One of the first things I had hoped to tackle in homeschool is tLG’s handwriting. It was atrocious, as in sloppy and smushed. She had also gotten into a bad habit of writing in all capital letters that wasn’t corrected along the way.
In Montessori there are several things that work themselves out over time and you just don’t worry about them. For example, children are encouraged to spell using “sounds” or phonetically. The word may not always be correct English but you can sound it out and it makes sense. This is to encourage their confidence. “Look, you did it! You can spell.” Once children start reading, they see the words in a book and the brain makes the connection and they automatically start to use the correct spelling in their writing. At least that’s the way it was explained to me.
I assumed handwriting was the same way. Once she started reading the words in a book, her brain would make the connection and she would start using mixed case. The only problem is, she didn’t.
We are working our way through a handwriting workbook and I’ve also been encouraging lots of tracing and copy work. I even promised her that we would learn cursive (she’s been begging for a year) if she got her print under control. I sometimes doubted that she would ever get better. It was BAD, y’all!
We celebrated her birthday with a science-themed party and I decided Thank You Notes would be a good handwriting activity along with a lesson in grace & courtesy. We worked on 2 cards per day. Below is a picture of the first card she wrote (top) and the last one (bottom).
It’s practically a night and day difference, don’t cha think? I was so amazed. I know it’s still not great but there are actually spaces between words and division of lines. There are also more lower case letters. Small victory, people!
I also had to keep my promise to start teaching cursive. I started with these pre-cursive tracing worksheets and then we used some left over colored sand in a tray for finger drawing.
I dare say she might turn out with decent penmanship after all. Maybe her cursive will turn out even prettier than her print. Only time will tell.