Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lessons I’ve Learned

Do you have a self motivated learner who does not like repetitive work? I know I have one! We always knew she could write more then she was willing to show us, it was a matter of getting her to do so. We told her this year we were going to focus on handwriting, we didn’t expect it to be perfect, but we did expect her to try. With that said, I thought to myself now how do we make this happen?

Here are my suggestions for those who have a hesitant self learner, just not wanting to do repetitive work, yet wanting to learn to write. Keep in mind that this is a skill that some come to early and others need more time to develop.

  1. Throw away all the curriculum that asks them to copy the letters, then repeat it over and over again in order to perfect them.
  2. Find workbooks or make your own, involving reading and filling in the blanks with simple words, which get more difficult as they go along. Some might just start with filling in a missing letter, to a three letter word, then so on.
  3. Don’t expect it to look perfect.
  4. Praise when they try, not when it looks perfect, but when they try. This takes the pressure off for perfectionism.
  5. As they begin to show much self improvement, then begin to show them the proper techniques.
  6. Allow them time to explore, don’t worry about letter size, are they keeping it in the lines, or do all lines and circles connect…let them play.

Since we have figured this all out we have seen great improvements and more of a desire to try from Selena. Below are two work pages, the first when she began this year, and the second where she is now, notice the improvement?


She is now writing with so much more confidence, is now experimenting with letter sizing, and working her own way to a more perfect style. I am a  happy Mama, that we do not have tears, complaining, or the “I can’ts”

We are using the same method for our numbers, and let me say we are seeing the same results.

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  1. A very good list. It really looks like you are very aware of her needs.
    Have you read much of Charlotte Mason's works? She believes in short lessons, so the child knows that it won't be long they will have to work on it and she believes that only one or a few things written well are much better than many written poorly. I thought of this when I saw your list.

  2. That's funny because that was exactly the sort of worksheet I hated when I was in school. Isn't it interesting the different things kids like?

  3. Those are good tips! Hard to find a curriculum like that :). So glad you found this one for Selena, sounds like it is a very good fit for her.