Functional Mehtod -- this doesn't start until Lesson 21. Just read until that lesson. Then reread as needed. Reading Practice will help if needed (especially reading your shorthand notes). When you do start writing, the thoery of reading much shorthand first, is that it won't be as difficult. If you're able to get someone to read to you the keys on Lesson 17, you can take dictation (I'm not sure why the Teacher's Manual says that, but it does).
Writing in the Functional Method -- If you prefer you CAN start writing in Assignment 2. The no-writing rule was the suggestion in the teacher's manual
Anniversary Manual -- This can start with Unit 1. I don't have a teacher's manual but even the book doesn't say anything. I will be dividing up these lessons because there is so much in there, so the first week of each lesson will be devoted to reading. The second week to writing.
Not writing in the Anniversary Manual system -- If you decide to not write at first and follow along with the Anni FM, you can do that. You will start writing in Unit 11, second week.
Before you begin, make sure you can read all the outlines in the chapter or lesson. If you have problems and are too lazy to find out the transcript, you can write it, but it won't benefit you. Remember, you can ask here. Refer to the Reading Practice suggestions if you need to.
When you do write, here is a good example of how to do your assignments. Try breaking it up into parts. Read and write each part a few times, so do the first part about 3 times, then the second part about 3 times. Then write the entire sentence .
Now that the
holidays are near,
many people start
to think of the
toys they will get
for boys and girls
If you can't remember all the words because you are trying to remember the outlines too, do a few words at a time and increase as you practice writing. When you start to get better, you can write in longer phrases:
Now that the holidays are near
many people start to think of the toys
they will get for boys and girls.
Do this with dictation if you are going to record it yourself and take down too.
Say the word to yourself as you copy it. And since you are doing this if you don't know the meaning or the outline, try to find what the outline says.
Because you are reading a lot before writing you will be writing very well. Penmanship improves so rapidly of its own accord for the first few weeks that there seems to be no value in correcting your first few works.
"Gregg Shorthand had achieved the most extraordinary success ever attained by any system in the history of shorthand." John Robert Gregg, 1922
A student asked about their writing... they sent in a sample... here's the answer...
"I would say that you have attempted too much at one time. If you had absolutely mastered the phrases given in the seventheenth lesson in the textbook, you could not have made the errors which you made in this exercise... for careful practice the strokes are out of proportion, and seem to have been carelessly written, as if you were not desirous of spending enough time on each one. Your style of writing is good; notes well spaced and small. Theory is your weak point, and this is serious, but not beyond remedy. I would advice you to begin the review... practice on each lesson until you can write the exercises perfectly. Please do not feel discouraged at what may seem severe criticism; I am trying to explain to you what you need... in order to enable you to obtain the results you are anxious to obtain.
Do you feel like you don't write very well? Keep at it. It takes practice. This is why I always suggest the most inexpensive Gregg ruled steno books you can find. I also suggest a good pen that doesn't bleed. You are going to go through a lot of steno books and pens.
But that's okay.
I always think of this as learning how to read and write, whether a foreign language or even English (or your native language). Think of how young children learn to read and that's how you're learning. Sometimes I'll be reading or writing and feel like a 5 year old. But I keep going. So should you.
Remember you can post your shorthand notes in the Your Shorthand board. If you don't want a "grade" from your fellow students, please indicate (can't guarantee they won't grade them... but you can ask). If you'd like feedback, please ask for it.