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Un-boring way to practice handwriting? - Page 2

post #21 of 28
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post
I've got my 2 oldest sending emails to family in order to practice reading and "writing". But their handwriting is seriously lacking. Problem is, I can't think of a way to make them practice handwriting that doesn't involve sitting down with worksheets and copying letters. And I can tell you from experience that that will happen for one day and then I will get frustration and protestation. Yes, they could write actual letters to family, but that would become boring in about a day, too.

What other ways can I encourage writing, being that I don't EVER write anything by hand myself anymore?

quick question, are you children practising cursive writing or printing?
either way you can do "sugar or sand printing" take a saucer or a flat plate fill it with sugar and have them make letters words or what ever in the sugar/sand. they can use their finger or a pencil.
air printing and writing is also the same idea.
allowing them to print /write with shaving cream on the mirror of the bathroom
though as you can imagine this is stinky and messy.
one of my children would use the can another used his finger.
writing secret messages on the mirror and taking a shower was also another fun one.
my daughter thought that lipstick printing was a lot of fun, i on the otehr hand was not a fan.
if they are printing, you can purchase or make wiki sticks which is essentially yarn dipped in wax to make them bendable but hold a position, then they can position the pieces to form letters.
you can do the same thing with sticks from a walk etc.
in these cases you can emphasize proper letter formation versus hand control.
my middle son liked to write out team rosters for hockey and soccer in cursive if he had to do it.
to assist in reading cursive writing i would have him take the rosters with the printed names and find them in cursive.he could just point them out if he wasnt' interested in a pen/paper task.
post #22 of 28
personally, i practiced my handwriting (and still do this for fun) by using art. i know that i am a bit nuts, i have learned this about myself, but i love to play with my own handwriting. later, i enjoyed doing calligraphy.

what i learned about calligraphy is that there are so many variations on handwriting. it's basically art, at that point. i used to practice different fonts as a kid, and then crack them out at school.

i would then get in trouble for showing off, writing too messy (i did like some fun fonts! LOL), or not being efficient and wasting time in class. seeing as i felt that ALL of class was a waste of time, i might as well have used calligraphy to further waste it. LOL

but, that was my interest, you know?
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Actually, a couple of weeks ago I found some small magnetic white boards in the dollar section at Target. So I put them on the fridge and started writing a to do list for each child in the morning (they get up an hour or so before the baby and I). My son started erasing it when he was done and writing new things on his sister's board, etc. (very funny, btw). Then when Walmart first put out their school supplies we went and spent 50 bucks and bought pencils, paper, markers, crayons, etc. Each child has their own notebook for this or that. My daughter and 3 yr old son just draw, but my oldest is keeping lists, making pictures with speech bubbles, etc. They work on it of their own accord every day.

I've also been working with him on writing the grocery list, the kids' wish lists, etc. They've also been wanting to walk alone to the playground (about 2 blocks), so I made them write our address and phone number on a piece of paper and carry the cell phone. I make them rewrite it every time they go. They're happy to do it in order to go to the park.

I also picked up a calligraphy set from a homeschooler's garage sale last week! The kids are very interested, but we haven't gotten started yet. I haven't had the time.

zoebird, I once nearly failed a spelling test because I was writing letters more like calligraphy than "normal" and the teacher didn't believe that my d was a d and not an a, etc. Like anyone, especially someone who almost never got a word wrong, would confuse d and a when spelling...

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, and certainly feel free to keep them coming.
post #24 of 28
todo lists, grocery lists, party planning lists are all good ideas. I think when the purpose is immediate then there is less fear that it might not be "right" and maybe that clears the path for writing.

writing in snow or on steamed up windows also sounds fun.

I have played games like hangman, code-breaking, treasure hunt with dd just so that she learned and practiced writing letters.
We've also made a habit of writing name and date on papers, artwork, etc. We also keep a diary - dd dictates and I write but she always writes the date and often the first and/or last sentence. Even if it is just hello and bye, she's writing.
post #25 of 28
So glad to have found this thread at this particular moment!!
post #26 of 28
My DS is younger, but we practice writing by doing things that he likes. For example, I make my own worksheets with our family's names, our pets' names, his favorite color, so when he copies it and reads it he gets excited to read something he recognizes. He also writes letters to family.
post #27 of 28
I know this is the unschooling board, but I made my son start doing writing practice when I realized that NOT feeling comfortable with writing was holding him back from his interests. I just don't think he put two & two together (he is 7 y.o.) that he needed to practice to achieve that level of confidence and comfort with writing.

My son is immensely creative and always has several sketch pads going at one time. He draws nonstop (spending 45 minutes in the bathroom when he really only needed 30 seconds to complete his "business" because the rest of the time is spent drawing).....and he is always composing stories in his head....his gears are always turning. But he wasn't comfortable writing when it was called for, like to make comics, charts, etc. It was holding him back because he is a perfectionist and because he was stumbling when writing, he'd just avoid it and try to get US to write this & that for him.

I said you need this skill, because it will help you do the things you want to do. Let's get it out of the way.
Because he is a perfectionist, "drills" were a chore until I realized one really important thing....if you do the "lousy" or imperfect letters FIRST, on PURPOSE, it takes the fear away. So, with 21 repetitions being the (or so I've heard) number needed to form a habit, I had him practice one letter of the alphabet per day.

First I'd have him do 5 "lousy" letters and then 3 rows where he writes the letter 7 times (the magical 21). Getting the five letters "wrong" on purpose became immense fun for him and his favorite part. He would make them into crazy, swirling, insane works of art. That bugaboo thus being slain, he'd happily practice the 3 rows of 7!! It was all about his fear of getting it wrong, so facing that dead-on with a sense of humor really helped.

I may be an unschooler or an eclectic or whatever, but I refuse to let him be held back by lack of a basic skill. I view writing as an essential, because even though we have mostly switched to typing in this day& age, (a) I hate that and (b) Having to rely on technology to communicate is creepy. I hate the whole notion of being dependent on some faraway company when something as basic as writing is concerned. (I feel the same way about actual books vs. electronic. I love the electronic, but the PRINTED word is accessible (within reason) to every person, but it takes money to partake of what the major e-Book producers dole out.....I wish I had more time to make sense here but I am in a hurry tonight. Bottom line, I think writing is necessary and if it's holding a kid back, then maybe they need a bit of encouragement to get to where it's 2nd nature. And to where they can be proud of their writing.
post #28 of 28
on a local unschool list I'm on, one of the mommas posted about how we learn to read, and mentioned that pinning letters down in the 2D world of paper from the 3D world is one of the necessary developmental things; it stuck in my mind because at that time my dad was wigging out over pushing my ds to read (at 6!!) when ds still kept confusing lowercase b,d, and p. writing letters backward is a similar thing, if you think of a letter as a 3D object in space, the backwards letter is just a snapshot of that spinning letter, dtmas?

the only reason I would try any sort of strewing would be if I was concerned about fine motor skills, in which case anything that uses fine motor skills would also be helpful, including drawing as has been mentioned, painting, knitting, fingerplay like cat's cradle games, etc. but if you don't write, why should they?
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