Saturday, December 11, 2010

Handwriting Tips...

Before i return this book to the library, i best explain why i said 'no tracing on paper' on my earlier post. This book i'm referring to is called 'Montessori Read & Write' by Lynne Lawrence.

I am extracting from a chapter in the book which focused on how to teach a child to write letters. It provided a few tips and activities we can do at home to help the child learn write letters. And comes this section where it advise the readers to best avoid getting our child trace letters on worksheets etc. The reasons given:

1) Those kind of tracing emphasizes on repetition. Although repetition IS effective but tracing on paper repeatedly can be very boring for the child. Your aim is to pique the child's interest rather than bore him with learning.

2) Most often the child does not trace the letters correctly and have to conform to the size of the letters on the given worksheets which often can be quite small. The book points out that every child's handwriting is unique and we should not force them to conform to writing like print letters (which is usually the case on those tracing worksheets and books). Instead we should embrace & appreciate his own style of writing as we do with their drawings and paintings.

The aim is to approach it in fun and stimulating ways.

I have to say, if your child enjoys tracing letters on worksheets (i do know a few children who do) and learning effectively, by all means go for it. You're the mother, you know what works for your child.

As for me, i found the above rational very true for my boy. First, he shows absolute boredom whenever i ask him to trace letters on worksheets. He might do it but probably to humor his mother.

Secondly, even before i read the book, i did feel that those tracing worksheets were limiting him. It seems he wants to draw the letters bigger but i kept hounding him to follow the lines which in the end killed all his joy for writing. And no prize for guessing why he refused to trace any letters thereafter. :I

As i have posted here and there, i have recently changed my tactic. I have been using the Doodle buddy application on my iphone and even our doodle board to teach N write letters (i also got a blackboard which we'll be using later). Usually i'd do it very spontaneously. I made it feel like it was part of play and not literally sitting down following dotted lines. And i am very happy to declare it is working! N is obviously having fun tracing on my iphone; he gets awfully tickled seeing our letters disappear when we hit the 'erase' button which in turn motivated him to trace more letters. Just today, he has learnt how to write 'U' and 'j', in 5 minutes, adding on to his growing list! Yippeee, we're moving forward!! WOOOT!

1 comment:

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