Lexie actually likes school work. She loves writing, reading, and counting. She especially loves having a task to do. Give the girl an assignment, “take this to the sink,” or “draw one like mine,” and she’s happy as a clam. A few months ago, we ordered this great book from “Writing Without Tears.”
The book is designed to teach children how to write letters, numbers, and shapes. For each letter, there is a warm-up page that introduces the types of lines and curves used for the letter. There is also a page to color that has images that begin with the letter (an alligator and apple for “A”, for example). Next comes the page to write the letter itself. The child gets several tries, each with a little less help than the one before. By the end of the page, the only cue is the starting point and the child is writing the letter independently.
Lexie likes the book and I have found it easy to use a page or two every few days.
Knowing that she would need to practice each letter many times, I’ve been making copies of the day’s pages rather than writing directly in the book. Today, I used my paper trimmer to separate the pages of the book and put each page into a page protector (The heavy duty ones work best) then put the works into a binder. I bought some dry erase crayons. In the box are also a sharpener and an eraser cloth. Both this items store easily in the binder with our work pages.
Now I just leave the binder on a low shelf and Lexie can help herself. It’s also just that much easier for me to pull it out and get her started on a task. So far today, she has practiced drawing triangles, writing the letter “A” and coloring with the color black. The best part is erasing it when she’s all done. Sometimes all it takes is changing things up a bit to get us interested again. This seems to have done the trick.
In addition to the workbook, we have laminated sheets with all the letters (upper- and lower-case). Handwriting without Tears sells those as well as some wood pieces in long lines, short lines, large and small curves. These are laid on top of the letter sheets to make every letter. We usually do one of the warm up pages in the workbook, switch to the manipulatives (wood pieces), then go back to the workbook to write the letters. It works. She doesn’t write well, but she does write and she improves every day. In fact, today, she wrote “mommy” for the very first time! It’s hanging on the refrigerator until I move it to my keepsake box. It is the first word she has written, aside from her own name. I’m just tickled.
If you have any questions about the Handwriting Without Tears system, leave me a comment. I might not know the answer, but can probably direct you to the right place.