Home Education: Handwriting

As a teacher turned home educator

Handwriting is something I think about a lot

Watching William as he frantically scribbles answers to questions

Knowing that in school he may well be made to write those answers again

Watching Esther enjoy experimenting with sentence structure

Knowing that in school she would lose that time for playing with phrases in that way

A huge part of me believes that handwriting is important

My own handwriting is terrible

Part joined

Part not

Letters shooting off in all directions

Yet I loved handwriting lessons at school

I remember so well the move from pencil to fountain pen

I really remember school ink pens and cartridges

As a teacher I love teaching handwriting

I love putting on classical music

And having 10 calm minutes of focus on penmanship

Bliss!

But how important is handwriting style?

Does it really matter if a child’s writing is cursive or not?

I am about to introduce cursive writing to Esther and William

Because of those blissful musical moments

And because one day they may want to return to the classroom

Where, whether we like it or not, a cursive style matters

Particularly with SATs

Bea is already experimenting with writing

At just turned 3

She is the only left hander in our family

So will likely face handwriting challenges of her own

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David and I often talk about writing

He does not feel it is very important to be able to write

He is a firm believer in the computer

And all the spelling and grammar checks it has to offer

And I get that

I understand that in most scenarios

Our children will choose a laptop over a pen

As a person with terrible handwriting, I love the computer. I’ve waited all my life for the computer.
Janet Fitch

But I still wonder if I might find a way

For them to fall in love with writing

As a child not much older than Esther and William are now

I spent A LOT of time writing

Stories, poems, play scripts, letters and lists

I loved to write

I was filling entire school notebooks with stories by Grade 3. Of course, they were double-spaced, and the handwriting was huge.
Linwood Barclay

And long before blogging was a thing

I kept a daily diary

Now I do not write anywhere near as much

But when I am thinking

Making notes

I go back to paper and pen

I like the process of pencil and paper as opposed to a machine. I think the writing is better when it’s done in handwriting.
Nelson DeMille

I want my children to love the creative process of writing

I want them to know the feeling of sending and receiving letters and cards

Do you remember choosing and writing postcards on holiday as a child?

I used to write small postcard booklets to my Nan

I loved it!

Handwriting challenges aside, I love paper cards. I love the endless stewing involved in picking them out at the store. I love buying holiday stamps at the post office, and I love that ‘whoosh’ sound the cards make when I drop them into the mail slot.
Meghan Daum

So what are my plans for teaching my own children to write?

It is crazy that as a passionate teacher myself

With an English specialism

This is one area I am not too sure of as a home educator

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Should we do stand alone handwriting sessions?

Should we be practising the spelling of key words?

Should we be be navigating the controversial SPAG?

Or should we not worry about it?

Should we read and read and read

Hoping that one day the writing will just come?

My heart says focus on the creative process

At this young age

Develop their love of reading and telling stories

Nurture their imaginative play

Encourage them to write down any ideas that they want to

Write diaries together

Create characters and settings

Plan plots

Act out adventures

Together

But there is always the possibility of school

Hanging over me and halting the fun

And I know in my heart that presentation us important

People need to be able to read what you write

In order for you to communicate your ideas

Handwriting is thought to be about so much more than this though


Angela Webb, the chair of the National Handwriting Association, said: “Handwriting also supports the development of cognitive skills such as reading, spelling and the securing of maths concepts.

handwriting_infographic

You can read much more about the benefits of handwriting here

I think that we will continue with some form of daily handwriting

Just 10 minutes a day

An early morning task

Esther and Bea actually love the process of forming letters

William could not care less

Though he is the more able writer

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We have some lovely handwriting books

Disney themed

From Scholastic UK

I am also looking forward to exploring Twinkl’s new handwriting resource

As well as experimenting with lots of sensory writing activities

And fine motor play

I will let you know how we get on

And do already tend to share lots of our home education adventures

On Instagram

I would love for you to follow me there

So off I go

To get tomorrow’s writing activities ready

Wish me luck!

This is a collaborative post

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