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Basics of Cursive Writing

This is my first post about handwriting or cursive writing. I'll be publishing more about this fascinating topic over the next few months. Cursive writing, also referred to as handwriting, is best characterized by letters that are conjoined and flowing together in a cohesive manner for the expressed purpose of writing faster. Experts can write a word in just a single complex stroke, but such a skill requires time and practice.

Cursive Writing For Everyone

Students of all ages can learn cursive writing. However, kids age 7 or younger may need assistance from an adult. In general, 8-year-olds can complete cursive writing assignments after some assistance and general direction from a teacher is given. Kids age 9 or older can complete cursive writing assignments without assistance.  As with any new writing technique, it is important to monitor the progress of students and then make adjustments as necessary.

Differences From Printing

Cursive writing is markedly different from the upright and separated block letters used in printing. In other words, the letters are unconnected and written without slanted loops. Letters like the lowercase “f,” “r,” “s,” and “z,” and the uppercase “D,” “F,” “G,” “L,” and “Q” are different in shape from the printed counterparts. With practice, students can master these and other letters with ease.

Teaching Techniques

Many schools teach cursive writing in much the same way that they teach printing: by organizing and grouping letters that are similar – rather than presenting them in alphabetical order – for faster comprehension. This technique encourages students to build on one letter – and ultimately one group – before adding more letters – and ultimately more groups – to their current assignment. Also in my Game Designing course, I developed these techniques and used them in my thesis.

It is important to build when it comes to cursive writing because in cursive writing the letters flow together to create one connected word. Generally, you want to start learning how to write lowercase letters first, as these are easier to master and can be used in other lessons, such as spelling. And of course, the best word to start with is your name.

Writing Practice

Cursive tracer pages offer an effective way for students to learn cursive writings. Printable worksheets are available and can be customized depending on the student’s needs. Many worksheets are grouped into five main categories.

  1. Round letters are letters that are written using the same steps as the letter “a.” Examples include: “a,” “d,” “g,” “p,” and “c.”  
  2. Climb and slide letters are letters that are written in much the same way as the letter “i.” Examples include: “i,” “u,” “w,” and “t.”
  3. Loopy letters are letters that are written similarly to the letter “e.” Examples include: “e,” “l,” “h,” “k,” “b,” “f,” and “j.”
  4. Lumpy letters are letters that written in much the same way as the letter “n.” Examples include: “n,” “m,” “v,” and “x.”

Online Resources

Online animations also make learning cursive writing easier. Such programs offer an interactive and fun way of learning cursive writing at home or at school. Many programs are available free of charge and are all categorized by the level of difficulty of the program. The biggest benefit of online animation programs is that they allow students to study the letters of the cursive alphabet in a visually stimulating way and provide hours of practice. Chose a well-accredited online school though, to prevent any disappointments.

These are just a few of the many techniques available to help students learn basic cursive writing.