Home-schooling over the last 18 months has been really eye opening as to how the school helps the children improve their handwriting. And seeing the stages and changes the children go through to improve their letter formation, ready to write ‘joined up’, has been helpful for when we do practice at home. All three have been working on pre-cursive activities like tracing angles and curves, doing wiggly lines and lumps and bumps.
Fidget has just completed Reception, EYFS, and moving into Year 1 and KS1, so he has been working hard on phonics and writing things down, but sometimes his handwriting can be a little tricky to read. So, we decided that a little more practice of his letter formation might be helpful. We used the STABILO EASYgraph pencils and the STABILO handwriting packs to do some 5-mintue practice every few days. He has also spent some time working on his ‘froggy’ grip or, as STABILO call it the tripod grip, and when he started out writing his used his index finger to make sure his spacing was correct between words. Now it is just patience and time to get the shapes and how the letters link to move onto developed cursive handwriting.
Over the last few weeks, we have worked through the different letters and discussed how he can take his time to get things get right in regard to the size, shape and spacing of his words. To give him a mini-summer project, without him realising he was ‘working’ we made some postcards, and he wrote a sentence on each one to send to friends and family. That way he was practising without feeling the pressure of having to write a lot of words all at once. I took photos of what he did so that he can see the progression he has made over the last few weeks and over the rest of the holidays.
Meanwhile, Wriggler is one of those children who will happily create stories, spending ages writing something and drawing detailed pictures to go with it, and his teacher has set him a summer holiday task, which will help him hit the ground running in his new school year in September. He needs to read a book and write a book review in his best joined up writing.
Aside, from working on spelling and reminding him of his punctuation, just encouraging him to take his time and be aware of how wide his line spaces have really helped him over the last few weeks. We were reading his book review of ‘The Land of Roar’ and it has been much easier and a pleasure to see how much he enjoyed reading something different. Hopefully all this practice will help when he goes back into school and starts year 4, and earns his Pen Licence.
Katie Banks of Little House of Words