Warning: This post actually contains information which may be useful to parents of preschoolers. If you will find this boring, you may not wish to read any further.
Since becoming a mother of four, I have joined two MOMs clubs (Mothers Of Multiples). I never thought I would do anything like that, but it's really nice to get out and have some adult conversation and relaxation once or twice a month! One group, which I attend more than the other, is really informal. We just meet for dinner once a month at different restaurants. The other group has social events too, but they also have professionals come in to speak about various subjects.
I was really interested in the topic tonight, and am excited to try out what I learned at home. We talked about handwriting, and in particular, a method called "Handwriting Without Tears" that seemed like a really good idea to me. The letters are grouped into categories that make sense. You start with letters that begin with a vertical stroke on the left side (L, F, E, M, N, etc.). In a nutshell (from what I learned tonight), the method has three basic parts.
- Using a rectangular foam mat and wooden pieces shaped like letter strokes you demonstrate to your child how to build a letter on the mat. Then they build the letter. (At some point they will be able to build it without seeing it first.)
- This part is called "wet-dry-try". You write the letter on a small chalkboard. Your child takes a damp piece of paper towel or sponge and wipes the letter clean, following the strokes you made three times. They then do the same with a dry paper towel. This is something that will encourage "muscle memory".
- You demonstrate how to write the letter with pencil on paper. They then write the letter.
I've discovered that Everett is a bit of a perfectionist in some ways. (I wonder where he got that.) When he tries to write letters and they're not "just right" he wants to erase them. He gets frustrated or loses attention rather quickly despite my encouraging words, so I'm hoping this will make it easier and more interesting for him. We're not putting a lot of pressure on him, but I'd like him to learn and enjoy it too!
This is one of the things we were working on before I heard about the HWT method. (I would have shown the "E" page, but Everett erased all of his "E's" and my elephant looked rather gimpy.)