Monday, September 8, 2008

Things Have Changed

Abby got her first "Bee Card" at school last week. That means she got a warning for bad behavior, for those of you not hip to the Kindergarten scene.

The reason (at least according to Abby)? Because she was having a hard time making an upper-case E, and got upset and refused to try any more. So, Daniel practiced with her that evening, making E after E. She did great.

The next day, she had problems making a lower case E. After she showed us how she was supposed to make the E in class, we realized that it was nothing like the E we've always seen. I e-mailed her teacher and asked what type of handwriting they use, and asked for a paper describing this elusive E. She sends a booklet home with Abby today, explaining how to make "pre-cursive" letters.

Pre-cursive? I always thought regular letters were pre-cursive. Daniel would like for me to add that he has never (supposedly) even written in cursive. He thinks regular letters are just fine, thank you.

So now Daniel and I have to learn a new style of writing along with Abby. But I wonder, will this affect my kid's ability to read books with non pre-cursive letters? Generally, I think handwritten letters mimic times new roman, arial, and other common computer fonts. Pre-cursive does not. Pre-cursive is also what kids are learning these days while learning to read.

I saw on a website that you can actually download pre-cursive fonts for your computer. Apparently, the "inventors" of pre-cursive thought about reading being a problem, too. Maybe if they just change the computer fonts, pre-cursive will make sense. I personally like the old-fashioned pointy M and N...

What do you guys think about pre-cursive? Is it a keeper?


Anonymous said...

That's just crazy! Azia took Pre-K in Oklahoma and they do it the old fashioned way and she's been in the Nebraska school system and they do it the old fashioned way so I've never even heard of Pre-cursive. You guys must be ahead of times. I could see your concern in the reading issue because all books are published in print. Very interesting my friend. I wish you all the best of luck in learning pre-cursive with your daughter.

KateGladstone said...

Learning how to write one way doesn't stop you from reading other ways -- if not, kids would have to learn reading one million times because America has at least one million type fonts!

As a handwriting specialist, I have to say that "Bob Jones University" (like most handwriting programs) has one or two good points and a zillion bad ones. For my own views on handwriting, research on the matter, and resources to help -- visit or

Kate Gladstone
The Handwriting Repairwoman

Anonymous said...

Wow I had never heard of pre-cursive...I thought that was just a fancy font. Who knew they'd want you to learn to write that way IRL...especially in kindergarten. I thought learning to write/print was pre-cursive anywhoo...I am having a hard time teaching Ty cursive because its done the shmancy fancy old fashioned way...Not the way I sometimes it is a learning experience for me. It is frustrating for me and Ty tho as I imagine it is for you and Abby.

hannahbro5 said...

I'm pretty sure that pre-cursive is the only way I learned to write. Of course that could have been because I was at a private Christian college prep school?

Anonymous said...

My son is six years old and is in first grade at a Christian school that uses Bob Jones University handwriting, which is pre-cursive. He started reading last year in Kindergarten and has had no problem with reading other fonts.

The purpose of pre-cursive is to help with the formation of letters so that the child can more easily transition into cursive handwriting. Although many people don't use cursive handwriting, children are still required to learn how and pre-cursive will help.

My husband is a teacher and we both feel that BJU has an excellent reading and handwriting program. The most important thing is that your child is learning to read primarily using phonics.

This is just the beginning of the things that you will have to re-learn in order to help your child through school. I am 35 and I see such a difference in the way kids are being taught now compared to when I was in school. My husband says that we only stop learning when they bury us.

Good luck.

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