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Joined up writing in reception/foundation year.

(19 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 10:12:18

Why is this essential? I am asking as a 'want to know' rather than just being annoyed about it. Ds is 5, could write before starting school as was not interested, not enough coordination/muscle strength, but has taken to it immediately, loves writing, drawing, learning to read. However, he is still building up muscle strength and dexterity. His letters are coming along beautifully but he is being expected to write joined up, so for example as well as still learning what 'sh' sounds like, and looks like, he needs to know only what it looks like joined up and how to write joined up, not both letters on their own.

He is getting confused, especially with 'f' as the day it is written joined up is different. I am sure he will get there in the end, but even my dd aged prefers to write individual letters and is much much neater doing it this way than joined up and I remember he doing joined up first in year one and getting very upset that she couldn't do an 'f' in the joined up way. She spent more time trying to get it looking neat than workin in the homework in question.

What is the rationale behind it?

fuctifino Sun 01-Feb-15 10:15:17

Rather than teach them to form single letters and then spend more time teaching cursive, it is easier to teach one method only.
It may seem tough going at the outset but in the long run it seems to be beneficial.

FiveHoursSleep Sun 01-Feb-15 10:34:09

All my 4 kids have learnt to write this way.
It does look like an insect has crawled out of an inkpot for the first few years but after a couple of years they suddenly have nice, joined up writing.
If they learn to print, then they are supposed to change to joined up writing in Y2, just about the time they are expected to write more complicated stuff. Instead they end up concentrating on their writing.
If they learn joined up from the start, then by the time they get to y2 they are able to just get on with complicated sentences and bigger words.
I know it's frustrating if your child has already learnt to print; it's always worth checking what kind of writing your preferred school does.

PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 10:34:25

I am so sorry for my horrendous ipad typos!

AsBrightAsAJewel Sun 01-Feb-15 10:34:29

In the example you give of "sh" it also helps children recognise that it isn't "s" and "h", but the two letters make a single phoneme. Prior to the universal introduction of systematic phonics teaching I saw many children struggling to sound out words like "wish" because they saw the "sh" as two totally separate sounds.

PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 10:38:58

five really useful, thank you, and you too fuctifino. My dad didn't start learning joined up til what was probably, as you said, yr2, which would make sense with what you say, she did indeed spend too much time trying to join her words and not enough time on the actual work.

Ds has not yet learnt to print, the only way he has been learning is this joined up way, so I guess the school changed it after dd was in foundation.

It makes sense to join up now I guess, just seems sooo hard for him. He has so much he is trying to learn, and gets upset as his hand hurts with trying to write. But we will persevere.

Dd is now in yr4, still looks like a spider crawling along the paper, so when does it get neater? grin

AsBrightAsAJewel Sun 01-Feb-15 10:44:22

Sorry, I can't answer that one Pavlov - We have many Year 1s with immaculate joined script, but a few Year 6s (mostly boys at the moment) that are erratically joined, with inconsistent letter heights so capital letters are not clear and who are in such a rush some parts need reading aloud by them to understand.

FiveHoursSleep Sun 01-Feb-15 10:45:26

My kids ( girls and boys) have had better handwriting from Y2- y3- but I guess that means they have had 3-4 years of joined up writing.
I suppose that means your eldest's handwriting should improve over the next year or so.
None of mine have lovely writing btw- by 'better' , I just mean legible!
DS is in Y2, and has hypermobility- he's struggled with writing quite a bit but the school have done some extra work with him and he's improved greatly.
FWIW, Secondary schools don't seem to care about writing too much as long as they can read it!

PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 10:45:46

Oh loucily her writing is completely understandable, just not tidy! She writes All The Time too. Maybe it's because she didn't start in foundation?

PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 10:47:18

DH has just said 'what's the point in doing more than printing? By the time they are adults, they won't need to have beautiful writing, it will all be done on the computer, writing will be pointless' shock

FiveHoursSleep Sun 01-Feb-15 10:52:19

Your DH has a point smile

DeWee Sun 01-Feb-15 11:59:20

I've 3 dc. Dd1 and ds (my oldest and youngest) they started on writing joined up in year R. DD1 loves writing and always has, dd2 (my middle) writes stories for pleasure, ds if he never had to write again would rejoice-getting him to write a sentence is painful!
Dd2 they started on suggesting they could join up in year 2, which I though much more appropriate.

However much as I thought it was a waste of time and effort at that age-dd1 and ds have beautiful handwriting even under stress, and dd2's best looks like a spider upset the ink bottle. It's readable, but not neat, and she does sometimes have things corrected that were right but not clear enough.

mrz Sun 01-Feb-15 12:34:03

Perhaps your DH would be interested in current research that demonstrates writing by hand actually improves learning, something using a keyboard fails to do OP.
There is also evidence that writing by hand improves spelling and reading.

tigrou Sun 01-Feb-15 12:58:56

My children were taught cursive writing from the outset (in France). I was a bit skeptical at first, but am totally won over by it. Each letter is formed in a totally unique way, which makes it impossible to confuse letters like b and d, p and q, etc, because the hand movement is totally different. My youngest is still learning and often makes back-to-front mistakes when printing (she learned to print in her English class), but when I ask her to write the same letters in cursive (as learned in French class), she doesn't make a single mistake.

elfonshelf Mon 02-Feb-15 15:18:00

DD does both - mainly print at school but a bit of joined up for homework, but not proper cursive.

I'm often told I have beautiful handwriting and I can't do joined up at all. I only print. Examiners loved me as it's very easy to read.

If DD can do it then great, but school will have to teach it as I haven't a clue and don't care either way. I'd rather that she can print legibly and have good keyboard skills than labour over cursive.

Madcats Mon 02-Feb-15 21:24:36

DD could barely hold a pen in R (but could sing a compelling argument together verbally). She had beautiful writing in yr 2, but it is looking like a demented spider in yr 3 now she has to commit thoughts to paper in half-hearted joined up world (or finish it off as homework).

I have memories of being told to spend the summer learning how to write so people could read it and give you marks (so probably 14/15). I reckon it would have been easier to learn that at 7-12.

Script is nice, but I wish I had been allowed to learn touch-typing.

MMmomKK Tue 03-Feb-15 21:03:19

Dd1's old school did print in YR and joined up from Y1. So, by end of YR her handwriting looked rather nice. Not all letters more or less the se size and legible. Then in Y1 it went all over the place. I could hardly understand what she was writing. One week is was huge, another, so tiny you needed a magnifying glass to make it out. It only finally settled by Y2. So - a whole year of confusion and struggle...

We moved schools, do Dd2 started y4 in sept and started learning connected writing. For now it means that all letters start with "lead-in stroke". Again, a bit of a wobble in Autumn term, as she new how to write some the letters in print-style and found it challenging to change. Fast forward to now, Feb, very comfortable with all letters with lead-in strokes. Just learned to connect letters in her own name and is really proud of it. Wants to learn how to connect other letters.

I think starting in YR makes more sense. It just need to go as slow as the kids are developing. They are still so small in Recwption.

MMmomKK Tue 03-Feb-15 21:04:56

Sorry about the typos. I blame IPHONE!

"Dd2 started YR this Sept"

FlightofFancy Wed 04-Feb-15 13:32:09

Have to say that I hate this - my DS is in year R and not massively keen on writing. Mainly because it's impossible to read anything he's written because they insist on adding massive tails and apparently random extra lines to every letter.
Mind you, I have awful handwriting - which hasn't held me back at any point in my education, career or otherwise. On the plus side I can type nearly 80wpm... Even at GCSE, you get points for spelling, grammar, sentences structure - not handwriting!

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