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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a pre-talking to the teacher post. My DD is 9 and in 4th grade. I like her school and her teacher. Today she told me that she is being pulled out of class once a week for an hour or so to work on her handwriting.

Handwriting??? She's missing actual academic classwork to work on her handwriting? Okay, yes, it's not great. Readable, but not wonderful. Mine is pretty bad too, so I guess I just don't care very much. Honestly...I don't see the point. I don't care what her handwriting looks like, and I don't understand why this is important enough to send her to the reading specialist for. I'm worried she's going to miss something in class--she is far ahead of the class in reading and spelling, but she needs all the math and science instruction she can get!

Anyone have any input as to why they would care that much about her handwriting?
 

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As a former teacher and a former student with rotten handwriting- this is outragous. No WAY she should be pulled out of class to work on handwriting- especially without your okay.

-Angela
 

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That does sound odd -- yes, handwriting is important but it shouldn't be so important that they have to pull her out of regular class to work on it! Are you sure they aren't working on anything else at the same time, such as writing skills? It just doesn't make sense to me!

I was actually wondering when handwriting classes would become obsolete due to the fact that most of us type a lot more than write and I'm sure it will be even more so in the future!

I would try to talk to the teacher and the reading specialist to see why they're pulling her out of class. You should have the option to get her out of the special handwriting class, right?

I have lousy handwriting too. My printing is fine but I never did master cursive writing. In fact, in the 6th grade I missed high honor roll by a C in handwriting! My parents were so annoyed with the teacher -- I worked hard to get all As in all my other subjects but that silly C prevented me from getting high honors!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one totally puzzled by this. I guess they could be working on other skills, but DD is so far ahead of the other kids in language arts that I don't think that's it. She could use some help with study skills, so I wish they would work with her on that! I'm also not happy that they are pulling her out of class without my okay for *anything*.

I called and left a message for the teacher to call me. She's really good about that stuff, so hopefully I'll hear from her later today.

About the honor roll thing...that's one of my pet peeves about most schools. I really don't think kids need grades in handwriting or gym. So long as she tries, I could care less if she gets a C in handwriting, but it's not fair for it to pull down her honor roll standing. And I really think that's part of why more girls than boys are on the honor roll at her school--as a general rule the boys' writing is much worse than the girls'.

Sigh...I'm just not good at going along and following the rules...thank goodness her teacher is nice, so I don't think she'll have a problem with me calling.
 

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When she was in second grade, my dd had a teacher who was fixated on handwriting. My dd's handwriting was average to good, as evaluated by three other second grader teachers I know. This teacher was also prone to sending home other kids' homework by mistake, so I had some basis of comparison. My dd's writing was better than most.

She would assign my dd tons of extra handwriting homework, and often kept her in from recess to recopy work. Dd was supposed to keep a journal, whose sole purpose was to practice her handwriting. After a month, it became apparent that the teacher never looked at the journal, so I stopped making her do it.

We had a number of conversations with the teacher. Finally, my dh, who is also a teacher, was pretty fed up with dd coming home angry all the time from missing recess. He called up the teacher and congratulated her for turning a child who used to love to write stories, poems, etc., but had mediocre handwriting, into a child who avoids writing at all costs, and who still has mediocre handwriting. After that, we stopped hearing about dd's "bad" handwriting so much, and she never got kept in from recess again.
 

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Isn't it interesting how many of us have memories of what our teachers thought about our writing?
I don't see the emphasis either. And apparently my dd's teacher doesn't care much because my dd has pretty sloppy writing (however, improving
) and her teacher has never said anything about it.
I think John Holt did a self test on manuscript vs. cursive, as we are all trained to believe cursive is much quicker and he proved he, himself could print quicker. I think it's in "Learning All the Time"
 

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Are you sure she is being taken out of academics? And are you sure they are not working on the more broad area of fine motor skills? Are you sure it's for a solid freaking hour? (That seems ridiculous).

If it's simply a handwriting issue, and not a motor one--and if she is losing time in a class where she needs to be--i would ask about it. actually, i would ask about it, anyway. It's possible they are looking at something besides handwriting--and it might be for less time than an hour. Of course, with public schools they way there are, I could be totally off base.
 

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I woudl ask for more information.

it could just be an evaluation of fine motor skills or a consult with an OT who specializes in handwriting issues. it could be more than just mediocore handwriting. It could be revcersals and specific letter she consistantly has trouble with. There is a lady in town who is a OT who specializes in handwriting and we talked for a good long time about how easy some consistant problems can be corrected, how improper use of the muscles used for handwriting can lead to big motor skil problems etc etc. usually she can usually se drastic improvment in a one hour session. Some kids need more regular weekly sessions to improve but I don't think it is ever a long on goign thing. usualy just 6-10 weks or so.

talk tot he teacher and find out what is going on. there might be something bigger than readability she is concerned with.
 

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My son had a 2nd grade teacher (first year teacher) who was simply obsessed with his handwriting. Sadly, wanting to support the teacher, and going through a divorce, I also over emphasized it.

It turned a boy who liked school, into someone who flunked most of his classses for the next 6 years because he wouldn't turn in his homework. Hmm, probably because he was afraid of his handwriting.

I screwed up. I should've looking into it more at the time. I should've talked with the principal. I should've demanded he be switched to a different teacher. I did not.

Finally, I homeschooled him last year and now, his first year in highschool, he's doing better, though not great. His standardized test scores are fantastic, so it isn't an issue of ability.

My opinion? No, it simply isn't that important. I rarely ever write anything and haven't for years. That's what computers and printers are for!
 

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Former teacher here too - - Are you sure it's for handwriting? If so, that's crazy! I'm really curious . . . I would bet $$$$ it's for writing (grammar, sentence structure, etc.) At least I hope so!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, I just talked to the teacher. It was a one time evaluation--DD was wrong about the weekly thing. The teacher said her handwriting is so bad that DD often can't read her own writing (which I didn't realize. I knew it was bad, but not that bad). Before she started working on asking DD to slow down and write more neatly, she wanted to make sure there wasn't an underlying problem such as fine motor skills or dyslexia or something. The evaluation showed that she is able to write neatly if she wants to, she just rushes. I'm *very* glad that they made sure she *can* physically write more neatly before they started asking her to do it--I thought that was really respectful.

The teacher said she doesn't care at this point if DD's handwriting is sloppy, so long as it is readable. They are not giving grades for handwriting in her school anymore, so it doesn't matter in that aspect either. She said DD can type reports or assignments, she just needs to slow down when she is writing something so that it can be read.

Also, DD needs to slow down period. Some of the problems she is having with poor grades on tests are due to trying to get done faster, so she is making mistakes and not catching them. So hopefully forcing her to write a bit more slowly will also help her grades improve.

So...it was a good thing. I think I was just remembering my own C's and D's in handwriting and was worried that her teacher was putting more emphasis on her handwriting than I thought necessary. Should have known...this is a really good teacher.
 
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