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A question for those of you with DCs in 'local' schools re handwriting

(11 Posts)
thanksamillion Sun 02-Oct-11 12:53:03

I'm not sure if I'm over thinking this, but DD1 has just started in Yr1 in a local school here (Moldova). She's 6 and been at local kindergarten for the last two years. They're now really getting into handwriting and it's the very elaborate (not sure what the technical term is - cursive maybe?) style. I can't always read it because they have a really weird way of writing some letters but it does look pretty hmm.

I'm a bit worried though that at some point in her education she'll go back into a UK school (or an international one) and this could hold her back. Do you think that's true? Have any of you had this problem?

I did teach her to write at home in the last two years because they didn't do anything at kindergarten but now she's just using this new style.

Please tell me I'm over thinking and it's not a problem!

5moreminutes Sun 02-Oct-11 13:09:32

I used to teach secondary English in the UK and a child with pretty handwriting would have been welcome! grin At secondary level handwriting has to be readable but otherwise it doesn't matter. At primary level it may of course be different.

My eldest has only just started school here (Germany) and like yours she had already learnt to read and write, though probably not to the standard she would be doing if she's done a whole year at school in the UK as I have only done teeny bits with her when she's shown interest. Still she is "relearning" to write the proscribed way, doing handwriting sheets for homework etc. and I think this is good as it stops her having an over confident attitude about already being able to write, and also will hopefully mean she has OK hand writing!

You could mention to her that one style of writing is "English" and the other "Moldovan" - this seems to make perfect sense to my DC, who refers to the writing she is learning at school as "German letters" when she is speaking English!

thanksamillion Sun 02-Oct-11 15:00:36

Thanks for your reply. I had thought that I might be able to do the English writing/Moldovan writing thing but at the moment DD is adamant that the only way is what the teacher says grin. I think I'll leave it for a while and let her settle in and then maybe pick it up again.

How is your DD settling in? At the moment handwriting practice seems to be pretty much all they do here which I think DD is finding a little dull but they only have a very short day so it's not the end of the world!

natation Sun 02-Oct-11 18:53:56

When we moved to Belgium just over 3 years ago, I didn't even know until after the children had started school just how important handwriting is here and almost freaked when I was asked to supply fountain pens for both the 10 and 6 year old. I need not have worried, it took both of them about 2 weeks to re-learn how to write and adjust to a different type of cursive script. So I would not interefere for the moment, and wouldn't English look nice if your daughter applied the same script to English? If and when she moves back to the UK, I'm sure it will not take her long to write in a different way, and since the UK does not place such emphasis as a general rule on handwriting, your daughter might in fact just make ever so slight adjustments to her Moldovan style of English writing, and keep the positive parts of her Moldovan-style English.

kakapo Sun 02-Oct-11 22:24:57

hi thanksamillion! i had this 'problem' - I learned to write fancy cursive in Bavaria, returned to UK in Yr 5. My Yr 5 teacher was actually quite impressed and said it was beautiful, and then helped me to change the particular letters that UK people would struggle to read (think it was m, n & s). It was really not a huge deal. Although the UK school wouldn't let me write in pen (maybe they were just weird though)!

Anyway, maybe you could think about doing the same for your DD. Figure out which are the problem letters and be prepared to correct them if/when it becomes necessary.

boohoobabywho Sun 02-Oct-11 22:31:30

i work with lots of eastern europeans, albeit in a manual capacity and thier handwriting (as a group) is appaling.
because of the way they write thier letters and numbers its really difficult to read. having said that, there are one or two who understand that thier 1's look like our 4s and thier 4's look like our 9s!

we all get along and manage so dont worry about it.

Funily enough i asked one to translate a message someone else had written in his own language into english and he couldnt do it becuase he couldnt read thier writing!

Shanghaidiva Tue 04-Oct-11 06:42:16

My son started school in Austria and learnt to write using beautiful cursive script. Some letters (t, was one) are a little difficult to read. We moved to China and he attends an international school with British curriculum. At first they would not let him use a pen (just like kakapo) but I managed to persuade HT that 8 year olds using fountain pens was quite normal! He continues to use cursive writing and it has not held him back - infact I think his style of writing and using a fountain pen enable him to write both quickly and neatly.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 04-Oct-11 09:26:58

My DD has continental writing too. She was taught it at her International school in Belgium. It is very pretty (when she isn't rushing), and her teacher likes it because she can read it. Unfortunately, her peers rip the piss out of her for it and she has adopted some sort of mongrel like writing which even she can't read.

thanksamillion Tue 04-Oct-11 10:38:58

Thanks for all the replies. I agree that good handwriting is a good thing and it certainly should be with the amount of time they're spending on it!

I was worried about the legibility particularly with some letters as I really struggle to read it. (I think R and G are particularly strange here, but also like boohoo said 4s could pose a problem). I like the idea that she might only need to modify those letters, I guess I was thinking it was all or nothing. Next year she'll start learning Russian so that will be a whole new level of fun!

ripstheirthroatout let's hope your DD settles on something at least legible grin

5moreminutes Tue 04-Oct-11 15:02:36

thanksamillion she has settled in fine mostly, helps that she already knows practically everyone as we live in a small village. Here they are not only doing handwriting, there is a bit of basic maths going on and an autumn project... it is only her 4th week now. They do focus mainly on German and maths, and the teacher has mentioned that she doesn't approve of learning through play in the classroom... dd has mentioned several very specific details of school she doesn't like, like having to sit very upright and being reminded about it frequently, but handwriting practice hasn't yet been a cause of complaint.

Overall she is mostly happy with school but some mornings already she has muttered about not waNting to go, which seems soon for feeling jaded! She has always been a naturally early riser but getting out the door at 7am is a step too far to be fun I think! Ironically I spent her first 5 years of life trying everything to get her to stay in bed past 5.30am! Only half days here too though, she finishes at 11.20am 3 days a week and 12.15 the other 2 days, and the homework is not yet taking the vast amount of time other mothers suggested it would so still plenty of time to play outside in the afternoons...

How does your dd feel about school so far?

CornishMade Thu 06-Oct-11 11:55:50

I learnt a cursive script in the US when my family was there for 3 years. I came back to England when I was 10 and went back into final year of primary school. The different script was not an issue; I liked some aspects of it being different, kind of a source of pride to me! And others I just changed myself over the next few months/years. All kids like to fit in with their peers anyway don't they... And even handwriting can have teen fads. So if this is just about a hypothetical move in years to come, I'd say just don't bother worrying!

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