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Cursive writing

(50 Posts)
cherryapple Tue 14-Sep-10 17:43:41

Hi, my daughter has just started reception and we have been told to encourage cursive writing. Is there any benefits to this apart from being quicker?

ilovemykitchenaid Tue 14-Sep-10 19:45:51

links in to joined up writing as they progress

RoadArt Tue 14-Sep-10 20:02:24

I think it encourages the correct formation of letters and flow of writing improves much better

mrz Tue 14-Sep-10 20:35:28

There is also a theory that joined handwriting helps with spelling
handwriting spelling connection

Lara2 Tue 14-Sep-10 20:41:15

Frankly, it's a bloody nightmare! The best way is to let children learn to write seperate letters with 'kicks' on letters like a, d, h, i, k, l etc. When they are confident, they can learn to join really quickly. Otherwise, cursive seperate letters (with lead-ins and lead-outs) causes no end of problems. Mainly because they have to re-learn quite alot of the joins. ( Both my sons were taught like this and they both have atrocious handwriting as teenagers because they found it too tedious and confusing to re-learn how to write some letters). Also, children just never see cursive script in the environment. Cursive letters just don't look like anything they ever see in books, on posters, signs etc.
Even at KS2 SATS, there is absolutely no need to join letters - the guidance is clear, legible and confident handwriting. So children who find it hard to join won't be penalised.

marmum Tue 14-Sep-10 21:41:13

I can't do joined up writing at all and I grew up being taught cursive. I teach Year 6, so it's a bloody nightmare when I'm supposed to be writing the aims down in joined-up writing!

I don't understand why they would be teaching it to a Reception class? I agree with above posts that they should learn to write their letters with the kicks which will then progress to joined up writing.

tokyonambu Wed 15-Sep-10 09:01:08

"Also, children just never see cursive script in the environment"

They would have done fifty, or probably even thirty, years ago. When I was at school in the 60s and 70s, most work sheets were banda-copied handwriting, because both photocopiers and typewriters were not universally available. And banda masters don't work desperately well with typewriters anyway. But these days, there's little reason to do or see handwritten things (I haven't written more than a hundred words at a time by hand since my finals).

"I don't understand why they would be teaching it to a Reception class?"

The theory runs, I believe, that it saves people from needing to re-learn their hand writing, and makes it a gentle progression to joined-up writing. And that stopping between each letter makes learning to spell less intuitive. But Lara2 is right: you can do that by starting with linking pieces that don't link, and progressively joining them together.

jem44 Wed 15-Sep-10 09:07:35

"I don't understand why they would be teaching it to a Reception class?"

Because of what MRZ said. I had a child wih dysgraphia who couldn't seem to see spaces between words/letter and whose writing was so bad she was thought to be dyslexic in Key Stage One. Teaching her to write this way early with the help of an occupational therapist solved the problem far more quickly than I could have expected and she is actually a very good speller now she is 8 and can see what she has written.

RoadArt Wed 15-Sep-10 20:27:16

The downside of kids being taught cursive from reception means they learn to write all their letters from the bottom.
This means when they print words they incorrectly form the letters.
Kids then have the problem of having to relearn how to write letters, so whichever way they learn, they have to relearn.

My DC started with cursive, then changed schools who print, and the writing now is an absolute mess, whereas in Y1/Y2 it was really good

marmum Thu 16-Sep-10 22:40:48

Tokyonambu and jem44: Thanks for the insight, but schools generally teach joined-up writing, not cursive, so I'm still unsure why the school is choosing to teach cursive when joined-up writing is used more in the UK?

tokyonambu Thu 16-Sep-10 22:49:49

Sorry, I wasn't aware that cursive and joined-up meant something different to each other.

jem44 Fri 17-Sep-10 21:34:30

Me neither.

ktee1 Sat 18-Sep-10 11:57:37

cursive writing is 'joined up writing' though schools might adopt slight differences eg some don't join b and s, some have 'loopy' descenders some have open bs. The advantages have already been listed, the children are able to write quicker and their writing flows, it helps with spelling and in the early years it helps to identify individual words. It is really hard to teach children cursive writing if they have been taught to print in the early years at school as they have already formed bad habits.

MammyT Wed 27-Oct-10 22:53:52

Sorry to bump up an old thread by this is really puzzling me.. My daughter is in Reception and is also learning to write cursive letters. She knew all her letters from montessori and could write them independently if asked; now she's getting confused because of the kicks and can't even do a simple 's'.

In the class, the signs are mixed - some cursive, some not - including her name which is written consistently. What should I encourage her to write on pictures at home, for example? It's very confusing.

pigsinmud Fri 29-Oct-10 08:25:00

At my dd's school they are taught in from yr1. In reception they learn in the jolly phonics way and then convert to cursive in yr 1. It was introduced at the school when dd1 was in yr 1 last year. She has coped really well and has fantastic writing. I did think this is going to be a nightmare when they announced, but it's been great.

This didn'tbhappen when my boys were there. Ds1 has okish writing, but ds2's writing is awful!

In dd2's reception class the signs on the wall are in a variety of fonts. They don't want them to get used to one form of writing, so the fact that the signs are not all in the same cursive style must be a good thing.

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 08:29:35

The signs are in a variety of styles because books use different fonts and children need to be able to read them not just the style they write in.

overmydeadbody Fri 29-Oct-10 08:31:12

Mammy I would say, when she is at home, just let her write in whatever way she wants to, so she views writing as fun and gets pleasure from it. At school she will learn to form them 'correctly'.

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 11:36:11

It's much harder for children to learn to write correctly if the chop and change between styles. They develop bad habits that take longer to correct.

mrtumblewhereareyou Fri 29-Oct-10 12:47:21

The theory about spellings does make some sence as the hand learns to automatically write the word without you necessarily learning how to spell the word.

if you do not join up then the word becomes a disjoined word and not a flowing one for the hand to learn.

CecilyP Fri 29-Oct-10 16:04:07

Doesn't that depend on the children getting the words spelled right in the first place. Otherwise their hands are going to learn their mis-spellings.

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 16:13:09

The theory is the child is taught the correct spelling and writes it again and again until the hand learns the pattern.

minimathsmouse Sat 30-Oct-10 21:52:58

The hand learns the pattern! Next we will have children writing without thinking. Very puzzling.

I received a cursive handwriting sheet for DS2 in YR1. I think I wrote last weeks shopping list on it wink

I will not support this scheme. He is learning to read from printed text, he will read quicker and more efficiently without this muddled philosophy. It will follow that he will write and eventually he will learn the spelling rules he needs.

Children are entering secondary unable to spell not because of faulty hands, but an inability and reluctance from teachers to teach the rules of spelling and to mark children's work vigorously.

sugarbea Sat 30-Oct-10 22:28:03

DS (5) got one of his spellings wrong because the practice word was written in cursive and (I) "misread" the teachers handwriting...I wish i could remember what the word was or what I thought it was but to me it kind of proves the point that it's much better to write in print so you can be understood irrespective of your handwriting.
DS's Ks look like R's and I'm always worried he will be pulled up for incorrect spelling when he's actually just trying to write the letters in cursive. However it doesn't bother him so i'm ok with it.
The one thing i will say is it makes it easier for him to write clear sentances as there is a definate gap between words...

Feenie Sat 30-Oct-10 22:31:26

Children are usually taught about different styles of handwriting for different purposes, too - I agree that it isn't appropriate for a list of spellings to be written using cursive writing, they need to be written clearly to avoid the confusion described.

Not that I am in favour of spelling lists, however....

minimathsmouse Sat 30-Oct-10 22:35:30

Feenie, how do you teach spelling, just out of interest?

I am interested because there seems to be huge differences in practices across schools.

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