In his Commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Steve Jobs talked about how a calligraphy class helped him design the first Apple computer. Today, handwriting has fallen out of fashion, and has even been removed from the Common Core in most states. But there is growing evidence that in addition to opening your eyes to beauty, as it did for Jobs, studying writing can help with information recall.

The good news for those late to the art of the pen is that a new coloring book makes the process of learning cursive easy, fun and beautiful. The Art of Cursive uses a patent-pending method that “teaches cursive in a fraction of the time previously thought possible.” As the company’s Kickstarter campaign states, “this method teaches the entire lowercase alphabet in four simple lessons that take only a few minutes each to complete. An adult who has never learned to write in cursive in the past can easily master the system in a couple of evenings. An adult who simply needs a refresher will see results immediately. It is also suitable for children from about 4th grade on.

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CREDIT: Courtesy CursiveLogic

CursiveLogic uses a shape-based approach to learning writing, instead of marching through the 26 letters of the alphabet in order. “Although there are 26 letters in the alphabet, there are only four basic shapes that make up the structure of every lowercase cursive letter. CursiveLogic groups the letters that share a common shape — and teaches them as a connected string,” the website explains.

In the coloring book, each left-hand page of the book has a sentence in cursive for the student to trace and practice writing in a traditional way. However, the right-hand pages of the book feature beautiful illustrations of trees, fish, birds and more all made out of repeating the letter shapes so the student can practice without boredom. The result is a coloring book that visually rivals best sellers like Secret Garden, but also teaches a new skill or improves on an old one

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The CursiveLogic process was designed by Linda Shrewbury, to help one of her adult students learn cursive so he could sign his name with a flourish. The illustrations are by Elena Zhivova. If you, like so many adults educated in the past few decades, do more “connected printing” than graceful cursive, and you want to give learning cursive a try, this is the book ideal.

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