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Joined up handwriting year 1

(51 Posts)
Northlondonma Tue 30-Dec-14 18:23:57

My daughter is young August born in year 1. She has had her first homework over Xmas with 7 pages of words she has to write out multiple times in joined up handwriting. She is just about mastering writing let alone joining it all up! She is struggling with it but is this normal for 5 year olds to be writing joined up?? I'm sure I didn't learn that until early secondary school (if memory serves correct!). Seems a push to get them to do this so early when they have literally not even mastered writing coherently!

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 30-Dec-14 18:25:57

I've taught in secondary school for over ten years. We do not teach any form of handwriting, except to students who need intervention. Not sure when they learn it at primary but secondary teachers don't tend to have any training in how to teach handwriting.

Northlondonma Tue 30-Dec-14 18:28:50

My memory probably doesn't serve me correct then ;) but 5 does seem awfully young!

mrz Tue 30-Dec-14 18:42:12

Many schools teach fully joined handwriting from the beginning of reception. IMHO it is better to teach correct letter formation first then move onto joined at some point in KS1.

mrz Tue 30-Dec-14 18:48:44

For the record primary teachers rarely have any training in teaching handwriting either.

Ferguson Tue 30-Dec-14 18:56:26

As a retired TA with twenty years in primary schools, it increasingly seems to me that ever more and more difficult work is being expected of ever younger children.

I have looked up a bit of information, and to me it seems that cursive writing isn't a statuary requirement till Yr2 - but I stand to be corrected by teachers who know a lot more than me.

Meanwhile, the following links may be of some use to you:

meglet Tue 30-Dec-14 19:15:20

The dc's were taught joined up writing from reception year. It takes a while for it to click into place but TBH I think it's better than learning to print then having to unlearn it.

IIRC joined up writing is faster for when they have to start longer pieces of writing.

mrz Tue 30-Dec-14 19:17:53

I would always check with the school before using on line resources or handwriting books to see what if anything matches the school's handwriting style. It's more difficult to correct incorrect formation than to learn correctly from the start.

Guilianna Tue 30-Dec-14 19:21:30

I'm a R teacher and have just been told to start teaching cursive in January. Personally I believe it's best taught in KS1.

simpson Tue 30-Dec-14 20:03:24

DD was taught cursive handwriting towards the end of yr1 (currently in yr2) as she was deemed ready ie had correct letter formation in print but DS (now yr5) didn't begin cursive writing towards the end of yr2.

catkind Tue 30-Dec-14 20:25:58

DS school taught pre-cursive from the beginning of Yr R. (Letters with lead ins and flicks at the end so they are ready to be joined, but not actually joining them.) It seemed terribly hard to start with to be doing all those extra bits when he could barely hold a pencil or form a circle.

But now I'm a convert. It even helped with letter formation in the end - I think to do with all the letters starting with a diagonal up-right stroke meant DS didn't do letters backwards the way he still in Yr 1 is prone to with numbers.

DS started joining up some letters around the end of Yr R. That actually also helped with getting his letters a uniform size and words grouped together/spaces between. Not sure if they've been taught to join, or DS just twigged what all the extra lines were for and took it upon himself.

When I was at school we had to completely relearn handwriting in year 4-5 to join it up, handwriting lessons were the most boring thing ever. I think I prefer the new approach so they only learn it once.

Homework just writing out words though? Yick, that does NOT sound fun. Is that what they're doing at school too?

marne2 Tue 30-Dec-14 20:33:29

My dd's school teach joined up in year one, it has caused many problems with my dd who took a while to write non joined up ( she has ASD and struggled with pencil grip and forming letters ), she was just getting the hang of writing when the introduce joined up, she's now in year 3 and is still struggling to do joined up ( she doesn't see why it's important and tbh I don't see why it's important either ). Year one is far to young to introduce it in my opinion but it seems to be common practice in schools now sad.

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 30-Dec-14 20:37:35

When they hit secondary school it's only necessary that their writing is legible. The joined up thing doesn't matter!

mrz Tue 30-Dec-14 21:29:13

It's quite common for secondary to let hand writing slip

Notinaminutenow Wed 31-Dec-14 13:23:22

Goodness me, what dull Christmas homework for a 5 year old. Is that the best the teacher could come up with? Does she even have to write the word in a sentence, or is understanding the meaning of the words irrelevant?

If it helps at all, I have a very late august born DS in y7. He rarely uses cursive. He is top set English and his teacher has never commented on his handwriting.

He writes interesting stuff, he writes reasonably quickly. His handwriting is legible but it's not going to win any prizes.

He used to have 5 mins intervention each morning in primary, dutifully writing cursive script in a book. It made no difference at all - he can do it, he does not do it automatically.

What is with this obsession with forcing 5 year olds to do this? They have so much else to learn, little poppets. If they are forming the letters correctly surely that's enough.

I had an esteemed, inspirational Prof. at Uni who wrote everything in BLOCK CAPITALS. I guess his teachers in his formative years missed the memo on joined up writing!

mrz Wed 31-Dec-14 14:19:48

mrz Wed 31-Dec-14 14:41:34

Many countries, France in particular, believe that teaching handwriting early frees the child to develop creativity.

Buttercup27 Wed 31-Dec-14 14:45:41

I teach r and to and teach cursive from day one. They know no different so you might as well teach them it from the start rather than making them change to cursive in y5 then change again to joined up. By y1 lots are keen to have a go at joined up.

mrz Wed 31-Dec-14 15:02:32

I disagree .. I think it's important to learn to form separate letters first

Buttercup27 Wed 31-Dec-14 15:33:12

Cursive handwriting is taught as individual letters , just with the 'tails' there ready to join.

butterfliesinmytummy Wed 31-Dec-14 15:36:29

Dd1 is in year 1 and practicing joined up writing. She's keen to do "grown up" writing. I'm more horrified at the low quality and lack of thought from the teacher, a real enthusiasm killer! And homework for year 1 over Christmas??? What's that about?

mrz Wed 31-Dec-14 15:56:25

Then I'm afraid you aren't teaching cursive handwriting Buttercup

Potcallingkettle Wed 31-Dec-14 16:04:58

Notinaminutenow Wed 31-Dec-14 16:59:03

It seems the teachers on the thread can't even agree amongst themselves. What the heck then are parents supposed to think?

One of the links is to a research paper that is over ten years old. As teaching practise in this country seems to change with the wind, I'm not sure how relevant it is.

DS's grades appear just fine at present.

mrz Wed 31-Dec-14 17:21:40

Yes teaching practice does change in response to research evidence and knowledge. Would you prefer we continue using methods that have been shown to be less effective?

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