After a few frustrating weeks of handwriting WITH tears (albeit phony melodramatic tears), I got a smile today – plus a page of what I consider excellent work!
Naomi has been VERY resistant to the idea that learning to write will take anything more than intuition and practice. She has had trouble accepting the idea that there is a RIGHT way to write.
Gentle soul that I am, I haven’t used words like right and wrong, but I have pointed out to her that when she doesn’t make a D properly, for example, it looks too much like an O. So her last name comes out all gibbled.
(Despite my “no-doodling in the workbook” rule – I’ll give her a doodle pad if she wants to draw during handwriting time! – she drew a “sad face” in the top “a” because, as she said, “we haven’t done ‘a’ in a long time and I don’t know how to make it.”
I did a quick tutorial, and her a’s weren’t great, but they were fine for today.
Why is handwriting important? Because I’m a hypocrite, that’s why. Because my handwriting is SO bad that I haven’t used anything except block printing since my teachers gave up back in Grade Seven. Even my block printing is a nightmare: people can’t tell my O’s or D’s or O’s or anything. Don’t even ask about script… I simply never learned it. I can sign my name, but it’s basically a J with a tail. :-)
So I’m determined to get it right with my kids. The one weirdness I’ve introduced as a result of hating handwriting practice as a kid is that we use a pen for handwriting, phonics, math, etc. Pencils were used in my elementary school as a punishment for bad handwriting. If you were neat, you got to use a pen.
I’d be using a pencil to this day if I hadn’t graduated Grade 6. I was SO worried it would be on my transcript when I got to Junior High: “Jennifer must continue using pencil until her handwriting improves.” But no… I was free to write with whatever I want, and I have never looked back or willingly picked up a pencil since.
Writing a couple of the example letters for Naomi today, even she commented that my h was “pretty bad.” I thought they were decent… but apparently not as good as the examples in the book.
We learned “b” today, which I’ve been waiting for eagerly. She is still scared to read words with lowercase b’s and d’s in them, because she STILL gets them mixed up. I’m hoping that more practicing writing each of them will lead to more confidence.
Anyway, I thought I’d share her smile and success – for a change!