Handwriting Development Tips
© Belinda Kenworthy, September 2007
Start with common letters (ie the first letter of her name, brothers, sisters etc) and introduce one at a time - maybe a week or more on each letter. Notice it everywhere you go. Pick 'the letter' out of words on signs, books, the weet-bix box, the mail. Just expose your daughter to letters and how they are applicable to the real world. Keep it gentle and fun.
Draw it on her back until she gets used to the 'feel' and eventually, when you know a few letters, get her to guess which letter you have drawn - great at bedtime to reinforce learning.
Make the letter shape out of playdough.
Write them in the sand, mud, glitter, powder, shaving cream.
If you can make or get hold of wooden letters, and after some learning you can get her to take a letter and guess which one it is with her eyes shut, put them in alphabetical order etc.
We also liked the reading readiness kits from Australian Homeschooling Supplies (ie Pre-Reading Activity Pack 2)as a gentle introduction to writing. It includes cooking, craft and worksheets all in one bag (with the option of buying all the craft materials you need to complete them). They cover things like left to right progression etc - the basic introductory stuff. A good place to start.
The Beatrix Potter book is sent to your email address (after you have paid of course) as an e-book which you download using the Acrobat program. You print of the page or pages you want for the day, week or whatever. If you want an actual hard copy of the book you will have to contact Michelle at Downunder Literature (she is an aussie homeschooling mum) she is very helpful. I'm sure they do it but you will have to pay additional postage - check with Michelle.
When it comes to printing and paper we do use a lot. We use paper on both sides, in draft mode (to save ink). We just invested in a multifunction laser printer and although it is initially expensive it should last us the duration of our homeschooling life and end up cheaper in the long run with regards to the ink cartridges (they have toner cartridges which last much longer).
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