I'm trying to put the finishing touches on the curriculum for next year and was wondering if you all had some ideas for practicing writing without boring worksheets. My oldest (5 1/2) loves workbooks that are interesting and nonrepeative but doesn't like writing worksheets because they are both. She did pick out a writing workbook for this coming year (I have her pick out workbooks since she is the one that has to do them ) but I'm looking for ways to work on writing without using worksheets.. So far I have drawing letters in shaving cream (or sand or pudding or something else) and using a white board/chalk board. She, also, loves to draw so I'm incorporating a ton of art into next year. I don't believe in fighting a child this age to write but I can tell she WANTS to learn (keeps asking me how to write things etc) but is bored with the typical workbook approach. Any other ideas?
They also like to label packages and presents a lot. I also encourage them to explain the pictures that they draw on the back. Oh, and sometimes I write some words from a book for them to copy. Like, when ds was working on the Bob books, I wrote mat bat cat fat hat etc for him to copy. it really helps him remember the words.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
My youngest writes no matter what I do, it just bubbles out of her. (Not very helpful, that.) But she does like doing her copywork (just whatever book she wants to rewrite on her own) and she uses feathers to trace letters, a la Harry Potter (which is big in our house right now). She often takes the letters out of the alphabet puzzle to trace and cut out, so she has more letters.
DD1, who is 7, has been reluctant. She likes making lists, copying them out of favorite books. I started leaving a clipboard filled with paper for her to doodle on when I read to her. She loves using the watercolor pencils. The bar is set pretty low for this resistant girl: anything that gets her to set pencil to paper is good enough.
They also love sending letters to family members. For our car-camping trip to the beach this summer, I have bought a pad of 4x6 heavyweight paper and will bring the watercolor pencils so they can make their own postcards, write on them and mail them out.
Sometimes when we go somewhere (like on a hike through the woods or oak prairie) I take a little, stiff-backed sketchpad and pencils for them to write or draw in. I cal them their "science notebooks", which they love.
They also like to make the grocery lists.
I try to make a point to write in front of them, like making the list of things to do for that day. It's so easy to get through the entire day without writing a single word.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
though this is a "book" we have been using the Handwriting w/o tears Pre-K book with magnetic blocks/letter cards and magnetic pen. I like the book a lot b/c it's mostly just coloring fun pictures (and there is also a cd with songs that goes along)-optional- and so it's more fun than "instructive" though they are learning the skills and how to write the upper case. I pull it out when my DD (4.5) asks for it. "How do I write a ....?" and I say, let's look at your book. she also likes to practice making the letters on the card w/ the blocks or play dough. It's very relaxed and I like it a lot.
My dd who loves to draw has enjoyed the "draw, write, now" series. Our library has them, but we found that we needed our own set. You learn to draw something and then there are four sentences about that topic. The sentences are great for copywork, but my dd lovest to write stories about the pictures.
Because I too dislike boring workbooks i created a program that circumvents workbooks. Please have a look at my website, www.bfhhandwriting.com and I hope you find lots of ideas, especially on the CD that accompanies the BFH Fluent Handwriting Manual.
Nan Jay Barchowsky
I think the fine motor skills of writing and drawing are intimately related so one thing we will be doing this year in grade 1 is making a Waldorf-style hidden-letter fairy tale book. After reading a short fairy tale we will draw a picture and do a short piece of copywork. On one page we will do a hidden-letter picture (like where the M is hidden in the shape of a mountain range) and then do a form drawing border to help with concentration and fluidity. On the facing page we write a short tongue-twister that incorporates that particular letter. Most Waldorf folk prefer unlined pages for the writing, but I'm actually going to print out lined paper on our computer because I think that will best help dd, who is a stickler for neatness and gets upset if her writing isn't straight. I think the trick to making any task less monotonous is to give it a point, and for us a collection of interesting pictures and tongue twisters from fairy tales will be a fun "project" to make.
I used to love the books we made for ourselves when I was in kindy, and the my girls sometimes do this, too. (Not the way I had in mind, but....) You draw a picture and leave space to write your story. Or, she can dictate the story for you to write, and she can trace the letters if she wants.
It's just extra-large paper stapled together.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
If it's pencil grip issue (you didn't mention), I found these neat little grippers for around $2 at target:
My son went from fisting the pencil to proper grip in 24 hours. I knew he could but HE didn't know he could. These showed him how. They work with righties and lefties. I'm right handed and tried it with my left hand, so easy :)
I also got this:
my son has now learned to write most of his name. I got these 2 items a week or so ago. He has progressed nicely and works on it when he wants to. I like this even though it is a workbook because the letters are indented. It has some shortcomings like each page has all 26 letters on it. I haven't said write the whole alphabet. More like a few letters. He likes it and grabs it when he wants to. We also use golf pencils and that seems to make a difference for him.
Anyways, that's just what has worked for us. My son is 4 and I'm not trying to rush him more like help him with the pencil grip the rest is gravy :) I don't know if it helps you OP, but I hope it can help someone. good luck OP
loss 2/28/03 ds 1/5/08 dd 2/8/10
When we know better, we do better. ~Maya Angelou
This is definitely a workbook- but I started the kids on A Reason for Handwriting- so far they love it and I told them they can NOT do the pretty sheets until the practice their words/letters enough that they are pretty too. I bought it from www.christianbook.com and it was kind of spendy- but not too bad- I wouldn't go with K though- I would start with A at a slower pace.
I also have drawn out letters and had them glue things like sparkles or lentils or noodles to them, salt clay dough, and also we do the Cuisinart blocks and the Alphabet book that goes with it. I ripped all the sheets out and laminated them and then the kids put the blocks on them to make the letter or picture or whatever- I think it is a math activity- but it also helps with letters :) My DS1 LOVES to do these! (If I had not laminated them they would have been destroyed long ago- so get yourself a laminator :)
Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014
How about an author study on one of the great author/illustrators? Then she can illustrate/write her own books. You could start out writing her dictations and then have her copy them into her book and move from there at her pace. You can buy blank books or print out a stack of these if you think she needs help writing on lines and when she is done with her book, have it bound.
Pam Cliff Malachi 5/08 Judah 5/10 Eden 8/12 Asher 8/12
You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~CS Lewis
Thank you for the ideas everyone..
The workbook she picked out was actually The Reason For Handwriting. She liked it used scriptures to copy.. I do have the first Draw Write Now books because she LOVES to draw. She does a lot of drawing. I don't think she has grip or fine motor issues because she draws well. She was working with a Learn to Draw book yesterday that was suppose to be for an 8-11 year olds with little issue.. She might actually go for writing/illustrating her own book. We are doing a "journey around the world" so I might think of doing a book relating to what we "see" on our "journey". She might enjoy that :)
I think the biggest thing with her is she is stubborn. She has decided that handwriting=boring, I need to get her to think of it as fun. She reminds me so much of myself at her age :) It does help some since I can understand where she is coming from since I was the same way.