The BJU Press Handwriting Curriculum
BJU Press believes the goal of handwriting is communication. Good handwriting is an essential skill that requires a coordinated effort of nearly five hundred muscles. The goal of the handwriting curriculum is to help students develop the skills necessary to express themselves with legible penmanship.
To meet this goal, BJU Press teaches a PreCursive alphabet in K4 through second grade and progresses to a full-cursive program beginning in third grade. This approach recognizes that cursive writing is extremely difficult for beginning elementary students for two reasons: (1) their coordination is not sufficiently developed, and (2) it requires students to learn two alphabets—one for handwriting and a typed style for reading. However, BJU Press also acknowledges that manuscript printing is equally problematic: (1) young students have difficulty forming letters that consist of circles and straight lines and (2) students must learn a completely new formation of letters when they move on to cursive writing.
PreCursive writing capitalizes on the natural movements of a young student's writing hand, results in fewer stops and starts since twenty-two of the PreCursive lowercase letters and seventeen of the uppercase letters require only one stroke, and transitions well to cursive writing later because the PreCursive letters were designed so that with the addition of a cursive joining stroke the PreCursive letter becomes cursive.