Jude is now four and a half so has been doing handwriting practise every day since Easter when I finished work and started home-schooling full time. Being a teacher I feel strongly about something I mentioned in an earlier post on writing – how important it is that children are taught correct letter formation from the outset. Cana, at six, has been writing in joined handwriting for some time and Jude began to learn joins as soon as he knew how to form each letter of the alphabet. Cana, as a perfectionist, enjoyed learning ‘grown-up’ writing and would take her time making it just right. She liked writing in her ‘Big Girl,’ lined book so that was an incentive for her.
Jude is learning to spell the first 45 high-frequency words. Each one takes him about a week to learn and he practises writing it in joined handwriting most days. Because he is not a perfectionist, and does not want to be grown up (I am fairly sure he would still have me dressing him and feeding him if he could) , I have to think of ways to make handwriting practise fun. He only has to write his spelling for the day three times so does this in various ways: he has a ‘Big Boy’ book; he writes on the whiteboard with pen; he uses chalks on the black board; he writes in shaving foam and he writes on the Aquadraw.
Jude is gaining in confidence with his writing and has started writing letters to various people during his play time. We had a bit of a discussion about the role of the post-man as Jude had somehow deified him into some sort of God-like being who showered us with gifts. He thought, as the postman brought us so many presents (due to my internet shopping habits), that he could write a letter with his requests for toys in it and posting the letter would ensure that he would get it. He is extremely argumentative at the moment so I’m still not sure he fully believed my explanation that I order the presents we get and it’s the postman’s job to just bring it. When I thought about it, I am given to saying things like, “Oh, look what the postman’s brought us!” Anyway, here is a sample of his most recent ’emergent writing’ It is a party invitation and it says: Please come to my party and my party is in Africa will you come to my party Nadia and Kaelen.