Once a child has learnt how to form and position letters they are ready for join their handwriting.
They learn how to join both bottom and top joining letters for cursive and continuous cursive handwriting styles.
The process of joining letters depends on the handwriting style being taught.
There are 4 groups of letter joins; bottom joins, bottom to “c” shape joins, “e” joins (top and bottom join strokes) and top joins.
Children are taught to add a finishing kick/stroke to the individual letters and extend them into the following letter start point.
Two types of Bottom joins need to be taught:
Bottom to “c” shape joins not only have to be extended but curved up and over to what would be the normal start point of the letter if it was not to be joined
Two types of “e” joins need to be taught:
Two types of Top joins need to be taught:
Handwriting styles which allow the letters to join are best for children as they make their handwriting fluent and quick, by reducing the strain on their hand, wrist and fingers.
There are four type of handwriting joining stroke - bottom joins, bottom to “c” shaped joins, “e” joins and top joins, to be mastered.
Capital letters and print letters do not join when handwriting.
Click on the handwriting style below to see the letter join animations and handwriting practice worksheets.
All continuous cursive letters are taught with a lead-in and exit stroke. All your child needs to do is write the letters closer together without taking their pencil off the paper until the word is finished. So the only additional letter joins that need to be taught are:
Top joins to “e” as a more downward curved stroke is required
Two types of Top joins:
It has to be remembered that handwriting is a complex skill which is not naturally instinctive; we have to be taught how to form the letters while developing the physical, coordination and memory skills needed.
The ultimate goal is to achieve a good handwriting style, which is one where the letters are of a consistent size and form, maintained throughout a piece of writing, while maintaining a good pace and legibility.