As a classroom teacher, I was never drawn to open the pages of the handwriting practice workbooks that collected dust in the back of my classroom.  Part of me didn’t feel qualified to teach proper handwriting formation…I didn’t quite understand the importance of it.  And part of me felt like I could integrate handwriting into my writing time (via Writer’s Workshop) versus making it my writing time.

Several years later, I understand only a little better that “correct” (I use that term loosely) letter formation is important.  Just like holding the pencil in an awkward position can lead to muscle fatigue, so can writing letters “incorrectly”; especially as more writing is required.  But even now, as I’m teaching my own child to form his letters, I still am not that attracted to the drill of a workbook (and I do have one from Target’s $1 bin).

ALuv has known his upper and lower case letters since he was 3 and has been writing for over a year now.  So I felt it was time (developmentally speaking) to expect a little more out of him than the bare minimal.  I felt it was time to do some handwriting practice.  Oh, boy!

Here’s an example of ALuv’s latest writing adventure.  This was in response to a recent field trip to a local fire station with our MOPS group.  He was asked to write about his favorite part.  By the way, we’re still working through the how to hold your pencil part.  I did find some triangular pieces that slide onto the pencil, which REALLY helped him, but we seemed to have lost it.  I think I need to make a trip back to the teacher supply store and get some more!

“I likeT GetG In THe Fire truck.”  (I liked getting in the fire truck.)

He kept a good attitude through this writing task (and so did I!), even though he messed up his drawing.  We simply cut out the “bad” part and he was happy!

Here are the observations I’ve made about his handwriting from his latest writings (please note:  I’m not saying that any of these things are “bad”, as many of these characteristics are common for a child in his stage of writing):

  • he uses upper and lower case interchangeably
  • he doesn’t always form his letters “correctly”
  • he’s not quite sure what to do with the lined paper and some letters tend to “float” around, despite the use of our letter formation poster board

It was time for this reading mama to pull something out of my “magic writing hat” to get him to the next level in writing…but what?!?  I did have that $1 workbook from Target.  Hmm…handwriting.

Then that very same day, while I was supposed to be napping, the idea hit me like a 2×4 and I got up immediately and began working (I really do hate it when this happens…I needed the sleep!!).  I’ll share my idea with you Wednesday.  I think you’ll like it.  ALuv did…and it actually worked!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle Breum
    May 16, 2011 @ 16:27:57

    I’ve posted a little about handwriting on my blog. Here’s a link to some of my posts.

    I look forward to your Wednesday post.


    • This Reading Mama
      May 16, 2011 @ 22:45:12

      Yes, yes, yes. I need to mention that in my Wednesday post. I didn’t start with lined paper. I started on giant dry erase boards. He liked to write at a young age, so I taught him how to form some letters incorrectly because he couldn’t do them the “correctly”, yet. We are now unlearning that form…much like you hold a child accountable to spell conventionally once they can do it.


  2. Trackback: Sentence Strip Handwriting « This Reading Mama
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