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Victorian Cursive handwriting

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#1 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:18 AM

I have questions about Victorian Cursive handwriting taught in VIC schools. DH and I were schooled in NZ and DH a stint in Singapore and we both learnt basic printing in primary school. I did learn full blown cursive handwriting with it's curly Z, flourishes etc when I was 12. However if you look at my handwritten notes at high school and university I reverted to just printing as it was faster and easier to read.
So DS started school this year. He has difficulty handwriting and I actually had an OT working with him on this for an entire year while he was at preschool. Both DH and I look at the Victorian cursive script, abet a simplifed cursive but with letters like p looking like an h, the curly z etc as overly complicated. It doesn't help that cursive isn't reflected in daily use, typeface is not cursive, keyboards, wipe clean learn to write books etc are all using normal print typeface.
So why is Victorian cursive used?
What do other states teach writing use?
Has anyone been able to get their child a dispentation to just write in normal print in Vic due to disability?
Does anyone who learnt VIC cursive use it in later life or have they changed?
Why the big deal that a prep must write in VIC cursive or is this just a certain teacher quirk?

Please help DH and I understand about this. All we can see it is as a barrier for our little guy's learning at the moment.

#2 rachel_f

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:27 AM

Ugh I HATE Victorian cursive. We moved to VIC from interstate midway through my preppie’s first year. He practically stopped writing altogether for a full term because he was so freaked out by all these letters he didn’t recognise.

Will be very interested to find out why it’s taught and why it’s taught at such a young age because I am totally baffled by it 😠

#3 LiveLife

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:29 AM

I still write in cursive if needing speed as it’s quicker. I was taught both

My kids learnt cursive in WA primary school and now print in a traditional font in high school including duringlong timed essays. But I believe it’s because the teachers didn’t focus on speed writing in primary thinking they’d do their exams typed a decade later. So far only one typed exam and they are looking at doing ATAR handwritten I believe. Their typing speed far exceeds their writing/printing speed (and they are neat fast writers compared to their peers)

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:34 AM

Victorian cursive baffles me. I just look at the b and think WHY?!?!

In SA we have a linked script designed to help people write faster. My preference is to teach that over print as it provides ‘flow’ however the reality at the moment is that I get excited if a child can actually write at all ...

#5 SeaPrincess

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:41 AM

In WA, they teach Vic cursive. It’s supposed to be an easier transition from unjoined to proper cursive than from printing to cursive, but none of my children have been explicitly taught to join the letters up. The boys have dreadful writing and it’s something we’re working on at home with DS2 and DD.

#6 ERipley

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:44 AM

Just another person totally confused by this. My son was writing before school and now he has lost all confidence. We also have been seeing an OT and handwriting strength is an issue so he’s especially sensitive. To be fair, as he gets a grip on it (so to speak) his writing is looking really nice, but I also feel it’s a waste of time and energy.

#7 casime

Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:46 AM

No idea why.  My students do like to tease me, because I had to teach myself Vic Cursive, but occasionally revert to what I was taught as a child.  They think it's hilarious.  

I don't really care what they use in their books, outside of the actual handwriting books.  I value neatness above all.

#8 Octopodes

Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:04 AM

I learnt Victorian cursive, I switched to printing again as soon as I started high school. Cursive is pointless.

DS goes to school in NSW, the font they use is far less curly and more instinctive. DS switched back to printing once he got his pen licence in Stage 2. Teachers comment on how neat his handwriting is for a left handed boy, so the school clearly doesn't mind that he's stopped writing in running writing.

Edited by Octopodes, 29 June 2019 - 10:06 AM.

#9 Ozquoll

Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

Glad I’m not the only one confused by them introducing cursive so early. My little one has got atrocious handwriting anyway, throwing cursive in to the mix is not helping! And yes, some of the letters I have to look at twice to be sure I’m reading them right - how on earth are six-year-olds expected to do this?!!

#10 kimasa

Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

I learned Victorian cursive and still write in it, I find printing really slow.

Edited by kimasa, 29 June 2019 - 10:06 AM.

#11 Mmmcheese

Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

I write cursive when I want to write fast, I think the intention is that it's faster than printing. I think the b and P were to help with the confusion and backward b &d's and P & Q's

#12 ipsee

Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:08 AM

I like Vic cursive...I find cursive writing much quicker.

My kids have learned modern cursive but very few of the letters are actually joined up - it seems to be missing the point of the fast flow of cursive writing to me.

#13 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:13 AM

i had to google this, turns out this is what i would call "normal handwriting" lol.  is there another way?  how do you do it?  this is what we were taught because its easy to join it all up. Made sense to me.

But now I want to know what others are taught.  Is it more of what i think i have heard call the circle and line method?

To confuse matters more, we even learned copperplate at one stage in primary school.

ETA: and yes, i still write in the style i was taught, mostly joined, especially if writing quick notes for myself.  I might print a bit more if i want it legible for someone else.

Edited by ~LemonMyrtle~, 29 June 2019 - 11:16 AM.

#14 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:17 AM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 29 June 2019 - 09:41 AM, said:

In WA, they teach Vic cursive. It’s supposed to be an easier transition from unjoined to proper cursive than from printing to cursive, but none of my children have been explicitly taught to join the letters up. The boys have dreadful writing and it’s something we’re working on at home with DS2 and DD.
Not all wa schools. Some changes over the SA standard.

It’s a terrible handwriting format for any child who has issues handwriting. My big kid learned it and hates it. Then our WA school moved to SA print/linked script. So so much better without the weird joins. School focused really hard with him and oh look his handwriting is finally legible.

Yeah I don’t get it either. But you don’t want to see my handwriting. I use print and cursive and a bizarre combination of various styles and it’s messy. Meh I use a computer more then I actually write.

Edited by mayahlb, 29 June 2019 - 11:18 AM.

#15 BusbyWilkes

Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:37 AM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 29 June 2019 - 09:41 AM, said:

In WA, they teach Vic cursive. It’s supposed to be an easier transition from unjoined to proper cursive than from printing to cursive, but none of my children have been explicitly taught to join the letters up. The boys have dreadful writing and it’s something we’re working on at home with DS2 and DD.

This was the rationale for using Vic Modern - easy transition from print to cursive. However, many kids struggle to even master printing.
Most schools in WA did Vic Modern Cursive about 10 years ago. Since then, many schools have made the change to other fonts (mostly SA font). The Ed Dept has no policy on this - different schools can make their own decisions over which font to teach.

OP, some schools are open to those kids with identified learning difficulties/fine motor issues using alternative fonts. If it is a huge issue for your child, I would approach the school to discuss options.

Edited by BusbyWilkes, 29 June 2019 - 01:25 PM.

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:02 PM

I’m really unsure why education departments still focus on a particular font. The Australian curriculum standard is that students developmentally form letters of uniform size, then using linked script until by years 5 they have developed an individual style that is legible.

I have students from multiple international jurisdictions. I have one Indian student with near perfect formal loopy cursive, an Indian student who attempts this but is less successful - both have become clearer by simplifying their script. A student from Victoria with stupid b, a Chinese student who has odd flicks all over their otherwise perfectly legible letters, a child with fine motor challenges who writes a heavy handed print without respect to proper sizing - but it’s written, a child from Korea who has kind of spindly handwriting in english but solid and clear Korean characters, an Indian student who can’t do cursive to save her life but has perfect English script and wobbly Hindi writing and a student from Kazakhstan who has slapdash English print that he cannot keep on the lines - his Russian letters are marginally better but not much.

It is completely inappropriate for me to suddenly at year 3/4 spend hours and hours changing their font. So I don’t care about the font kids use. Just write stuff legibly.  *bad teacher*

#17 casime

Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:49 PM


It is completely inappropriate for me to suddenly at year 3/4 spend hours and hours changing their font. So I don’t care about the font kids use. Just write stuff legibly.  *bad teacher*

::wanders over to the bad teacher corner::  Content that is legible is far more important than letter formation.  With some kids, I'm just happy that they are putting pencil to paper.

Edited by casime, 29 June 2019 - 01:06 PM.

#18 BeachesBaby

Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:12 AM

I also had to google Victorian cursive - I’m from the US and we learned regular cursive starting in 2nd grade, so that’s age 7-8, and while none of my handwriting is amazingly neat, my cursive is just as good as my printing. I know some schools over there are also phasing out cursive, but honestly when that happens how are kids ever going to read their birthday cards from great aunt Martha! That, and hundreds of years old letters in museums are about the only use of cursive today, so I can’t see it being enforced for all that much longer if it’s fallen out of general use so quickly in the past few decades.

#19 Squeekums The Elf

Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:53 AM

I haven't used cursive since school. It's pointless to me, it just looks messy, like scribble.

#20 caitiri

Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:53 AM

Our VIC school seems to be focusing less and less on cursive writing  lately which I’m not fussed about.  However I do wish that they spent a lot more time on proper letter formation in prep. They don’t even use lined paper until the end  of the year.

#21 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 30 June 2019 - 10:01 AM

Yes the scrapbooks and no lines! He writes a lot better when there's lines to regulate the size of his letters and he doesn't run out of space.
I feel bad that on Friday when I got called in to be told he was given a passing mark for writing on his report but he actually didn't achieve it and MUST improve, I was shown his work. On photocopied pages stuck into the scrapbook with lines on, he wrote ok but when left to a blank page it was terrible. I had to turn to her and say "can you rule him some lines". I feel I shouldn't have to be telling her how to do her job.

#22 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 June 2019 - 10:53 AM

I was re-reading your OP where you asked if anyone had permission(?) for their child to print and not write cursive due to disability. Does your child have a learning disability or difference? If he does the. Accomodations must be made therefore he should have lined paper as an accomodation.

Having said that, why the writing book has no lines is a mystery to me! That sounds 100% crazy for writing tasks!

#23 Thylacine

Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:09 AM

Oh! I'm baffled by vic modern cursive too! I think it makes it harder for kids when they're just starting out to be reading/writing in a font they've never seen before.

We have our OT visit DS in his classroom to help with his letter formation (among other things) but he would probably need this regardless of which font he is writing in. If you're seeing an OT, it might be worth asking about any resources which might help, such as an angled writing board or raised line paper.

I was in primary school in NSW in the 80s. I learned printing in FYOS and cursive in yr 4. My current handwriting is sort of a blend between the two.

#24 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:30 PM

DS has no offical diagnosis at the moment as the paed said he has some traits but no red flag of yes he's this. At best we can say he's  immature. He sees a speechie who says he looks like he has speech dyspraxia. They will not allow the OT or the speechie into the classroom to observe.
I was pretty much grabbed at end of school on the last day of term and told I MUST get him to write and properly. Sure, I'm happy to try do some work over the holidays but I'm trying to formulate a plan of action for going to the school for next term. I am also having a phone call with his OT next week. I'm just really confused about this whole push for VIC cursive. One of his "learning goals" for this term was to write his name in it and not in uppercase letters like he has been. Well now he's  only part writing his name and mixing upper and lower case and sometimes refusing even to do that!

#25 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:42 PM

There’s so much wrong with a school that doesn’t support students by working with their therapists that I don’t even know where to start.

I’d tell them to bugger off and get him a handwriting book from BigW to practice forming letters. And if they are legible and recognisable I’d be happy.

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