I haven’t ever been really sure how to start handwriting with Bella. I learned from teaching Pre-K with a very strict, driven curriculum that at 4 years old, children needed to learn how to print all letters correctly and the same size. This entailed worksheet after worksheet of them practicing handwriting. In kindergarten it was even more intense.
They left my class with beautiful print. However, I saw the frustration and unachievable perfection they also felt, and promised myself I would teach my children a different way. A way that they loved to write.
So these past 6 months, I’ve noticed my daughter Bella really wants to write letters. We have a large poster of the alphabet on our wall over her table, and she would sit and practice off of it – all on her own. Yet I still struggle with knowing just when she’s ready to write. The world of attempting is so adorable that I really don’t want to rush her into something she might end up being overwhelmed by. I love seeing little journals with big and small letters, all shapes and sizes, backwards and forwards.
We’ve begun with the Handwriting Without Tears program, highly recommended by many homeschool parents and teachers. I happened to stumble on a program they had for Pre-K, and for just one child instead of a classroom of 30. They also have an app that incorporates the method of learning how to write letters and numbers.
As the New Year kicks off, and with a new homeschool room for us, we plan to spend a portion of our two hours, three days a week, working on the basic skills of handwriting.
I hope that by making it interesting and short, Bella will learn to truly love a part of schooling that is often overlooked or hurried through so much in the days of computers and touch screens.
Next stop? Cursive. Thankfully we’ve got a while.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, Still Standing Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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