Saturday, May 30, 2015

Handwriting Improving, Yipee!


Made myself a plan for improving the boys' handwriting.  It was really a big bug bear for me after their time in school.

It is sort of a mish mash of a few methods plus my own remembrances from school.

First stage - Magic C
1. Two lines of c shapes that start at 1 o'clock, bump the top line, curve around, bump the bottom line and come up again to 5 o'clock.
2.  Continue doing one line of magic c shapes and then one line of o.
3. Half a line of magic c and half a line of o and add in a full line of a, d, g and q one at a time.  We always do a half line of the basic shape and then use the other half of the line to review problem letters.

(I would get the children to circle the best 2 letters on each line in their opinion, and then I would tick above the good ones and double tick the awesome letters.  Sometimes I would make a note of a detail they might need to pay attention to next time, or add a smiley face!)

Finish off the magic c letters with a game.  Get them to draw a magic c then call out a letter to change it into.  This has really helped with making sure that g for instance has the circle part on the line instead of the tail touching the bottom line.  It also helped the shape of a to be more round instead of a bit like a tear drop.  I add this game in whenever we have had a break for a while to just get them back into handwriting.

Second stage - bump letters
1. Two lines of caterpillar humps, in clusters of 4 or 5.  Check for even bumps, right to the top and down to the line and symmetry.
2. Continue doing basic shape for one line and add in r, n, m, h, b and p in stages.
3. Keep adding in review letters for half or a full line as you see the need.  Individualise!

Third stage - i, l, u, t, y, j
1. Practice short and tall vertical lines that start at the top and travel neatly down to the bottom line.
2. Continue doing basic shape and add in other letters.
3. Keep adding in review letters for half or a full line as you see the need.  Individualise!

Fourth stage - zig zag letters: v, w, x, z
1. Practice / and \ at the appropriate angles for the above letters.  One line at a time.  Check for good start and finish places.
2. Continue doing the basic shapes, 1/2 line each and add in v, w, x and z in stages.
3. Keep adding in review letters for half or a full line as you see the need.  Individualise!

Fifth stage - e, f, s, k
Honestly, we aren't this far yet and I can't see a common starting point for these letters so we may just do one line at a time and practice, practice, practice.

Sixth stage - Frog jump letters (Handwriting without Tears terminology)
F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M

Seventh stage - Starting Corner letters (HWT too, I think?!)
H, K, L, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Eighth stage - Centre Starter letters (HWT too, I think?!)
C, O, Q, G, S, A, I, T, J

The biggest thing  I try to remember with my boys is to not comment negatively on their handwriting in any other subject but I do comment very effusively when I see a beautifully formed a or g in their other writing.

It is working.  Little g now sits on the line more often than not and a is formed much more roundly instead of a tear drop shape.

Anyway, hope that helps someone.

Best wishes

Monday, May 11, 2015

Time trudges by and so do I!

Well, I have learned that it is not a good idea to pick up extra shifts regularly.  Working 4 nights a week for 3 weeks in a row was way too tiring.  The extra money will be helpful because due to tiredness I accidentally grazed a car in a parking lot.  Not so easy to see a low sports car when you are sitting up in a Tarago.  So that just shows it doesn't pay to do more work than you are physically capable of.  I know my limits.  Only 3 nights a week and I won't find myself trudging through life. :-)

Back on track now.  I hope!


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