It seems that children naturally want to make their mark as they grow. The tinies smear their highchair tray with sauces and puddings to explore what it might look like; the little ones scribble with crayons on any surface in sight; the older ones look for some clean paper on which to draw their imaginative pictures and soon want to add captions to those creations.
This progression is natural, and Charlotte Mason’s approach to teaching handwriting flows right along with that progression, moving at the child’s pace. Here is the process that Charlotte’s method follows.
- Teach the stroke or letter using large muscles first. Draw in the air or have the child draw on a chalkboard or whiteboard or in a pan of raw rice.
- Teach a stroke or two and then the letters that use that stroke. Be sure to keep handwriting lessons short, no longer than 5 or 10 minutes.
- When the child is ready, have him write a stroke and its letters on paper. Always emphasize doing one’s best effort. Encourage the child to make his stroke or letter look just like the model before him.
- As soon as possible, combine the letters the child has learned so he can write words.
- When the child has learned uppercase letters, move on to lowercase letters.
- Once the child has learned all the letters, have him continue practicing them by doing copywork. Give him a good model of meaningful sentences from Scripture, literature, or poetry and let him copy that model bit by bit, still keeping lessons short and emphasizing best effort.
New Delightful Handwriting Books
We are excited to announce a new handwriting course that follows Charlotte’s wonderful method: Delightful Handwriting! Lanaya Gore, the author of our popular Delightful Reading Kit, has produced another great resource for the Charlotte Mason homeschooler!
The Delightful Handwriting teacher book outlines short, simple lesson plans that tell you each stroke, the letters that use those strokes, and the words that can be written using those letters as you go along. Charlotte’s principles and tips are included in her own words to inspire and keep you on track as you proceed.
The corresponding Delightful Handwriting student copybook sports a clean, minimalist layout that encourages full attention, short lessons, and best effort. Its unique spiral-at-the-top design makes it friendly for left-handed or right-handed beginning writers. Lessons progress from strokes to letters to words to beautiful copywork selections.
The student copybook is available in traditional Zaner Bloser style or the more italic D’Nealian style. Select whichever style you prefer; the same teacher book can be used to teach either.
As an added bonus, the words and copywork selections used in the lessons are taken from our Delightful Reading Kit. So if your child is using that course to learn to read, Delightful Handwriting will give him an extra opportunity to review words he has learned there.
The Delightful Handwriting teacher book and student copybooks are available at special introductory prices through October 20, 2011. Download the free sample of Delightful Handwriting and see how Charlotte’s methods can make handwriting lessons a delight!
SCM Conference in Athens, Tennessee
If you would like to learn more about Charlotte Mason and her methods, or if you and your homeschool just need a little pick-me-up, now is the time to register for the 2-Day SCM Conference in Athens, Tennessee, on November 4 and 5, 2011.
Sonya Shafer will present the All-Day Charlotte Mason Seminar, which walks through how to teach each school subject using Charlotte Mason methods, plus the Books & Things Seminar, which dives more deeply into choosing and using living books. The Laying Down the Rails workshop on good habits and the Four Ways to Destroy Your Child’s Love for Knowledge workshop will also be included.
We will bring our book display, and all of our SCM resources will be available for you to look through and purchase at special prices. We would love to see you there!