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delaying writing?


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I have a young 5 and we are working on basic penmanship right now- just letters and numbers. He is struggling and I'm trying to not get frustrated. I was planning on WWE 1 next year (first grade). Is this still a good idea or will it frustrate us more? Should I continue with copywork and put off writing until 2nd grade? Or will there be large gains in his ability to do this? Anyone have experience with this?

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Some children aren't ready for much writing at age 5--their gross and fine motor skills just aren't developed enough yet. Since he is struggling with penmanship, you might want to incorporate some different activities. For example, instead of having him write with a pen or pencil in a book, have him air-write using his whole arm from the shoulder down.


Stand next to him to demonstrate how we make the letter b (or any letter or number you would like to work on). Get your whole arm involved, and pretend that your pointer finger is a pen. Write lowercase b in the air, using big motions. Start at the top of the first line of the b, pulling the line straight down. As you do this, say “/b/ – bat.†After you hit the bottom of the b, trace part of the way back up and then form the circle part. Keep it all one fluid motion. After you’ve done this several times, explain that the first line down is like a bat used in baseball, and then we hit the ball. Be sure that your son uses his dominant hand to do this activity.


The large movements of the arm combined with saying the sound at the same time will help link these two concepts together in his brain. Brain research shows that two ideas practiced at the same time can permanently bond the ideas together. Not only that, this multisensory activity takes advantage of the fact that the muscles in the shoulder and in the jaw have “muscle memory,†and this makes it easier for your child to recall the shape and sound of the letter b.


You can also incorporate tactile activities.


You may find that both of you are less frustrated if you work on some different activities and then come back later, when he's more ready, to pencil and paper. HTH some! Merry :-)

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