Sunday, September 21, 2008

Handwriting Practice

My son showed interest in writing his name about two years ago. Perhaps because the letters of his name are on the wall in his room, perhaps because in preschool the teachers write each student's name on all of their drawings and craft projects. In our house, when the kids show an interest, the parent pursues it - whatever it is. We have watched a Starbucks go up step by step - from the lot being filled and graded to paving the parking lot. We have discussed how GPS works, why people die, observed the effects of watering (or not watering) potted plants, and much, much more. So, when our son showed interest in writing, we started with the basics - his name. How difficult could that be?
Fast forward a few years to preschool - the 4-year-old class, to be exact. It's the year they start preparing children for "real" school - for kindergarten! And, it's the year they will be re-training my son to write using D'Nealian Manuscript, which looks like this. Not only that, I am retraining myself so that I can reinforce what he is learning. (I was taught the Zaner-Bloser or "standard block" style as I was growing up.)
It never occurred to me that there was more than to handwriting style than print or cursive. Lesson learned. Had I known, I would have researched the handwriting style used by our local school district before teaching my son to write his name. Also, I would have started out using an initial uppercase letter followed by lowercase letters. Not surprisingly, my son is resisting the move to mixed-case writing - and that's not to mention the move from ZB to D'Nealian. Plus, he thinks the lower case k looks like and upper case R, the lower case i looks like a lower case j (because of the little "tail"), etc. We have a lot of work to do! Thank goodness it's something the preschool teachers encounter all the time, so we have their help and encouragement through the process!


Heather said...

I had no idea hand writting would be that complicated. I'm so glad to have you a few years ahead of me so I can remember these things when we encounter them. Man, it's tough these days!

Dad said...

I always figured as long as it was legible it was good enough. I know, that is not what it's all about. Anyway, my handwriting is atrocious (read worse than a doctor's). I guess I took after Grandma Edith on that.
Good Luck with "unlearning" the old and learning the new.