Developing Handwriting - Purpose and Audience
© Beverley Paine
[an excerpt from Developing Children's Handwriting, a Practical Homeschooling booklet, by Beverley Paine, available from Always Learning Books.]
The purpose and anticipated audience for any writing activity will affect the form
When brainstorming activities that will naturally include handwriting practice, think about the different audiences, that is the people who will read what they have written. It's not necessary to insist on neat, legible writing every time your child writes. You don't write legibly all the time, especially if the audience is yourself and no one else. Rough drafts are seldom neat, although they still need to be reasonably legible! Crossing out errors is quite acceptable in this form of writing, and even in note taking. Once you 'publish' your words, that is, present it to another, you will need to pay more attention to neatness and legibility.
If we make writing a chore for our children they will become reluctant writers. Holding a pen or pencil is difficult for most young children, even when we supply suitably sized pencils or grips. It takes considerable practice to master manipulating the writing tool as well as holding the paper flat and still with the other hand. Sympathy and understanding at this stage will encourage your child to perservere.
Whatever handwriting style your children use, the steps toward legibility and speed are:
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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