This week I would like to share another interesting reader’s question ~
She writes ~
“My 10-year-old son makes a huge fuss about learning to write in cursive! He seems stressed, angry and tearful when he tries to write in cursive. What can I do to help him?”
Here are some of my comments, hints and suggestions ~
- Anger and tears usually represent some kind of frustration or fear.
- Try diffuse the lesson with some handwriting activity that is really easy and fun, such as letter recognition / search games, pattern play, use fun “writing” mediums such as shaving cream on a window!
- I would ask,
- “Is he ‘ready‘ for cursive?
- Does he know his alphabet?
- What is his fine motor control like?
- How does he hold/ grip his pencil and how accurate is he doing small movements?
- Is his eyesight okay?
- He may have physical difficulties and require some therapy or extra help.
- Teach the lesson with a large, clear laminated cursive lower case cursive chart and whiteboard markers. This is a quick, easy way to teach all the letters before going on to copywork.
- Tell him that he can quickly and easily wipe away any mistakes when he uses a whiteboard marker. Some kids hate to make mistakes! Although pencil rubs out, whiteboard markers are super-quick to erase!
- Whiteboard markers make lovely bold, smooth lines, therefore no need to pen pressure = less stress.
- Demonstrate each letter and talk through your movements. See my Handwriting Hints tips and booklet.
- Girls love to use gel glitter pens. Find a favorite pen for a boy!
- Find or make ‘olden days’ letters or manuscripts to read.
- For fun, let him make his own with quill feather and ink on paper aged with tea! Let him make invisible ink and write secret spy letters.
- Only use cursive for formal handwriting lessons, but allow him to continue to use print for his own notes and notebooking.
- Select really funny/ interesting copywork for him to practice.
- Practice daily. Provide a short copywork piece / extract from his favorite book. Pop over to my free copywork pages.
- If all these tips do not help, I would suggest you take your child to a therapist for more precise testing. Remedial therapy is often presented in fun activities and yet produce great results.
What other suggestions would you give this reader? Please share in the comments below.