Can anyone explain why year one children should be writing joined up cursive script?

(38 Posts)
Decco Tue 05-Feb-13 21:40:07

It just seems a little early to me, when they mostly started to write regularly in reception, it seems very quick to progress to joined cursive script. I can read my son's writing and it looks similar to most of the writing in his class but this keeps being raised (only in parents eve really). Can anyone explain why the rush into joined up writing?

ggirl Tue 05-Feb-13 21:45:26

I think a lot if not most schools teach cursive from the start now, so letters are learnt with the tail to join to the next letter so cursive writing is a natural progression.

learnandsay Tue 05-Feb-13 21:52:19

I've seen NC objectives somewhere (can't remember where offhand) which say that the children can get top marks for trying to use cursive script. But that they can also get top marks for all of the other things like excellent punctuation, spelling, grammar, good sentences and so on when writing in print. I'll try to dig out the curriculum guide that I read. It relieved me. Because my daughter is being taught cursive script in Reception and is hopeless at it.

toomuchicecream Tue 05-Feb-13 22:33:29

Because if they are shown how to join the letters, there's a greater chance of them learning to form them correctly. If, for example, you write a by starting at the bottom, doing a circle and then taking your pencil off and doing a stick at the side, you're going to struggle to write words without taking your pencil off the page and your fluency & speed of writing as you get older will be severely compromised.

Because (as people have said elsewhere on this topic this evening) the ability to spell is related to muscle memory. Many adults (most before the advent of keyboards) would write a word down if they weren't sure of the spelling and then decide which one felt/looked right. Joined up writing helps with this.

How would you feel if you learnt to write one way, and once you'd got the hang of it you were told you had to learn to write differently so you could join up. It's a bit like the old Initial Teaching Alphabet where children were taught to read a simplified form of English, and then had to learn all over again the proper way.

Having said all that, my son was taught fully cursive (with entry strokes) in primary school and his writing was hardly legible until he went to secondary and started printing everything. You couldn't see what was entry stroke and what was letters. So personally I favour semi-cursive - joining letters up but in an "un-flowery" way.

Bonsoir Wed 06-Feb-13 08:00:23

It's much easier for DC to learn cursive right from the start.

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 08:07:02

Why learn it at all?

Bonsoir Wed 06-Feb-13 08:27:22

Cursive handwriting enables DC to write fast. My DD could write quickly and accurately aged 6. Printing is much slower.

Farewelltoarms Wed 06-Feb-13 10:20:39

My son's spelling dramatically improved when he learnt (well taught himself from a book) cursive. It's as if he began to feel the whole words rather than seeing them as a random selection of letters. It was in y2 and I think he went a up a whole nc level (to level 3) when he did so.
As a consequence I'm on my poor y1 dd trying to encourage her to at least form her letters in the correct way...

JenaiMorris Wed 06-Feb-13 11:25:38

Yup, what Bonsoir and others have said.

I also rather like the focus on creating lines of loopy patterns and so on that they have in France, before they even start learning to write. I'm sure it would have helped dyspraxic ds (whose writing is still stilted, crap and slow in Y7 despite being a perfectly adequate reader).

I hated the DCs doing this - they had to do the lead-ins as well, and as a PP said, you can't tell what is letter and what is lead-in and tail. It made bugger all difference to being able ot join letters together to make a work IME - imagine "and" being written with each letter having a lead-in and a tail, and the tails joining the lead-ins half way up the letter height (so making an extra sticky up bit between letters). Looked dreadful, was impossible to read, and didn't speed up writing in any way whatsoever.

I learned to write by first of all printing (so learning letter shapes) then adding a tail, then joining the tail onto the start of the next letter shape (so in "and", the tail of my a came up to the top of the downstroke of the n --which is where an n starts, not on the line swooping upwards--). I had pretty neat writing, and managed to write at speed in exams (4 essays in 3 hours at A level, back in the day).

Hate cursive being taught from reception (apologies for rant)

GooseyLoosey Wed 06-Feb-13 11:52:18

My dcs did not learn cursive script and no one really focused on how they wrote the letters as long as they did so in the end and they looked OK.

Now, they have encountered problems doing joined up writing as if you do not start the letter in the right place, it is hard to join it to the next one. Dd in particular has found at 8 that she has had to re-learn how to write some letters.

It would all have been so much easier if they had learned cursive script in the first place.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:44

I think it was worse for some kids in DD1's class who had just started to master recognising letters & writing a little, and then with a change of head going into Y2, had to start again with cursive.

If you learn one system from the get go, it surely doesn't matter which one it is in terms of development, whether cursive, printing, Japanese script or Arabic.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 12:00:47

I had to learn cursive in Y6 btw. Changed schools.

auntevil Wed 06-Feb-13 18:09:18

We start cursive in Nursery - and carry it through all the years.
For children with writing difficulties such as those with dyspraxia, it is the easiest style of writing for them to learn as the style is fluid and involves less pressure and hand movements.

mrz Wed 06-Feb-13 18:26:27

I think children need to learn print letters first before moving onto cursive. But cursive has many advantages

Bonsoir Wed 06-Feb-13 18:27:58

Why do you think that, mrz? I didn't personally find any kind of problem with DD learning cursive straight away.

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Feb-13 18:31:44

DS1 never learned cursive. He has appalling hand writing.

DS2 went from a school where they printed, to a school where they had learned cursive from reception. He struggled with cursive, and even know in Y5 he's still trying to master it.

DD learned cursive from reception. She's now in Y3, and it's second nature to her.

mrz Wed 06-Feb-13 18:33:18

I think they need to recognise "single" letters rather than try to identify letters as part of a string.

Bonsoir Wed 06-Feb-13 18:35:01

Ah. DD learned cursive from the start, but drilled individual letters first, before doing strings (first of a single letter, and then combinations).

mrz Wed 06-Feb-13 18:52:48

We teach individual letters in reception that begin to introduce fully joined in Y1

DD1, in reception, is learning cursive and I hate it. Her writing, if printed, would be pretty good for her age. But add on the tails and suddenly it gets hard to decipher. She's also left handed and prone to full on mirror writing. She has enough to deal with without lead ins and tails. I agree with mrz that single letters would be much more useful at the start.

Bonsoir Wed 06-Feb-13 18:59:58

The thing is - cursive is not inconsistent with single letters. In the French system, there are great progressive workbooks for cursive which teach the DC letter by letter.

mrz Wed 06-Feb-13 19:03:33

Technically "cursive" means a joined script which I think is what people mean here. We teach a cursive style of single letters which easily move into "fully cursive" (joined handwriting)

Lighthousekeeping Wed 06-Feb-13 19:05:28

This is making me feel old. I remember been 12 in my last year of primary we were "allowed" to use "proper" writing.

How long has this being going on for and, how long before they change it back?

ggirl Wed 06-Feb-13 19:09:56

it's about the end product though isn't it..we want them to be able to write fluently and it's easier for them to learn one way from the start.

It will be difficult to decipher in the beginning but as long as progression is made then it doesn't matter.

My dc learnt single letters with the tails etc from reception , starting with the swirly patterns first. Much easier than learning one way then converting to another.

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