Revisiting earlier posts ~
Teaching and practicing handwriting can be simple and free, and lessons are relevant and short. Here are some handwriting tips from our early homeschooling days ~
Our free handwriting program is simple laminated charts. You can use your own fonts and make your own charts.
When my children start learning their letter formation, they trace over the letter with a whiteboard marker. Later, when they practice handwriting, they use the chart for reference while they are copying. They prop the chart up in a paper holder, which is very helpful in saving space on the table while we all work.)
My 9-year-old has already learnt her print and has recently mastered her cursive chart. She now practices her cursive handwriting daily on copywork pages I have made. She uses famous quotes from the history time period we are studying, or she writes the Bible memory verses for that week. All dictation work is an opportunity to practice handwriting skills.
The children first used pencil for all written work, but after their confidence grew, they received their “pen licence“. I have found the best results when my children use mechanical pencils. These pencils usually have lovely soft plastic grips and their points never become dull and blunt, causing fat, smudgy writing. My youngest child uses a very light hand pressure and so she needs to work with a soft 2B pencil lead. My middle child presses harder and so she works best with normal HB pencil leads.
I recommend that children only use pens once they very seldom make mistakes as they all hate using Tipex. My kids try very hard not to make mistakes, but if there is too much stress over mistakes, I recommend they continue with pencil work. It is quite acceptable in homeschool, and with a little more practice, it will ease the transition. Each child has their favourite pen. One enjoys gel pens that flow smoothly, while the other prefers a light, very thin blue line and favors a specific brand ball point pen. I allow the older girls use glitter pens for copywork if they want to make it look special.
Children sometimes find purchased handwriting programs very boring and repetitive (endless rows of lines, curves or letters), but with copywork, they are writing “real writing“. They enjoy recognizing excerpts from their read alouds, or quotations from their core readers. Copying memory verses is an excellent way to learn the scripture verse.
Copywork presents the need to know both the upper and lower case forms of each letter. This is handwriting practice in context. First practice lower case, then upper case, and then the paired letters on the next chart.
Hope that these tips help you and your children enjoy short, sweet handwriting lessons!