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Teaching handwriting?

Forum: Homeschooling


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September 7th, 2007, 09:43 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern VA
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Any tips or tricks?

Rachael wants to write very badly, but I don't think her fine motor skills are quite up to it yet. She does very well with circles and lines, so she can make several letters very well. The more complex, rounded ones (R, S, numbers like 3 and 8, etc.) give her fits. She gets so frustrated because she can't *quite* make them yet.

I've tried printing out tracing pages, and she can make the letter by going over the lines, BUT she doesn't do it "correctly" - it doesn't matter where she starts, she's just tracing. So I'm wondering if I should keep giving these to her, or hold off until she's better able. I don't want her to forever be the girl that makes two-circle 8's and starts her B's in the middle or something.

Has anyone bought/used the LeapFrog Writing Desk? I've been considering it for Christmas (everything homeschool-ish is a toy to her anyway) but I'm not sure if it's good, and if it would help or hinder...

Any thoughts?

(Again. I realize she's young and I'm not trying to rush her. I just want to help her with what she's interested in on her own. )
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September 7th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Platinum Supermommy
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Well at this point I just let Eathan doodle basically. If he doesn't do it correctly I show him the correct way and that's it. We do different activities where he traces the letters with his finger. I don't really push him with it b/c I know he has plenty of time for it. I don't have any experience with the writing desk, so maybe someone else can have an opinion about that.

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September 7th, 2007, 11:34 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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I think I would continue having her trace, and you can be with her at least most of the time to make sure she does it "correctly". You are right (IMO) to observe that the ability to write well is as much a physical development as it is an academic achievement. There are lots of activities you can do in the meantime to help her develop fine motor control. Working with clay, stringing activities, cut-and-paste, even learning simple hand stitches... basically anything that she likes to do with her hands can help strengthen them for proper handwriting.

You might also look at the Handwriting Without Tears program. My oldest son has done very well with this program.
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September 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't have any advice, either. Justin (my youngest) doesn't have great fine motor skills yet either. When it comes to writing, I let him trace over what I've written; let him trace over the letters/numbers with his finger (showing him the right directions first); practice writting in salt, flour, sand, etc. I don't know anything about the writing desk either. Maybe someone else here will know something about it?
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September 7th, 2007, 12:06 PM
grunig's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We have a Leap Frog Writing Desk and my kids show little to no interest in it. My 4 year old sounds like your daughter. He is mentally ready to do most of the pre-k work but his hands just aren't ready to perform for him yet. I have been letting him do tons of dot to dot books just to start learning to control the pencil without having to really form any specific pattern. We also roll out play dough into letters, and trace with them with his finger. Good luck. I am on this boat with you.

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September 7th, 2007, 01:29 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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My kids have never shown the least bit of interest in the Writing Desk. For teaching handwriting I really think the best thing to do is practice, practice, practice. It sounds like she's still really at the pre-writing stage and so straight lines, circles, other basic shapes, etc. written or traced is best for now.

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September 7th, 2007, 04:25 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Does she really want to actually form them herself or would she be happy with a stamp? You can buy sets of letter and number stamps. If she wants to do them herself I would use the traceable ones and also try a tray with some shaving foam, sand, Kool-Aid etc on it and let her use her finger. A magna doodle is good as is an aqua- doodle. Otherwise I would just be letting her draw.

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September 9th, 2007, 07:48 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've been using the Handwriting Without Tears pre-writing books for Declan, who is 4.5. The books start out with tracing shapes and coloring them in (basically just to help them learn control of the pencil!) and then adds the actual letter formations as well. I got the little slate that went with the program, just because it's something fun and different for him to practice on. Then, I just let him decide when he wants to do it.

Also, we have a couple of Kumon books - one that is mazes, one that is UC letters - as well as some other mazes and dot to dot books, and he loves doing those.
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