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How to Teach Cursive Writing to Kids?


Cursive writing is considered a means of self-expression. But in this day and age of technology, it is becoming a forgotten skill. As a matter of fact, writing on paper is vanishing in the era of tablets and educational apps, don’t you agree? Most of us grown-ups grew up learning cursive in school but as it turns out, today, there aren’t many schools that are teaching or instructing children to use cursive as a form of writing style. If your child’s school is not teaching them how to write in cursive, you can teach them at home with just a little practice each day.

Is it Essential to Teach Cursive Writing?

Many people, especially parents ponder upon the question “is it important to teach children cursive?” The answer is Yes. Teaching children to write in cursive has a variety of benefits and we have mentioned a few examples –

(a) Crucial for cognitive growth and development

(b) The writing’s fluency fosters a faster rate of note-taking and results in improved concentration.

(c) Develops and improves fine motor skills

(d) Reading and writing both are improved by this for those children who suffer from dyslexia.

(e) Improves spelling

(f) Sensory abilities are acquired when writing cursive with a pencil or a pen as the child requires to maintain the proper angle with the paper and apply the right amount of pressure to write the letters. Each letter requires a unique skill.

Steps for Teaching Cursive Writing to Children

Learn to read cursive

For children who have always read printed writing or text, reading cursive would be quite difficult in the beginning. Many parents prefer teaching their children how to read cursive before teaching them how to write it. If your child starts reading cursive first, you will be able to show them what cursive normally looks like and how each letter is written and connected.

Writing one letter at a time

Your child has been writing the letters in a specific style. It will be difficult for them to relearn the same letters through cursive because they have been comprehending and writing the letters in a particular way. Begin teaching cursive by introducing one letter at a time and allow them to practice writing that letter consistently before moving on to the next.

Teaching lowercase letters

Begin by teaching children the lowercase letters. Cursive writing is all about connecting the letters so it is suggested that you teach your child the lowercase letters before teaching the uppercase letters. You can teach your child cursive letters either by the pen movements through which the letters are created or by grouping the letters that are similar to their print letters. Start with the easiest letters and end with the challenging or uncommon ones.

Group 1c, a, d, g
Group 2h, t, p, e, l, f, q
Group 3u, i, j, k, r, s
Group 4o, b, v, w
Group 5m, n, y, x, z

Teaching upper-case letters

Once they become skilled with lowercase letters, start teaching them uppercase letters in the following order –

Group 1A, C, O, U
Group 2V, W, X, Y, Z
Group 3P, R, B, H, K
Group 4N, M, J, F, T
Group 5I, D, L, G, S
Group 6E, Q

The above order of uppercase cursive letters is arranged in a manner that teaches children first the uppercase letters that are similar to their lowercase letters.

Practice writing lowercase and uppercase letters together

After teaching your child how to write lowercase and uppercase letters, let them try writing each alphabet using lowercase and uppercase. Observe which letters were difficult for them or occasionally inquire which were the hardest letters to write. Focus on those letters they find challenging and help practice them.

If your child is having difficulty in writing certain letters, you can accompany them by writing those letters yourself on a sheet or board. In this manner, kids might see how you compose the letter they find difficult and attempt to copy you.

There is a possibility that your child may slightly change the way a letter is written. In such cases, do not be in a haste to correct them. If you can recognize the letter then it does not require to be corrected immediately. Although not making any corrections at all would be problematic as well because the child will develop the habit to write that particular letter in an incorrect manner.

Writing sentences

Now that your child is familiar with the letters, have them write simple sentences. When writing sentences in cursive, your child will learn how each letter is connected. Teach them (i) how to connect letters, (ii) which letters can be connected to other letters, and (iii) which letters do not get connected. You can always start by teaching children to write their names, the names of their family members, or the home address before moving on to writing sentences.

Give your child sentences to copy that use both lowercase and uppercase letters to help them understand whether the letters can be connected or not. Some children are competent in joining the lowercase letters but forget the fact that uppercase letters must be connected to the lowercase as well.

The most commonly used sentence for helping children learn cursive is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence contains all the alphabet and is a great way to test your child’s ability to connect letters correctly.

Reading and writing paragraphs

The final step in learning how to write in cursive is copying short as well as uncomplicated paragraphs and reading paragraphs or small passages which are easy to comprehend. For continuous improvement in cursive, practicing with a variety of letters on a day-to-day basis is essential.

Tips for Teaching Cursive to Children

(i) Use gel pens or ink pens when teaching children to write cursive for the first time. Pencils are not smooth and do not glide as well as these pens do.

(ii) Cursive writing is an art. This style of handwriting has a little artistic slant to it so tilt and angle the sheet of paper appropriately for better writing.

(iii) To understand better how each letter is connected, try using chalkboards or whiteboards. For children learning cursive, it is easier to imitate big movements and it enhances their fluid motions.

(iv) Instead of using lined paper, teach children cursive on dotted lined paper. This is useful for differentiating between lowercase and uppercase letters. It also works as a reference for beginners learning to write letters or maybe taking notes in cursive.

(v) Categorising alphabets as the following is a well-known trick to learn cursive writing –

  • Clock Climbers – a, d, g, q, c
  • Kite Strings – i, u, w, t, j, p, r, s, o
  • Hills and Valleys – n, m, v, y, x, z
  • Loop Group – h, k, b, f, l, e

(vi) When your kids are proficient enough to write brief paragraphs in cursive, set a timer to see how quickly they can write and complete an entire page.

(vii) Make the learning fun.

  • Use watercolors to paint the letters.
  • Write a letter or word with glue and allow your child to throw some glitter on it. Ask them to identify it.
  • Make them sign their name.
  • Find colorful printables or worksheets having a variety of activities related to cursive letters. You can also use poems or holiday-themed worksheets to teach word formation through cursive.

Cursive writing and print handwriting are two different forms of writing styles. While some children love writing in cursive, others prefer the print style of writing. Many children find print writing easier and more efficient. It is important that you let your child decide which writing method he/she wants to adopt and continue with. Furthermore, there are several children out there who end up creating their unique writing style by combining cursive and print handwriting.

So, it’s okay if your child chooses not to learn cursive. Do not pressurize them to learn it.

On the other hand, if your child is interested in learning this style of writing, then encourage them. Cursive writing requires a lot of practice, therefore, be patient with your children, support them and assist them whenever necessary. And remember to have fun.