Handwriting – Cursive script

Handwriting – Cursive script
October 30, 2014 No Comments Teaching Ideas montessorisoul


Following on from my post about print letter formation here is Part 2 – a guide for cursive handwriting.

Freya’s new school uses cursive writing so I have been doing some research on how to support her. I want to do it in a way that she can independently check her letter formation so I created a crib sheet for her Cursive handwriting letter formation. I wanted to share my findings with you so that you too can support your child at home in the best way.

Each school should have a handwriting policy as to which style they use – I am using a standard cursive font but some letters can be formed differently so check with your childs school as to exactly which style they use.

I have found a nice app on Apple iOS it is called IntroToCursive by Montessorium. It teaches each letter in a ‘Montessori’ way using touch. My children love this app. Again some of the letters are formed slightly differetnly to the letters I have below – but it is hard to find one style as there seem to be so many out there! Generally I really like the Montessorium apps have a look. I will be doing a review of iPad apps we use very soon!

In my research I have just found a site which has nice animations of each letter formation.

Cursive letters

The key yo cursive is that all letters are starting and finishing at the same point. The idea is that this will allow the child to form letters fluidly into joine up with out taking pen off the paper. It is supposed to help with Dyslexia as it makes writing easier. Here is what the British Dyslexia Assosciation says:

Typically, when first learning to write, children ‘print’ their letters. They then move on to ‘joined up’ writing at a later stage. For children with dyslexia, learning two styles of handwriting can add an extra layer of difficulty and cause confusion. It is, therefore, much more helpful if a young child can learn to use a single system of handwriting right from the start.

The most widely recommended handwriting style is called continuous cursive. Its most important feature is that each letter is formed without taking the pencil off the paper – and consequently, each word is formed in one, flowing movement.

The key advantages to this system are:

  • By making each letter in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’ of it, making it easier to produce the correct shape;
  • Because letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (like b/d or p/q);
  • There is a clearer distinction between capital letters and lower case;
  • The continuous flow of writing ultimately improves speed and spelling.

In reality it has to be taught well as it can e confusing to children so if your school is teaching cursive hand writing please support it at home. Some schools teach print first and then cursive is introduced, some schools start with cursive straight away.

You can get cursive sandpaper letters which can help – or why not make some? Have a look at my Handwriting Pinterest board for ideas.

All of the letters below are on one simple printable on MontessoriSoul.com – Cursive handwriting letter formation.

Cursive a With all of these letters the idea is to start at the green dots and end at the red. If there is a second stroke this should be done at the end of the word – this is shown with an orange dot.
Cursive b The key with all of these letters is they start and finish at the same point. Many children don’t go back up on the b after the down stroke – but this is really important.
Cursive c Freya was struggling with some letters and I read that the c is the key – from the c formation it is the foundation for a, d, g, q letters so it is a great one to practice lots.
Cursive d Freya also struggled with her b and d – have you heard of the bed method to help remember? Have a look at the letter reversal post to help children remember.
Cursive e
Cursive f F is a letter that can have different styles so it is worth checking with your childs school.
Cursive g Can you see the ‘c’ letter to start with?
Cursive h
Cursive i The dot of the i can be added at the end of the word so that the childs pen stays on the paper for the whole word.
Cursive j
Cursive k Check with school as k has a number of different formations.
Cursive l
Cursive m
Cursive n
Cursive o The o actually finishes at the top so this might cange the lead into the next letter… confusing i know!
Cursive p If your child gets the ‘p’ the wrong way round use the pig hands – check out the letter reversal blog post.
Cursive q Another letter starting with ‘c’.
Cursive r
Cursive s Check your schools ‘s’.
Cursive t The second stroke across the ‘t’ can be done at the end of the word.
Cursive u
Cursive v
Cursive w
Cursive x
Cursive y
Cursive z
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