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handwriting - Yr 5

(8 Posts)
koalalou Sun 16-Oct-11 00:46:28

DD is having trouble with joined up writing (cursive?) - she finds it hard to do, slow and messy. I am worried that if she doesn't get to grips with it she will have difficulty with exams when she is older.

She learned the basics in kindergarten (Australia) but since then she wasn't really encouraged to use it, until last year when her teacher raised it as something she needed to work on.

So far I haven't pushed too hard but I do think I should be helping her with it - but how?

cmgjh Sun 16-Oct-11 09:09:13

As far as exams go, it won't make a lot of difference. The content of what she writes gets far more credit than how neat it is, provided that it is legible. For example in the Y4 Optional Test there are something like 35 points for the writing test, of which three are for handwriting. Neat, even, but not joined writing will get two of these points.

mckenzie Sun 16-Oct-11 09:18:27

You have my sympathy koalalou as DS is the same (year 6). Because he writes so slowly he can't get down on paper what is in his head in the time allowed so IMO, the speed of the handwriting will be a penalty at exam time.
However, there are lots of exercises your DC an do to help her speed up. 5 minutes every day, twice a day if possible but once a day is a great start. And just 5 minutes, doing exercises going back to basics and writing whole lines of the same letter then doing popular letter mixes. We did this during the summer holidays just gone and the difference were substantial. I'm rather ashamed to say we haven't kept it up this term and you've given me a much needed reminder to start again.
Look out in your local stationary store for suitable books to help or look on line. Using the paper that has the special lines showing where the top of the smaller letter should go really helped DS too.

mrz Sun 16-Oct-11 09:42:15

Does she actually form letters correctly? (letters can look ok but when you watch children aren't starting in the correct place or using the correct sequence of movements)
It is worth spending some time making sure and using handwriting lines rather than those books with dots.

koalalou Sun 16-Oct-11 12:25:31

Thank you for your comments. At school they have just started insisting they use pen instead of pencil which I think has exacerbated the problem - she is more comfortable having a go at joined up writing in pencil.

It probably is a case of practicing lots - she didn't use joined up writing for her homework so I just asked her to write a paragraph, copying the blurb from the back of a book. It's fairly neat but she insisted on switching to pencil half way through. Her writing in pencil is much neater but both pencil/pen are quite slow.

I didn't look at her letter formation - will do that next time, thanks for the tip.

koalalou Sun 16-Oct-11 12:30:19

Glad to hear your son's writing has improved mckenzie. Will have a look online/WHS for some handwriting books. She loved these when she was younger... don't think she'll be quite so keen now.

mrz Sun 16-Oct-11 12:31:10

We use pencil until a child reaches a certain standard of joined handwriting then move onto pen (the children see it as something to work towards)
I do a happy handwriting week
We copy a short poem out on Monday - display all the pieces
practise handwriting daily
Re write the poem on Friday display next to the original and the DH judges who has improved most and the child receives a small prize (not for the best handwriting)

PointyBlackHat Sun 16-Oct-11 21:58:25

DD1 had appalling handwriting until last year, her English teacher said at parents' evening that it was pretty much set at her age and was unlikely to change. I was very hmm at that because my writing does not in any way resemble my writing at age 10!

DD's current English teacher really works on presentation - they have a 'best' book in which they write final versions of their work and they are encouraged to use their best writing. Even half a term in, the effect is noticeable in that DD's draft writing is already much better and her best is really nice. I know it's SATs year and there is an ulterior motive, but it's a nice side effect, and DD feels really confident. In addition they are encouraged to proofread and edit their own work and make corrections really thoroughly, which I think is a real life skill - handwriting links into a lot of things.

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