To Cursive or not to Cursive


Barely a month back into the new school year and it's been great. 

The routine is back in place, variations of the all important five a day are going into lunch bags so we can all pretend they are being eaten, we haven't run out of loo roll since August and I have the dog to myself.

The only downside is homework.  (Insert dramatic sigh here)

With the just about exception of English, because of the reading, I hated it all through my own school years and am close to hating my children's homework even more.

Each year I have a nemesis.  Last year it was prime numbers, the year before it was Irish verbs and the trauma of the year they changed how to do long division still hasn't left me.  The challenges vary every year, sometimes they creep up on me, others I have realised so late in the year that it's just plain embarrassing.  This year however, it became apparent on day one of homework that cursive writing with my 6 3/4 year old was going to be the thing that pushes me back into the arms of my strong coffee and hob nob habit.

It has been explained very clearly and kindly for the third year in a row by our child's teachers that cursive from the beginning is best.  If we just put in the hard work with them now, it will pay off down the road.  Our child will learn to write better, will learn to read better by identifying word shapes and it's easier to learn print after cursive than to learn cursive after print.  The last one I could not agree with more, as that's exactly what I'm trying to do right now at fo.......  Ahem - at my age.

I have my own style of writing.  It's an eclectic mix of print, calligraphy, upper and lower case back to front sort of a thing that has taken me years to perfect.  I can read it just fine but I can't promise anyone else could.  It does not however, resemble anything even close to cursive writing.

So, back to school for me, because obviously, in order to help my son with his homework, I'm going to have to learn how to do it first.  Naturally, my first port of call is the Internet.  In this case, however, the world wide web has not been my friend.  Do you know how many types of cursive exist?  I don't, because I had to stop counting when it got dark and the battery died on my phone.

So I had a brain wave - ask my son to show me what his teacher showed him.  I must say, for a child who is still not 7, he has been incredibly patient with me.  He has given me my own pencil and paper, has suggested I keep the big yellow eraser on my side of the table and turned on the calming play list from my phone to sooth me as we work.  It's very Ed Sheeran heavy, so we started with writing Ed Sheeran in cursive.  After 15 minutes and hand cramp, I had mastered Ed, even with the upper case "Eh" and everything.

As you can see from the example at the top of this post, I'm progressing nicely.  I know what you're thinking, but no, I did not get my son to write that word for me.  I didn't even need to use spell check for it.  I still did of course, but didn't actually need to.

This week my son is teaching me to write the letter F. Or "FUH" as he calls it.  Did I mention I have issues with phonetics too?  No? Another time then.

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