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This website contains general information about medical and educational conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

The educational and medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Cheryl Swope, M.Ed. and Memoria Press make no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

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Handwriting- How Much?

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    Handwriting- How Much?

    Hi Cheryl,

    I have a question about handwriting. I am working through the kindergarten package with my son. He has sensory issues, fluency issues, some minor motor skill delays and is possibly on the autism spectrum. This is his first year of formal school and he is doing pretty well overall, but he is really struggling with handwriting. He wants to hold his pencil in a weird way and write from bottom to top and right to left (Dad still writes this way!). He will comply and form letters correctly but he is holding that pencil with a death grip and tires very quickly. I have been modifying the lessons by doing only some of the First Start Reading and working just on the letter strokes in the copywork book. I'm wondering if this is the right approach or if I should actually be giving him more handwriting since this is a weak area. Any thoughts? Also, do you know of any tricks to get him to relax his hand a little so he doesn't tire so easily?

    Thanks,
    Kara

    PS I am reading Simply Classical for the 2nd time. Thanks so much for this resource. It is fantastic.

    #2
    Thank you, Kara! I appreciate your "P.S." You can help, if you're willing. If you (or anyone here!) can find a few moments to post a review of Simply Classical on Amazon, this would be wonderful. I'm told we need 80-100 reviews to help those “on the fence” about reading. The book is so new, we have only 9! Click on "Write a Customer Review" just beneath the existing reviews:
    http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Classic...mply+classical

    But then come right back to Memoria Press!


    We want to spread the encouraging word about classical Christian education for all of our children! I am still home with mine, so I cannot promote the book as much as I would like. Anyone here could assist in this way, and this would be very much appreciated.


    A few tips for handwriting:

    Cheryl Lowe provides masterful instructions for pencil grip on page 13 of your First Start Reading Teacher Guide. Then on page 14 of the same guide, she addresses letter formation and directionality. I would start there.

    For your son, if you have the Alphabet books, look on page 5 of either Part One or Part Two. Leigh Lowe offers a nice illustration accompanied by a reminder at the top of each page 5, “Hold pencil with a light grip.” She then gives three clear steps to follow. The picture and reminders might be helpful for your son to review before each writing session. You might even want to print and laminate these pages for frequent reference. (We did something similar with piano posture and hand position, because our children need more than one demonstration!)


    Some suggestions for relaxing the grip:

    --Tell him to imagine a “bubble” inside his hand. When he writes, he cannot pop the bubble. (“Uh-oh. The bubble popped. Let's make space for another one!”) You might even try a small ball of paper inside his hand to help him visualize some space initially.

    --Take breaks when you see him squeezing too tightly. “Time for some finger wiggles!” Have him set down his pencil, wiggle his fingers in the air and count to 10 (or 20). Have him make his wrists “like noodles” for another 10 or 20. Then resume.

    --Use incentives. Perhaps a “5 for 5” program. If he writes with a good, relaxed “bubble-saving” grip for 5 minutes, he can receive a mark on a little chart. Five days in a row can earn him a small privilege.

    --Make writing sessions a little shorter, but continue to have him write daily. (Yes, you want to continue working on handwriting, because you know it is a weakness – possibly even an inherited one! But you want it to be successful each day.)

    Recommendations for improving writing and fine-motor abilities even when not writing:

    making cookies by rolling cookie dough into small balls
    playing with playdough
    placing pegs in a pegboard
    stringing pasta, beads, or cheerios (they require an especially light touch!)
    working puzzles or playing board games


    Anyone else have ideas for Kara?

    Thanks-
    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Maybe try mazes? Those are good for the visual motor integration aspect, and were something that my oldest really loved doing even when getting him to write was like pulling teeth. It would help with at least the straight line components of letters. That's all I could think of that wasn't also aimed at low muscle tone that Cheryl hadn't already mentioned.
      Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

      Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
      Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
      Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

      Comment


        #4
        "...Thanks,
        Kara
        PS I am reading Simply Classical for the 2nd time. Thanks so much for this resource. It is fantastic."


        Kara, if you (or anyone here!) can find a few moments to post a review of Simply Classical on Amazon, this would be wonderful. I'm told we need 80-100 reviews to help those “on the fence” about reading. The book is so new, we have only 9!

        Click on "Write a Customer Review" just beneath the existing reviews:
        http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Classic...mply+classical

        But then come right back to Memoria Press!




        Thank you, Miah!

        Cheryl

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
          "...Thanks,
          Kara
          PS I am reading Simply Classical for the 2nd time. Thanks so much for this resource. It is fantastic."


          Kara, if you (or anyone here!) can find a few moments to post a review of Simply Classical on Amazon, this would be wonderful. I'm told we need 80-100 reviews to help those “on the fence” about reading. The book is so new, we have only 9!

          Click on "Write a Customer Review" just beneath the existing reviews:
          http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Classic...mply+classical

          But then come right back to Memoria Press!




          Thank you, Miah!

          Cheryl

          Just a note that my "thank you" was in response to Miah's wonderful endorsement on Amazon. If anyone else has attempted to support the hopeful message intended within Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child, you might find the book listed as "Limited Availability" for the moment. This is simply because we're in our second printing! Amazon will catch up soon with the new file Tanya submitted.

          In the meantime, Memoria Press still has copies: www.memoriapress.com, Educational Resources or Special Needs.

          Reviews will be very helpful for the message, especially from those who initially felt discouraged but who instead restored to themselves the purpose, courage, and resolve to persevere. Please tell others on special-needs forums, struggling-student forums, Goodreads, your own sites, and anywhere else you can help.

          Our special-needs children can and must receive an inspiring, elevating, humanizing, and beautiful education through classical Christian homeschooling and even in classical Christian schools. This is a message we can all share.

          Thanks again, Miah, for the support.

          Cheryl

          Comment

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