When should my child learn joined-up handwriting?

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In the United Kingdom, children typically start to learn joined-up handwriting between the ages of 5-7 years old, in Key Stage 1 of primary school. However, the exact age at which a child joins up their handwriting can vary depending on their individual development and their school’s approach to teaching handwriting. We always advise that the best time to start learning to join is in Year 3.

At Morrells Handwriting, we firmly believe that there should be no rush to join handwriting. Teaching the correct letter formation and developing fine motor skills to master the pencil grip are fundamentals that require time for children to practise. Only once this has been achieved and embedded, should you begin to teach children to join letters.

The national curriculum specifies that children should be taught to correctly form letters of the correct size and orientation. Morrells Handwriting Letter Formation handwriting workbooks have been designed using our unique method to learn the correct shapes, and starting, and finishing points for each letter of the alphabet.

Some schools may introduce cursive handwriting with an entry/lead-in stroke. There is no requirement to use this style of joined-up handwriting which is now being phased out from all teaching. It’s worth noting that some children may find it easier to write in print rather than cursive. This is also a valid form of handwriting and is the norm at secondary school.

To help your child with learning to write, develop their fine motor skills through play during their early years. Once they begin to learn how to write letters provide them with ample time and a suitable space at home to practise letter formation in the handwriting families. It is also important to help them to master pencil grip as well as the correct size and orientation of letters.

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