, the disorder causes a person's writing to be distorted or incorrect. In children, the disorder generally emerges when they are first introduced to writing. They make inappropriately sized and spaced letters, or write wrong or misspelled words, despite thorough instruction.
In layman’s terms: writing is a physically painful process because what the student learns, and what they can reproduce are so vastly different. The two sides of Arlene’s brain have a difficult time working together when writing. Reading is not a problem, nor is comprehension, Arlene is a wonderful artist and a solid student, but her learning to write has been painful for both of us.

Once we discovered that Arlene has Dysgraphia, I set out to find a way to help her. We have been blessed to find exercises that have helped her tremendously with her manuscript (printing,) but that still left the process of cursive. At 15, Arlene does not have the time or desire to learn cursive the old-fashioned way ~ one letter at a time. In fact, we had tried this process in the past, with other cursive workbooks, which usually ended in a dismal failure, or with Arlene in tears, or both. 

Enter CursiveLogic.

Writing in cursive is no longer a chore, it is actually something Arlene does willingly. I highly recommend this program to parents who have students with a learning disability, as the logical, thorough process seems to bridge the gap that so many other programs miss. 

Please note: your child does not need to have a writing struggle to benefit from this program. Any student who is nine or older and has mastered how to print the alphabet can utilize this program with help from their teacher, whether at home or in a school setting.

cursive curriculum, all ages, writing

This wonderfully thought out program of CursiveLogic designed by Linda Shrewsbury is a real gem! 
In CursiveLogic, the letters of the lowercase alphabet are divided into four groups based upon their basic formation (shape.) The groups are taught through a muscle-memory based technique, utilizing color, and a catch-phrase to help students of all three learning styles (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory,) master each group. Letters are first traced on the page with the student’s finger, then traced with a pencil or pen, then written independently. Arlene preferred to do her lessons with fine tipped colored markers. Part of the genius of this program is that the student is learning to write the letters in strings, thus learning how to write an individual letter, plus how to connect it to other letters all in the same lesson.

I remember back to second and third grades when we were taught cursive. It took forever to learn enough letters to actually write out anything. Your student will be writing actual words by the time they reach their fifth practice page. Learn, practice, succeed. This is a key point for older students, as they are sometimes embarrassed by their lack of skills in penmanship. Once the student learns the first string of letters (the orange ovals) they can write several words confidently.

If you have an older student who does not have any learning struggle other than cursive, they could be signing their name in cursive in just a day or two. Because of Arlene’s struggles with Dysgraphia, we decided to work on one section of a lesson each day. That ended up with Arlene finishing the book in five weeks. After learning the four letter groups and how to write the letter strings, the CursiveLogic Workbook has pages that teach the formation of basic Uppercase letters and how to connect them to the lowercase letters. The uppercase group practice pages include writing out proper nouns like Rhode Island and Zambia.

The remainder of the workbook includes practice pages where the student trace and then write short passages, and ends with three laminated pages where the student can practice their letter strings as many times as needed with a fine tipped dry erase marker. Some students will use these pages everyday, others may only use them once or twice. CursiveLogic has additional practice pages available which include the Gettysburg Address, passages from the Psalms, and the Declaration of Independence. I printed out the Gettysburg Address for Arlene, and she has been working on it over the past week on her own. That’s right folks, Arlene who used to cry in frustration when I told her to copy one line in her old cursive book is now writing cursive on her own without complaining. Hallelujah!

Maybe you’re wondering if it is really necessary to learn cursive?! Linda Shrewsbury’s son Nathan summed it up wisely in his post back on April 16th of this year for the CursiveLogic blog: Cursive writing prepares student for academic success, the same way a tricycle prepares children for a bicycle and myriad other physical activities and mechanical devices by coordinating movements of the hands and feet. Learning to make those 26 letters in a consistent uniform way builds familiarity and understanding of written language while integrating fine motor skill and the innate human desire to create something. 

I could not have said it any better myself.

From Arlene: I like that you work on one shape of letter at a time and master it before you move on. If you’re learning cursive for the first time it can be really confusing to learn a, then b, which is drawn a totally different way. Then you’re like “what am I doing?” The spiral binding is nice because you don’t have to hold the book open. I liked that it didn’t take forever.

cursive curriculum, all ages, writing

We are so pleased to have found a tool that has helped Arlene find success with cursive in such a short period of time. This spiral bound workbook flips like a calendar so the student never has to write over the spiral, and it can be easily used by either right or left handed students. If you are an adult who has never mastered cursive, this could be an investment in yourself - you’re never too old to learn! At only $29 this CursiveLogic Workbook will revolutionize how students learn cursive! Imagine spending only a few weeks learning this valuable skill, not months or years. 

Four lessons to the whole lowercase alphabet in cursive. That is the beauty and simplicity of CursiveLogic. As the parent/ teacher you can decide how fast your student should go through the lessons, as each is broken into 5 short parts. Arlene spent just a few minutes a day for five weeks. You can choose to spend a little bit longer daily and complete the whole workbook in just a week or two if your student catches on quickly. Plan to finish each lesson in no more than one week. Once the four letter strings are mastered, every writing assignment is an opportunity to practice their cursive. Please go and look at CursiveLogic’s website to learn more!

Thank you, thank you, thank you CursiveLogic for such a wonderfully designed program! You have not only transformed Arlene’s handwriting, you have instilled a confidence in her that no other program has. You live up to your tagline: An intelligent new way to teach cursive!

Come connect with CursiveLogic on Facebook

Click the banner below to read all the other Crew reviews!

CursiveLogic Review

Crew Disclaimer


  1. Great review, and how wonderful that your daughter showed so much improvement with this program. We had similar success, but my son is much younger. I love that it's not overwhelming for younger kids and not to baby-ish for older kids.

  2. Your review is fantastic. You are right about it being used by left handed students. My daughter is left handed, and I found that the spiral bound programs work best for her. I am glad Arlene is now able to enjoy cursive writing.