This post is both for parents and for teachers who may be called upon to teach cursive, but need help with how to teach the correct slant. For examples of correct slant, see this post.
The way to get a slant is to TURN THE PAPER (or notebook). Instead of having the paper directly upright in front of you, rotate it about 45° COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, so that the upper right corner is in the 12:00 position (and lower left corner is in 6:00 position). Then write normally on the page, and the writing will have the proper slant.
The paper should be turned on an angle to write for one’s entire life–it is the correct way–it is not something one does while learning as a child, and later on reverts back to using a straight paper. No one can write with a proper forward slant if the page is not turned on the desk
A helpful hint for teachers and parents is to cut a thin strip of paper (I used to use a 1/8th-wide strip cut from red construction paper, but any paper will do) and tape it to the desk or table where your student is working. The bottom edge of his paper should rest on that line. As a third-grade teacher, I taped these red lines on each desk before the first day of school. (I also did it when I taught Kindergarten for three years.) How did I get the idea? My own teachers did it when I was a child.
If you would like to try the taped line method (highly recommended), here is how to put it in the right position:
It’s important to WATCH your own children or students work, for several weeks or months, until they develop the habit automatically. It feels very awkward at first since they have most likely learned incorrectly. They might need constant reminding every two or three minutes at first. As a teacher, it was easy for me to keep constant watch in the classroom and remind students all day long, “Turn your papers,” or “Papers on the red line.”
Once students start writing, there will naturally be some students whose writing is not slanted enough, and others whose writing is too slanted. At that point, tell those individual students to habitually turn their papers more, or less–whatever is required–in order to arrive at the correct amount of slant.
My hope is that these instructions will help parents and teachers understand how to teach cursive slant with excellent results.