Handwriting Without Tears is an excellent handwriting curriculum. I've been using the kindergarten level this year with Joseph, Peter, and Maria. They love the hands on approach, so this program is working well. We're still working through the capitals using the wooden pieces and laminated alphabet cards. This activity is always a favorite. It's a no-fail way of making the letters. I like that the cards have each "stroke" numbered so the child knows the order to construct the letter. For example in the "L" below, the vertical line is #1 and the short horizontal line is #2. So numbers and counting are reinforced as well.
I believe this program is working well for Joseph; he's getting a lot of practice forming the letters before even picking up the pencil. Since holding the pencil properly requires significant focus on Joe's part, trying to hold the pencil and write the letters is nearly impossible at this point. He can write an "o", "j", and "p", but that's it for now.
Today we also used another of my favorites, the Kumon workbooks. He's working from the Animal Mazes book. We complete the maze in pencil, hand over hand, first. Then I let him pick either colored pencils or markers to retrace our line through the maze, independently. Today he chose colored pencils. He also uses a pencil grip. This foam grip is my favorite. There's no up or down or left hand/right hand positioning like the other grippers I've tried. Just slip it onto the writing utensil and hold on. After a few times, he figured out the most comfortable way of holding the pencil and it just so happens it's also the proper way of holding a pencil.
And whenever I'm engrossed working with the littlest ones, Sam takes advantage of the distraction to get out something fun, rather than doing Math or Grammar. Today he made us balloon animals and hats using his balloon animal kit. Even though he's not engaging in the core subjects, I'm glad to see him reading and following directions from the book and practicing generosity with his creations.
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