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“Teaching Hand-Printing” Post

Teaching Hand-Printing

  1. Work on the small letters first, then the capital letters. Many books and classroom methods teach the two together. For any child finding this difficult concentrate on one at a time.
  2. Starting with the lower case, work on letters with only straight lines.
  3. Then work on letters with round shapes, followed by letters with stems and tails. A stem is the stick that goes up, and the tail is the part that hangs down. A ‘d’ has a stem and a ‘g’ has a tail.
  4. Do the same with capitals – straight lines such as capital ‘L’ and follow up with letters with rounded parts.
  5. Say to your child, “All capital letters stand on the line,” meaning none of them has a tail.
  6. Regarding small letters, say The body of the letter sits on the line.” Explain that the body of the letter is the round part.
  7. Ask the child to write small letters such as ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘u’, ‘o’, ‘p’ ‘q’ etc.
  8. Then ask the student to colour in the body of the letter. This reinforces what the body is and where it sits.

When you encounter a problem

  • Avoid overloading the child. You will know when you can introduce the next step.
  • If a child feels frustrated when writing then tell him it’s like drawing and it’s a form of art.
  • Write some letters in large. Ask your child to copy them and then see if he can turn each letter into a picture.
  • To strengthen a child’s hand muscles, you could set up a potato peeling activity at the kitchen bench on a regular basis. There are other activities you can invent yourself, such as threading buttons.

Problems with Victorian Cursive Script:  Victorian Cursive Script because it claims – through the shapes of the letters – that letters in the alphabet are square. This squarish shape is hard for children to write and it is even harder for them to maintain the slant of stems and tails. It seems this style of writing has never been a success.

One problem with classroom instruction on writing is the use of the word ‘loop’. Children now ‘loop’ into the ‘m’ and ‘n’ and then draw a loop on the way out of letters. This approach to writing ‘m’ and ‘n’ goes back to nineteenth century copperplate. It causes ‘n’ to look like ‘m’ when not in true copperplate style.

  • Explain to your child that loops are not a part of the letter. The loops are becoming big and make the children’s letters too wide. Ask your student to begin the letter on the line and when finished the letter, say tick. More about this below.

https://www.tutoringprimary.com/debate-cursive-script/ is a link to the debate which is ongoing.

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