For this year, I went ahead and purchased the A Beka Kindergarten Handwriting for manuscript. It has saved so much time compared to making my own sheets, more than I even thought it would. However, I was really surprised at how small the lines were! I really thought the lines were that size in first grade.
My son does fine with the individual letters and even the individual words, but the sentences, all crammed into one line, have been a real challenge for him. My first clue was that his handwriting pages started to get really sloppy and took him forever to complete, and then it seemed as though he’d forgotten even how to form the letters sometimes. But when I watched him, I realized why.
His first word was fine, but come the second word of the sentence he was already squished right next to his starting dot. So when he tried to start the next word, he had no room and had no idea how to form the letter.
After the fourth time of erasing that line and trying again, I finally had recognized the problem. I got out my tablet paper and told him to copy the sentence there instead. What had been frustration and agony turned to absolute relief! He finished the sentence without the aid of any of those annoying red starting dots. And with the larger lines, his letters had room.
Of course, we’ll still need to work on spacing the words and eventually move to those smaller lines. But you should have seen the zest with which he tackled that page!
I’m writing about it because I think it was a huge learning experience for me, recognizing the symptoms of a problem and finding the solution. Someone once told me that if you look into the eyes of a child you are teaching and they’ve lost their spark, stop and come back to it another day. But coming back to the same problem day after day, might not always be the solution. Sometimes, it might be taking a step back to the last place of success.
After all, we’re all motivated when we feel successful.