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How old was your kid when the did AAS 2?


My first did not start AAS until she was in second grade. She had nice handwriting before kindergarten.


My second child is in first grade and just started the second level. Handwriting is his weakest subject. We've worked through several levels of Handwriting Without Tears, but he still needs frequent reminders about letter formation and spacing. He spells the words fine and retains the rules taught in the lessons. However, especially as the dictation phrases and sentences slowly grow longer, he struggles more and more. Should I just table it until he's worked through more handwriting and WWE? Is there a good way to adapt the dictation for kids still working on letter formation, spacing, and basic mechanics?

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My guy is also in level 2 (step 4) in first grade. I have no idea if I'm to soft on him, but I want to keep it fun. I don't worry about his handwriting too much. He starts some letters at the bottom, frequently forms letters backwards and size is inconsistent, to say the least[emoji3] we have been going really slowly with spelling, and I let him write on the white board, or spell it back to me orally. I tried shaving cream in a ziplock bag once, too. And his favorite is cursive on the shower door! I think he gets bored writing on a line...he is rather artistic.


I would just keep going with AAS, keep it light and fun, and try not to correct him too much. [emoji253]



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Your reality is only spirit.

Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.

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We've always used the AAS dictations as handwriting practice for the day.  My son started AAS 2 at the beginning of first grade, and I would sit with him as he did the dictations.  I tried to really emphasize taking the time to sound out the word and think about the spelling and then writing slowly and deliberately.


If there were more dictations than he could reasonable write in one sitting, then he would orally spell some for me or type some (getting in typing practice) or do some later in the day or the next day or, gasp, just skip the last few if he had shown mastery of the concept.



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I usually recommend waiting on spelling until they are solid with letter formation. The dictations in AAS do continue to get longer (Level 3 as 12 sentences per step, and halfway through will add another sentence-writing activity called The Writing Station). So, I would either wait and try to restart next year and focus on letter formation now, or slow things way down (you can do the dictations over as many days as needed--so, if he can only do one or two each day, that's fine.) The gradual progression of writing activities in AAS is preparing a student for more outside writing later on.


You could also choose to drop the dictations for now or just do a few, and then go back later and pick up more of them. The thing I would watch for is whether he retains what he's learning if he doesn't get as much practice through dictation. You might want to work in more practice with the word cards if you do that, or more kinesthetic methods, to make sure he really retains.

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I am doing dictation with my child who knows most of her letters though still makes mistakes with some (particularly F and B) - I use spelling as handwriting practice and do handwriting patterns as well as concentrating on one specific letter either before or after the dictation. I keep a very close eye on her while she writes the dictation and if there are errors then I correct them in a brief handwriting lesson rather than during the dictation. This child though can handle more handwriting than her elder sister could - I made sure handwriting was far more advanced with her before starting dictation.

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