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Cursive Writing ....


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A member of staff has been asked by her key child's mother that her daughter be taught 'cursive' letters to write her name

as this is the system they use at the school she will be attending next sept. The mum suggested she bring in her older child's work book to show how the letters should be formed, starting on the line and finishing on the line! Do you think this is acceptable (remembering individual learning of course) or if we do this for one parent, will we all have to learn cursive, jolly phonics, letterland, phonics etc etc. to please every parent too?

 

Any advise would be appreciated

thank you

 

dottyp :o

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Can she print all the letters of her name / of the alphabet already?

 

If she can, why not suggest to her mum that she completes any cursive worksheets that she wants AT HOME. Explain that your approach is to teach printing of individual letters initially, and that you'd rather leave it to school to teach cursive, as they are used to doing this and you don't want her to feel 'different' to the others.

 

To be honest, isn't this a goal for Reception rather than pre-school anyway, unless she is particularly advanced?

 

On the continent, they go straight to cursive, but here it is traditional to learn to print first.

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Hi SuzieC8

 

The child is 3yrs 10 months and is only able to 'copy' her name when written, but really struggles to form any recognisable

letters. She does not identify letters of the alphabet yet or know what letters spell her name. I'm feeling that 'mum' may be a little too eager to make her write her name..... dottyp :o

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Hi SuzieC8

 

The child is 3yrs 10 months and is only able to 'copy' her name when written, but really struggles to form any recognisable

letters. She does not identify letters of the alphabet yet or know what letters spell her name. I'm feeling that 'mum' may be a little too eager to make her write her name..... dottyp :o

 

Do you have a good relationship with the Primary School? I have often asked our reception class teacher for advice when I feel I am being 'bamboozled' by an over eager parent!!! :(xD It can be helpful to say "I have spoken to the school about this......."

 

She is, in my humble opinion, not ready for 'cursive' writing - will be interesting to see what the reception teachers among us think!

Edited by sunnyday
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Hi Sunnyday

 

The school is not local to our setting and in the past 7 years, only 3 children have gone there, so my contact is very limited.

The parent is our 'chair' but that doesn't bear any relevance, only the fact staff seem a little awkward when it's not something we have done in our setting before so it's interesting to get outside opinions :o

 

I do agree with you that she does not seem 'ready' to start writing her name yet when she is still only exploring letters and showing an interest in 'writing' which of course we will continue to encourage and support throughout sessions through a variety of media including pencils.

 

dottyp

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Hi Dottyp, I would definitely go with previous suggestions. It is very difficult to "teach" a child of this age to write letters the way you would like them to, they have their own ways of writing and you can only "suggest" that next time shall we ............ or shall we just practice writing your 'a' one more time, and this time let's try to see if we can put the stick down the side of the circle!

 

We still have to 'fight' our corner with adults who teach children to write their name with all capital letters - or no capital letter!

 

You can only do what you can do with a child who is ready, I might suggest that rather than fully cursive writing you put "flicks" on the end of the letters ready for when she is able to write in a cursive manner.

 

There was a time when even up to year 2 only wrote in a printed format and then the children had to re-learn in year 3 to form cursive. Four and five year olds writing cursive can look incredibly messy to begin with but it does save having to re-train a couple of years later.--

Edited by Panders
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If it's just copying it's pretty meaningless anyway, as it has no connection to 'real' writing.

 

I would worry that making her write her name might even put her off the idea of using marks to communicate, which at this age is a kind of free for all, "I'm writing a letter to my friend" approach, even though it's just scribbles to us. The urge to communicate is far more important than the need to write a name.

 

A quote that might make you smile: 'Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon' (E.M. Forster).

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Having always taught cursive to my reception and nursery children I feel I need to put my two pennies worth in here!

 

There are distinct advantages to teaching cursive from the start- one being they don't have to learn to add flicks and the move from single to join is relatively seamless and as I can wax lyrical about the benefits for hours I'll stop there!

 

It is no harder to teach/learn than print. If a child is going to a school and you know they teach cursive it's much harder for those who print to make the change and the school won't back down- believe me- that child will sit and do cursive if it's the last thing that teacher achieves!

 

The most important issue here is not if the child is ready to write- all children mark make- it's that when this child is and all others start to make the fine motor movements associated with writing- print or cursive- they do it the right bloomin way round! ie drawing circles which is the lead into a/c/o/g/d/s/q they start at the top and move the pencil (tool) anti clockwise! When drawing straight lines- b/p/f/h/i/j/k/l/m/n/r/t/u/v/w/x/y/ they start from the top and move down the page.

If teaching cursive always give a line for the child to use as a starting point and have lots of up down movements and up over back movements.

 

either way of teaching will do no harm as long as there is consistency- so if teaching cursive ensure you wright cursive for them and when they are forming letters ensure you support cursive likewise with print. as I said the actual letter formation is the last thing to worry about. Adding a stick on a letter is far easier to manage f your tool is in the right place!

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