Friday, January 20, 2012

Handwriting

Yesterday, I got home from work and I saw a painting on construction paper. I started to talk to Timothy about it but my husband stopped me, saying "Don't mention it!!" Apparently, Timothy had a meltdown while trying to paint a penguin. A BIG meltdown.

What in the world did we do to make our child such a perfectionist? We encourage him so much. There's no stress! Don't worry about it! Just try! It's just for fun! But somehow whenever he has to "produce" anything like a painting or a handwriting worksheet he completely loses it.

Now, Timothy isn't the most average child in the world. I'm sure if he were tested today he would be somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. We don't see a need to have him tested, though, and we're working through all the difficulties he has with life in general.

We have ten weeks left in My Father's World K, and then what?

Timothy's doing great sounding out the letters and reading short-vowel words. Academically, he'd be ready to start 1st grade. Handwriting wise, his letters look like those of an average Ker. Age-wise, he'd be in first grade.

Here's the problem: My Father's World First Grade has whole sentences that children have to write, usually 4 sentences per day. How do I put this so you can understand? I would rather walk over hot coals than endure trying to get Timothy to write 4 sentences. Truly.

So what do we do? Do we try to find another first grade curriculum that doesn't have as much writing? Do we do an intensive writing/phonics program, like Sing Spell Read and Write? If we do that, what about Bible, Science, and History--how do we incorporate those?

Maybe we should just put him on the big yellow school bus and let THEM figure it out!

Some people have suggested the Handwriting without Tears program, but it's hard for me to imagine Handwriting without Tears in our home. It's really bad, guys.

What do you think?

6 comments:

  1. A reader with a tipJanuary 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    If you like MFW Grade 1 then continue with it, but have him do all sentences verbally while you write and use something else for Handwriting, like HWT or whatever you feel will work best for your kid.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, you still have several months before he turns 6 and starts 1st grade, so he may surprise you and mature into being ready to write. At his age I would be tempted to put all writing on pause and just let him enjoy learning while giving him fun hands on ways to strengthen his fine motor skills. (Maybe if he goes long enough without writing he'll forget he hates it?) LOL This website has some information on dysgraphia. http://www.diannecraft.org/
    They have some books/DVDs with different exercises that supposedly helps retrain the brain to help with all different blocked learning pathways - including writing. I just ordered it for my little girl who also struggles with writing - she's in the 1st grade. I can't give you any reviews yet, but I've heard it works really well. You can check it out and see what you think. The DVD is called "Smart Kids Who Hate to Write." Good luck! :)

    Elizabeth W

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read recently that handwritting resistent children may be hindered by a one of several underlying issues like vision problems or dyslexia.

    "Optimum Nutrition for your Child's Mind" Holford & Colson - they have a dyslexia check on page 131 if you snag a copy from your library. It's not a book I'd highly recommend, but this correlation jumped out at me, & I felt compelled to share.

    I also saw something on a situation like this hurried in a NZ homeschooling forum, & I feel there was something relevant, but I don't feel hopeful of finding that again.

    I hope you get some relief from the dread of handwriting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've worked with special needs children for over 10 years, and I have experienced a lot of resistance to handwriting. Here are some strategies that have worked for me...
    -Sand paper letters: I made these for a girl with severe hand tremors and her handwritting improved tremendously. http://www.theaccidentalcrafter.com/montessori/diy-montessori-sand-paper-letters-numbers
    -Stencils
    -lacing cards
    -tweezer activities
    -writing/drawing in: sand, shaving cream smeared on the table, or pudding (if you're brave)
    -scribble /doodle books like "The Scribble Book" or "Doodle Cook" by Herve Tullet
    -Write/draw with window crayons face pencils, color pencils, chalk, etc.
    *To get children to try a new activity I'll sometimes give them a choice between the new activity and a boring one. For example I'll have the stencils all set up with colored pencils etc, and a sentence written down with a pencil. Then I'll ask "do you want to play with the stencils or do you want to copy this sentence?" The children always go for the fun one.
    *Try to make writing time as fun as possible. Your goal for now might be to get him to lighten up about writing. Once that is achieved, you wont have to "walk over hot coals" to get him to pick up a pencil. Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You might try some high interest writing. If his favorite thing right now was the movie "Cars" I would get a bunch on the cars then during writing time I would bring out Lightning McQueen and have him write "Lightning McQueen" then he can play with them. Later, I would have him write simple sentences about the characters. "Slow down Lightning!" or "Mater needs a wash!" Always let him play with the toys when he is finished. Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know if this counts because my daughter is only 4 and a half, but I only get her to write if we're making cards for peoples' birthdays or for holidays (and I purposely try to remember to do that, to trick her into practicing writing!), writing her name on her pictures, and sometimes labeling a picture. Like, 'Wow! What a great penguing you drew! You could write penguin on the back so Daddy can read what it is when he gets home!) Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't. I never ever push it. Like what Doman says, always joyously, and stop before they want to. Not sure if that was helpful!

    ReplyDelete

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