confidence building and handwriting

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jnjlangston
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:07 pm

confidence building and handwriting

Post by jnjlangston » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:51 am

Hello,

I have some concerns for my 7 year old son. We are ready to get back into the school routine next week and will be starting back in the middle of Beyond where we left off. My son really struggles with doing his handwriting. He actually writes fairly well, but he just doesn't like writing and complains about doing handwriting. He also lacks confidence in his work, often answering "I don't know" to questions or refusing to do work if he is not certain he can get it right the first time. Any suggestions on how to handle all the handwriting and in building confidence so my son is more willing to try? Thanks!

Rice
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: confidence building and handwriting

Post by Rice » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:28 pm

Some things that can help with handwriting:

~ keep it SHORT! Set a timer for just 2 or 3 minutes. Have him put it away at the end of the letter (or word, depending on how long it is taking him for each letter), without having to finish the sentence or line. Every couple of weeks to a month increase the time by just 30 seconds, with the goal of about 5 minutes of concentrated writing by the end of the year. If you can get there, that's awesome! :D

~ let him choose the medium: elementary lined paper (wide lines with mid-line), wide rule paper, college rule, white board, tray with sand or corn meal; pen, pencil, crayon, marker, dry erase marker, finger, etc. At this age, let him still play with sizes and mediums. Find what is easiest for him to get good letter formation and go with that for now. He won't stay with cornmeal forever. :wink: There is lots of time to work on size, but getting good letter formation and muscle memory is what is important now (along side learning to read). Some kids find larger printing easier, but there comes a time when going with smaller lines is better, so they don't have to move their whole arm, only their fingers to form each letter.

~ consider using a reward - even if that be an academic one such as choosing the next subject. (Other options are 15 seconds off your time tomorrow; a ticket towards a bigger goal, the chance to use a special pen or sit in a special place; the privilege of choosing the veggie for supper. . . they are never ending!) We put in self-rewards (as soon as I finish this email I'll go grab a cup of tea) in our daily lives, so it isn't spoiling them to incentivize finishing without complaining.

As for answering when he's afraid of making a mistake. . .
~ model narration for him and make sure to tell him to listen so he can add what you miss, then add in a purple elephant or something - model making mistakes and that it's okay for him to laugh at your mistakes (hopefully he'll learn he can be a little less hard on himself).

~ if looking for a narration, go back and read (near) the beginning of the reading again, then just before an interesting part, stop and ask what happened next. Praise anything that is anywhere near correct (anything that happened, even if it wasn't the very next thing), then stop! Don't add, correct, or ask for more! He got it right. He said what happened after that. Let that be enough for a long time before adding, "And what happened after that?"

I'm sure others will have other suggestions, but these have worked for me.

Oh. One other thought - make sure, if he's afraid of making a mistake, that he doesn't have an audience for a while (even if you have to move somewhere else for narration time). My DD quit narrating when she thought she couldn't do as well as big brother. I had to separate them for her to open up again.

Blessings,
Rice

DS 18 (DONE: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 14 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 12 RTR (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-CTC)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 8 +
DD 6 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

jnjlangston
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:07 pm

Re: confidence building and handwriting

Post by jnjlangston » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:11 pm

Thank you for the ideas! I appreciate it and will see what I can incorporate!

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