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handwriting for a perfectionist 6 y.o. boy?


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I just got the "I like Animals" from CurrClick and he got to the first page of actual letter tracing (instead of practicing in mazes and such) and he got so discouraged because he can't make his letters neat enough that I ended up having him stop before he finished. I tried to encourage him that it is not about getting it perfect, but about practicing and getting better over time, but he was so upset.


I am wondering if HWOT is really the only option for us. I've balked at the expense, but if it is what is going to work, then maybe I need to save up and get it. He has a really tough time writing. And it doesn't help that his older sister is quite adept at it (she's also fantastic at drawing).


He just turned six, and I'm not really concerned about his handwriting per se, but I would like him to at least know proper letter formation, as it seems it's easier to learn now than to relearn later. The only writing he needs to do at present is for ETC and his math pages, and I don't make a deal about that at all, whether he uses capitals or lowercase or whether the numbers are reversed.


So, should I try something else (program wise) or drop it for now or what? He has liked doing small bits of practicing on the white board, so maybe I should just stick with that and exercises helping him continue to improve his fine motor skills?


What do you think?

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My son is a perfectionist too. He could not do any program that had you tracing dotted lines because he got upset if he wasn't exactly on the lines.


HWT works great for him. No tracing! Also you can just get the workbook. I didn't get any of the stuff to go with it. RR has the workbook for $9.50, I believe. I ordered multiple copies from HWT themselves because I had more than one kid to use them. Workbooks are around $7 from HWT.

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With my oldest I had to do things that didn't have examples. Same thing with my middle, and I'm sure it will be the same with the youngest. Until they got to the point that they were doing pretty well, I just had them draw letters on their own (with some guidance) rather than give them anything with a guide to follow. Seeing that printed example discouraged every one of them.


I'd keep going with the white board (we used to do it on the front of the fridge, LOL!), chalk board, etc. and let him get the formation down. I'd also show him examples of your own handwriting when you've made a mistake, or if you have any early (messier) examples of big sister's work, show him those as well. Seeing, in front of him, that other people also don't write well in the early days *might* help him. I had one for whom this worked wonders, and one for whom this didn't help at all. You never know.


If you want/need to use models for him to trace, giant ones might be better/easier for him to do without the need to get it perfect. Or outlines that he can color, following the direction of proper letter formation, but no pressure to draw a perfectly straight line. For ex, print a giant outline letter A and have him color it in, but encourage him to color beginning at the top point and going down the left side, then down the right side, then across the middle. He learns the formation, but doesn't have to make a straight line.


You could incorporate that in illustrating stories, making posters for various holidays, etc. so it's not "just" coloring a giant letter (which would maybe seem too young to him). Make it part of bigger/age appropriate projects, though, and the formation will sink in without him having to perform.


Best of luck; those teary-eyed 6 year olds trying to get their print to look just like what was printed on the computer is so sad. Which reminds me, explaining that to my middle son, that the letters in his example were printed on the computer, and then writing my own example for him to follow -- that helped him a great deal as well. He saw that even Mom couldn't get hers exactly right and it took the pressure off him.

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My kid is only 4 but he is a perfectionist, and once something is set as far as he is concerned it is SET IN STONE. I am trying italics because the transition from print to cursive is not very dramatic, so there he won't throw tantrums later on. I got the Italics Beautiful Handwriting for Children as an ebook. Very inexpensive and very close to Dubay-Getty (which is far too much for my budget). I also find a slight slant is actually easier for my child than trying to do print lettering which is upright (vertically straight).

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