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It is important that parents know which letter font and style their child’s school is teaching. This will ensure that children will not get conflicting messages between home and school on how to form letters correctly.

There are four main font styles taught in UK schools; manuscript capital letters, manuscript print (sometimes referred to as the ball and stick method), cursive and continuous cursive.

A more traditional approach to teaching handwriting is first teaching the print (manuscript) font style, then moving to a single letter cursive font style (which has the same letter start points as print) and finally introducing the join stokes for joining letters (this is our Teaching Route A option).

Some schools will teach print (manuscript) then a continuous cursive font style (this is our Teaching Route B option). This means learning a new set of more consistent start and finish points when forming the single letters, however, it does make learning to join far easier as the exit and entry strokes to join have already been learnt and the letters only need to be written closer together.

Other schools will teach cursive from the beginning (this is our Teaching Route C option) and then introduce the join strokes for joining letters.

While others teach continuous cursive straight away so the children only learn one font style and learning to join is far easier (this is our Teaching Route D option).

The view here at Teach Children is to focus on lower-case letters first;

Why?

A child’s first major achievement, in their eyes, is to write their name. So, although concentrating on lower-case letters, teach them how to form the capital letter of their name to get them excited about handwriting.

As they master the lower-case letters introduce the remainder of the capital letters. It is important that both are taught so that a child can develop a speedy, fluid and legible handwriting style.

Teaching the letter fonts

Which to teach first - capital or lower-case letters?

The four most popular handwriting font styles taught in UK schools

The difference between Cursive and Continuous Cursive handwriting fonts

Cursive:

Letter Families and Letter Versions

Letters are created through joining lines and curve shapes in a particular way. They have a designated start point and set directional pushes and pulls of the pencil to reach the designated finish point. This is why at Teach Children we teach letter formation in groups/families rather than in alphabetical order. Certain groups use the same, or similar, shape and directional push and pulls of the pencil to form the letter, for instance the letter c has the same start point and anti-clockwise directional movement shape that is needed to create the letters a, d, g, o and, although a little more complicated, the letters s and e. Teaching letters in groups or families can also help to limit letter reversals such as b and d. Also by teaching letter groups in certain orders enables children to write whole words, which have meaning to them, and this in turn encourages them to write more.

The advantages of the different handwriting fonts

All schools have to teach children how  to form capital (upper-case) letters. Capital (upper-case) letters and lower-case print letters never join to other letters.

Why people like to teach Print:

Why people like to teach Cursive:

Why people like to teach Continuous Cursive:

Many people think that Cursive is just short for Continuous Cursive. In fact they are two different handwriting fonts.

Continuous Cursive:

Some letters can be written in different ways using the same font style (cursive or continuous cursive), for example the letter ‘z’. Both are acceptable, however, they would appear in different letter families. The first ‘z’ would be part of the Straight Lines family while the second would be part of the Hooks, Loops & Lines family.

Teaching routes

The Teach Handwriting Scheme and website teaches the capital letters together with your choice of the three main lower-case font styles taught in UK schools: print (manuscript), cursive and continuous cursive.

You can choose from the following teaching routes:

Letter versions

The Teach Handwriting Scheme and website teaches most of the letters within our cursive and continuous cursive font as a standard style, however, we do offer two letter versions for the letters w, x and z. The letter version chosen dictates which letter family (teaching groups) they belong in. This is why we have the letter versions 1, 2, 3 and 4. In each letter version all the letter and worksheets are in the appropriate letter families.

Letter Version 1

Letter Version 4

Letter Version 3

Letter Version 2

Cursive Letters

Continuous Cursive Letters

Teaching Route A

To first teach the print (manuscript) font style; next the single letter cursive font style; then the joining letter entry strokes; finally joining the letters.

Teaching Route B

To first teach the print (manuscript) font style; then the single letter continuous cursive font style; finally joining the letters.

Teaching Route C

To first teach a single letter cursive font style; next the entry stokes for joining letters; then joining the letters.

Teaching Route D

To teach a single continuous cursive font style; then joining the letters.