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Am I the only one who has kids who are otherwise very bright, but who act like I'm asking them to walk over hot coals
if I ask them to do handwriting? I've tried every permutation (traditional lessons, writing letters, making lists, making menus, drawing comic books) and they just hate it.

This is one area where I start to doubt myself as "real" school is handwriting heavy, but as my kids don't like it, I don't make them do much. So I wonder if I'm doing something wrong by not cracking the whip.

Anyone?

The kids I'm talking about are 6 and 8.

 

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From someone who HATED handwriting, let it go. At 6-8 it's still hard and no fun. Keep lots of natural opportunities for writing around (grocery lists, letters to grandma, notes back and forth with you...) and they'll write. The more they write the better it will get.



-Angela
 

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You are absolutely not the only one!!

My ds (13) has never liked handwriting. He would do anything to avoid it--even to the point of not making Christmas wish lists when he was younger. There is almost nothing that will inspire him to put pen to paper.

My ds did spend some time in school, and it wasn't any better--in fact, it was torture for him.

I try to remind myself that the whole point of writing is to communicate. For most of us, there's no such thing as penmanship for the sake of penmanship. Your kids are still young, so maybe they just need more time. Even if they never *love* to write, won't it be enough if they can express themselves as they need to?

Ds communicates verbally very well. He finds no need to write himself reminders because he has an excellent memory. He CAN and does use a keyboard when he feels like it. Another option is a voice recognition program for the computer -- we have an early version, but the newer ones are getting better and better. If really pressed (like when I was driving and asked him to write down some directional notes for our return trip) he is able to. He just doesn't like it. His handwriting isn't pretty, and he knows that it would be better if he practice it, but he doesn't care to. It is legible though.

So far, his lack of interest in penmanship hasn't caused him any grief. I'm figuring that when (IF!) if ever does, it will be a simple matter to spend some time on it and improve his writing. (It's not exactly rocket science, yk?)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by meowee
Am I the only one who has kids who are otherwise very bright, but who act like I'm asking them to walk over hot coals
if I ask them to do handwriting? I've tried every permutation (traditional lessons, writing letters, making lists, making menus, drawing comic books) and they just hate it.

This is one area where I start to doubt myself as "real" school is handwriting heavy, but as my kids don't like it, I don't make them do much. So I wonder if I'm doing something wrong by not cracking the whip.

Anyone?

The kids I'm talking about are 6 and 8.


My son cannot stand to write. He finds it physically painful in fact. He will handwrite things (a note , a list, copying a recipe down to buy things at the store) but whenever possible he will type whatever he needs to. We are totally fine with this. I know that he knows how to write, and if I have expressed that if he ever did not know how to write something by hand that all he'd have to do is ask or he could look it up online (there are sites that have handwriting and other writing instructions).

My daughter is somewhat neutral on the subject, and definately writes by hand more than my son. (There is some thought that the preference or not for handwriting is gender related. I cannot cite a source at the moment, but I do remember reading how boys generally balked at it while girls were more accepting. I have no idea if that relates to your little peoples or not though lol) She has appreciated being in an environment where she can write however she wants without critique of her penmanship etc. If she asks me for advice I give it, but that's about it. She is taking a journalism class right now, and her teacher said her writing was wonderful so I guess the freedom she's had has worked.

The desire to do something (IMO to do anything at all) has to come from within somehow, and it has to be relevant to a person's life. I doubt my son would ever choose to write a paper by hand "just because" of the idea that handwriting is "important". He would type it out. However, if he had personal motivation to do so then he could do it and this is what matters to me. I say don't crack the whip
but instead let writing be what it will be. Some ideas my kids have enjoyed over the years:

1. Find a good recipe for "invisible" ink. I can't remember it for the life of me, but I bet you could google it.

2. Writing in secret codes is fun! They can develop their own code of writing that only they will know.

3. Learning about old styles of writing was neat, especially if you have a kiddo that is interested in history or Egyptian stuff.
 

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Yep. Let it go. Rain has decent handwriting now, although she has a thing about letters not going below the line (like g and y - she has them all on top of the line). It works, she communicates, she can write notes or fill out forms. But on the keyboard she's faster tha I am, and she writes tns every day, keeps up her livejournal and is writing a zine now, too, plus IMing a zillion people.

Dar
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dar
Yep. Let it go. Rain has decent handwriting now, although she has a thing about letters not going below the line (like g and y - she has them all on top of the line). It works, she communicates, she can write notes or fill out forms. But on the keyboard she's faster tha I am, and she writes tns every day, keeps up her livejournal and is writing a zine now, too, plus IMing a zillion people.

Dar
I am so amazed at my kids typing/keyboarding skills! My 11 year old has become quite the typist. My son probably types 45 wpm give or take, and just yesterday I found him looking up dependent clause/independent clause and semi colon usage in a reference book. The reason? He joined a role playing game online and the rules require him to post "literate" posts. Cool
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my DS also finds it physically painful to write. He is doing typing right now instead.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

DD likes to write but she gets VERY upset with me if I try to correct her handwriting-- which I only do if she's doing something very strange and illegible.

I would be happy if they can keyboard well, but this is one of those sore spots for me where I start to wonder if they would be better off in school (I know they wouldn't, but it still makes me doubt).
 

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This is all so good to hear. My oldest is 8 and HATES to practice his handwriting. My 5 year old prints better than him and he gets bothered by this, but still refuses to practice. My husband gets really stressed out about it. I do sometimes as well.
We belong to a local homeschool group and he gets a little embarrassed about his writing when we are doing lessons with the group. This **** is not enough to make him practice. I guess I'll just sit back and he'll figure it out on his own time. I took the sit back approach with his reading and it worked out.

In closing, I would like to say, "I LOVE THIS FORUM"! I was just introduced to it last week.

Thanks!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dar
Rain has decent handwriting now, although she has a thing about letters not going below the line (like g and y - she has them all on top of the line).
Adam (my 9yo) does the same thing.

Neither of my boys like to write. My oldest writes well and always has. He learned to write in cursive when he was about nine and then promptly dismissed it as unnecessary and has since forgotten most of it. He can sign his name in script and that's about it.

My younger boy struggles with writing but his printing is slowly getting better. I doubt he'll learn cursive for a long time, if ever. My husband is 30 years old and never writes in cursive. He always prints. I don't think beautiful handwriting is all that necessary unless one is an artsy person or that sort of aesthetics is pertinent to whatever you do for a living. My kids communicate just fine with printing and typing. That's all that matters to me.
 

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I TOTALLY recommend Handwriting without Tears. That is just what it is! It wa sdesigned by an occupational therapist. It is fun and easy. The "rule" is that yuo only do it until they dont want to, and it is usually only 5 or 10 minutes a day. It has a great method to help reversals, the wood cuts are fun to do. I wish I would have gotten the Roll A Dough tray.
I have horrible handwriting and always have. My teachers sent home notes every report card at how horrible it was. My oldest has aspergers and is a lefty, and is having the same trouble. So, I am a firm beliveer in helping him have good handwriting.
 

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My 9yo also has never really enjoyed handwriting either. He has never been one that got into art, even drawing. I think some of it is physical discomfort with some perfectionism thrown in. I try to keep my insitance on writing at a minimum and he does write on his own on occasion.

I started him on Handwriting W/O Tears at 7, and he didn't mind practicing for 5 minutes a day. He is doing the cursive book now and I encourage him to do a page a day to help his hand muscles(he started playing football this fall so the concept of practice has really taken a meaning for him). At his request he started the Mavis Beacon typing lesson program and now he feels confident enough to chat online w/family(albeit slowly, but correctly and he will keep correcting until he feels its perfect).

It was surprising to see how different my 5yo is compared to her brother. She probably "writes" more than he does on a daily basis, although most of it is in her own language!
 

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I guess I've just always really doubted that enforced instruction or practice in handwriting would make people who enjoyed and were skilled at handwriting. My husband and brother had to do the whole school/penmanship thing, and both have atrocious handwriting (well, okay, maybe that's unfair, it's legible, just not pretty.) Anyway, I can't see how having poor penmanship has hurt them, honestly. The extent of my husband's need for handwriting is to do crossword puzzles. Seriously. I've seen my brother make grocery lists... and they both do sign their names on documents, checks, etc. Now I have beautiful penmanship, but I have to say that the only thing it's really good for is self-admiration... :LOL
 

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I won't push it with my own kids.I was always told in school that the more I wrote the better my handwriting would be.I filled many notebooks with my journal writings,and it never did get better. Some people just write nicer than others. I kept up the writing through college and even in my few years abroad at school. Though I would really like to have nice penmanship I think typing skills are more useful. I never use cursive either.
 

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My dd is young but a bit ahead. The cirriculum I'm using encourages teaching handwriting by using that special lined paper. She can write pretty well if she wants to but I'm not pushing it. She likes to draw arms and legs and smiles on her letters right now. :LOL

My own handwriting is not that great. I practiced and it never got better. I think some people are just naturals. People can read it and that's all that matters.

Darshani
 

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What worked for us (ds is 8) was the Handwriting Without Tears program. I started this when he was 7. He couldn't write at all at the age of 7. Now at 8, while he does not write for fun, nor does he enjoy lots of writing, he has very legible, solid writing skills, and if he needs too, he can write out notes or short letters and stories.

The reason it worked so well was that it was so simple, so straightforward, and he could do it all himself at his own pace. I just hand him the workbooks and he decides how much he wants to do. There are NO lessons. Just the workbook and it's very simple, clean, easy to follow instructions.

I bought the Kindergarten, first, and second grade workbooks and he finished them all within a year! (FWIW they don't put the grade level on the book, so any age can use it without stigma).

I also bought the wood letter pieces, and the FANASTIC small slates they use to make kids reversal-proof with writing (really worked). Taking the time to work with those materials the first months was invaluable. The kindergarten level workbook is designed for kids using the wood pieces and slate. By the time he finished that K workbook, he flew through the next 3 books.

This year he has already finished the third grade workbook (cursive) and next week starts the Fourth grade workbook (more cursive).

They have their own, also ingenious IMO paper. It is similiar to store bought paper but the lines are slightly different and IMO MUCH smarter for beginning writers.

Best of all it's a cheap program, I think I spent 70$ on 3 grades and all the manipulatives, paper, and journals we'd need for those 3 years.
 

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I agree about HWOT. I would take a break and start all over.

During the break I would focus on fine motor skill development.

More and more of our communications are in the typed form. I would start a typing program.

Make your goals be legible handwriting and remember LEGIBLE HANDWRITING IS NOT A SIGN OF INTELLEGENCE. Look at people like Einstein, doctors, scientist, et handwriting is usually horrid.

Give them a reason to be legible and why you want them to write that way. Accidents can happen if people cannot read your writing. My grandmother worked as a nurse years ago. She saw countless errs because illegible handwriting.

I also bought start write. I make up my own work sheets to focus on what they need. http://www.startwrite.com/ Plus I can adjust line widths slowly down. Last week I inserted a picture of a project and blank lines for my son to write on. I use the same picture, larger lines, and copied her narration on it to put in her note book, and then requested she copied her narration.
 

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My son is the same way. He is six and is beyond his years in reading, math - he can even type very well - but writing is not for him. Though I've been tempted I have not pushed it at all. I have a little workbook where he can practice writing if he's interested but he never is. I think it's something that has to develop on it's own in his brain and in his hand muscles and it needs to come from his own desire or he'll always dread it, kwim?

I do want to share something really wonderful I discovered that encourages him to write though.
I had been thinking for a long time about getting him a little journal so he could write down his thoughts, feelings and ideas, draw pictures, whatever. He wanted one with a lock though since I told him it would be private and just his.
So, we finally found one that was perfect for him just last week. He was inspired to do an entry. He wrote a long paragraph about how his Halloween was. It was the best writing I've ever seen him do. It fit into the small lines and was much neater than normal and he enjoyed it. Also, when he was reading his journal entry to us (yes, he insisted that he really wanted to share it with us
) I noticed him noticing how hard it was to read his own writing. I can see that inspiring him to write even more carefully in his journal in the future, kwim?

So, just thought I'd share that. I am somewhat interested in the HWOT but we are pretty much unschooling (very laid back child-led learning) and I'm wondering if it has a place there.
 

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I have nice handwriting, but my husband's is atrocious. My MIL has told me that when he was younger, a couple of his teachers would give him back his homework and make him redo it. MIL specifically told me that the first copies were, indeed, legible. They just weren't pretty enough. I think that sort of thing is just crap. I agree with the poster who said that legible handwriting is good enough, but that's JMO.

We've also tried HWOT. That's how my oldest learned cursive. The thing with us, though, is that my kids hate to write and I don't push it. I don't make them do book reports or write essays in our homeschool, so the cursive didn't get practiced enough. You know the old saying: use it or lose it! If my kids get an inclination to do some creative writing, I let them use the computer. If I made them do it by hand, they'd never write at all. I think HWOT is a good program, though.
 

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My son does not like to write in regular manuscript although his handwriting is quite nice. He likes to practice cursive sometimes and now wants to learn calligraphy. Maybe your child would like to try a different style of writing?
 
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