Handwriting

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  • amyw33
    Member

    Hi Ladies,

    My DD will be 5 this summer, and I am wondering what to do about handwriting. My original plan was to kind of “do” Kindergarten with her starting this fall…all those typical things like learning the initial letter sounds, and learning to form the letters. Well, she sort of picked up all that stuff on her own, and is now reading 3 letter words…slowly but surely. I had originally thought I would just ignore the issue of handwriting and have her do copywork starting when she was 6. Now that she is writing so much I am wondering if I should really “train” her how to form the letters correctly. I am wondering if I am letting her have bad handwriting habits I will regret later.

    It was my impression that copywork was more for the spelling/writing aspect of things and I am wondering what the CM method says about handwriting. Is it important to initially train your child how to form the letters or is it only the end result that matters(IE how the letter looks in the end)? Without a handwriting “program” how would I do this? Do I need to be thinking ahead to cursive in a few years, and considering what manuscript font to choose in lieu of that fact?

    Thanks for all your thoughts, Amy

    Shanna
    Participant

    Amy-

    We use Copywork to teach handwriting. I start off with just teaching a letter a day forming it perfectly. After they learn the letters we move onto practicing words. As they can write longer and better we add in sentences and then paragraphs. I used the letters pages from http://www.donnayoung.org for copywork and teaching letters but you might also look at Startwrite. I use Startwrite and copy and paste sentences and paragraphs into it and then they work for the time period I give them accomplishing what they can writing their very best.

    CindyS
    Participant

    Hi Amy,

    Copywork is for developing beautiful handwriting. It is also for learning what ‘good’ writing looks like; that is why we use valuable material for the copy. Dictation is for spelling. For little ones, I recommend that they do learn that there is a ‘best way’ to hold the pencil, form the letters, sit, etc. Learning that the circle comes first in making a ‘d’, for instance, will help when it is time for cursive. We’ve used a couple of workbooks through the years, but mostly I just use a composition book to give an example and then help them learn. After the letters are learned, then we go into short sections of copywork that I can watch them do and then I set them on their own with assignments. I hope that this was helpful. Cute – my little one that is just learning to form letters is an Amy, too!

    Blessings,

    Cindy

    Rachel White
    Participant

    Age 5 is alittle young to be too concerned with letter formation on a page. However, you can start with proper pencil holding using fat crayons. The large pencils are considered heavy and inappropriate for little hands according to occupational therapists. I believe Handwriting without Tears is the best in early letter skills w/o it being tortuous to the child. The use of wooden letters on a mat and a small slate all contribute to proper letter recognition and formation. There’s also practice of shapes and other pre-writing necessaties. They also have preschool/k cardstock of letters that can be colored and placed on the wall. With my daughter, she loved working on a letter on the mat and chalkboard, then coloring that letter and putting it up on her wall for visual exposure continually. If you purchased everything for pre-k/k, it’s too much. But the workbook, wooden letters w/mat and/or magnetic letters on the doodle pad and the slate board and wall cards are worth the price, or less depending on your daughters interests. The entire emphasis of age-appropriate and proper development is the purpose of the program.

    Even 6 is young to place a heavy emphasis on H/W. Perhaps just one letter a day or every other day. With my son(7) at 6 I started the Reason for handwriting K book which is just letter formation. I had him do about 4 or five reps. and we were finished. 5 min., 10 max depending on his motivation. It wasn’t till this year that I switched to copywork using the same program, just skipping the letter practice na dgoing right to the verse to copy and he has beautiful handwriting and doesn’t hate it. He was beginning to before b/c I was pushing it too much.

    With my younger ones, I like to do the ReadyWriter pages from the same people that make CalcuLadders (sorry, the name of the company escapes me right now and I can’t put my hand on our copy at the moment!). If you’re not familiar with them, they help with the motor skills of holding the pencil–you “cut” the brownies, color in sheep eyes, add circles to logs, “lace” up boots, etc. There’s cute short (3-5 sentences) paragraph story about Farmer Brown and how the child is “helping”. Mine have loved it. There are 12 pages of each level, but you can move your child ahead if you feel they’re ready without having to complete all 12 pages.

    My youngest dd, who is now 7, loved to call it her “handwriting” when her older sisters were doing their handwriting.

    Hope that is helpful!

    Trisch

    csmamma
    Participant

    This post has sparked a question. Can anyone tell me what Charlottes views are on cursive writing? I have a 12 year old son who is very uninterested in practicing it. I worked on it for a year with him and then took some time off (because he hated it so) – going back to basic handwriting. He now has forgotten most of it and is anti-cursive 🙁

    I feel like we are behind in this and wondered if I could get anyone els’ views. Thanks so much to everyone here.

    Heather

    cherylramirez
    Participant

    My children are learning “Italic” handwriting. It’s a readable, easy to learn (it’s ergonomic for the children) and looks lovely. The BEST apart it is there is hardly any transition from printing to cursive. To make cursive letters you use the printing alphabet you already know and add joins – that’s it. The reason people struggle so much with handwriting is they have to learn two different ways to write: printing and then cursive. My daughter (10 yo) is flourishing with it and I am starting my 5 yo ds whenever he is interested. As he gets older I will emphasize keyboarding with him. We hardly use cursive in our culture anyway so I won’t put too much emphasis on it.

    CindyS
    Participant

    Italics is a good way to go. Consider, too, that the thing about cursive is that, at the very least, we need to be able to read it. In this day of the keyboard, men especially, just do not do a whole lot of handwriting. Also, we all tend toward one or the other in adulthood. As long as you are satisfied with his copywork, and there is not some underlying attitude that God is wanting you to deal with, it may not be a battle worth fighting (and I may be going way out on a cm limb here!).

    You may find, too, that your son would enjoy the ‘art’ of calligraphy. My son was exactly like yours and then did ask to learn calligraphy. He learned it, but still just enjoys his manuscript!

    Blessings,

    Cindy

    JavaMama
    Member

    About Italics… I have a 7 year old who has somewhat mastered manuscript and now is ready to move on to cursive. I have just recently realized the benifit of doing italics as a good transitionar into cursive but my question is: is that for those who haven’t already learned manuscript? Should we just go straight into cursive or should we go through italics first? Any thoughts? I would love to know what you all think. I know that I could do both and I really like the idea of italics it is a much more elegant way of writing. Which makes me think of another ?…would his learning italics replace his current manuscript?

    CindyS
    Participant

    You can start italics. After all,there is a book for adults that teaches italics from the beginning. You may want to limit the other copywork until your child has mastered the italics because it seems that there could be some confusion while transitioning, though the transition is not that difficult. I expect it will be a speedy one, too.

    Blessings,

    Cindy

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