"You're BRAVER than you believe,
STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think."
-A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Handwriting Center

 I called this corner of our school area Handwriting Area because there is everything Eaton needs  to practice handwriting.

I decided to purchase some Montessori materials like Sandpaper Letters, sand with a tray for Sandwriting and Chalkboard with lines on it. I keep a sand with a tray on a higher shelf not to be spilled everywhere.

I want to tell you my reasons for all these purchases. 

1. For Eaton the best way to teach is to present the same topic from different perspective. The subject shown that way is remembered by Eaton much quicker. The same I applied to handwriting. I didn't want Eaton to be bored with tracing letters only. Trying different methods: drawing letters on a chalkboard, tracing letters on the sand and tracing them on sandpaper letters give him opportunity to be engaged into handwriting. I wanted him to experience handwriting using different materials and have fun with that.

2. When we switched tracing words from bigger font to smaller one Eaton started to be more precise but at the same time he started to press a pen down to a paper a lot during tracing. Then he started to be frustrated when he went over the tracing line. I wanted him to feel the move of particular letter in a smooth way and I think that Sandwriting is perfect for that.

3. Also, Montessori materials were always appreciated by Eaton. He likes most of them I purchased so far. 

4.Because I decided to teach Eaton cursive writing Montessori Sandpaper Letters and Moveable Alphabet (for spelling use)       are perfect to show him the use of cursive writing.

I don't see any objections about Cursive so far. He doesn't ask or he is not against learning cursive. When I show him cursive words he doesn't have a problem to read. The only problem he has is the Capital letter G and Z. It looks a little bit funny and  capital Z looks like Russian Z, but Eaton doesn't know that because we didn't start Russian yet.

One more purchase I made for handwriting was this Magna Board and I can't tell you how Eaton loves these small magnetic balls inside each letter. He is fascinated by them. 
The only thing is that when you trace a letter and you have a loop inside the magnetic pen triggers other balls on the other side of the loop or when the letter is more complicated in the sense when there are many overlapping lines like cursive "h", "z","k" or "f". But the activity itself is awesome. When you start to trace the magnet is pulling those tiny balls inside letters pretty strong and because of that the pen stays almost attached to the board. It's a very cool feeling of attracting and great hand coordination activity. So overall I'm very pleased with that board. After you trace those tiny balls stays up and you need to push them down manually. Another fun activity for Eaton.
Here is a video of me using that board.

This is Eaton's first "a" on a chalkboard.
We don't pay attention to lines on a chalkboard yet. The point is to know the way letter "a" should go.
Here is Eaton working with his sandpaper letter "o".
Eaton - working on Sandwriting
Handwriting activity is pretty short so far. More of the time is taken by creating racetracks ;-) I try not to force him to do stuff for longer period of time if he doesn't want to. Eventually I believe he will be more focused on doing his work.


wkropka von BILDschön said...

wow this magna board is awesome!
we have our (not all) handmade-sandpaper-letters made with glue and sand, the same sand we are using for writing in sand...

your boys are so cute! my boys to ;)


Ruzzel said...

Aloha Marta,

How are you? May I please ask what curriculum are you using with Eaton right now for math, geography, language and arts, as well as handwriting?

What is the benefit of learning cursive writing right away?

Thank you very much...

Take Care!


Marta said...


Do you teach cursive?

I'm doing great. How are you doing? Didn't hear from you for a while:)
I prepare myself for a trip to Poland!! Whole family is going-27 hours of a trip!

I'm creating my own curriculum for all subjects.Some of them are based on Montessori but most of them are what Eaton is interested in.
What is the benefit of learning cursive right away?

I did some research and from what I read I see that some kids don't want to learn cursive after they been thought print. They usually start cursive when they are 7 or 8 years old some with success some of not. I've read that it's easy to teach print after you learned cursive. The other way around is more difficult.
At montessori sites I read something that convinced me even more toward cursive writing. Curive writing is like a flow in nature. Each letter is connected to each other similar way like in nature is constructed. Everything is connected and everything has a flow. Of course I can't express that the same way I've read that ;-) sorry for my poor language skills:)

I also believe that Eaton's writing is not biased. You can teach and shape every aspect of your baby. If it's a character, hand writing, physical abilities etc... So why not start early with a cursive. I follow my baby's needs and wants but I also suggest and Eaton never asked for printing letters (so far;-)

On top of that I love cursive and Chinese calligraphy and I want that to be part of our curriculum.

I hope that answered your question.

wkropka von BILDschön said...

Hi Marta,

I don't know if that what I´m doing is the "true"-cursive. I do a lot with my handwriting,( for example doman flashcards ). I don´t know if it´s ok, but I haven´t so much time for doing all this stuff on my computer.
but I have a useful-link for you. maybe you know it allready, but there it is...


wkropka von BILDschön said...

oh..and wow...27 hours ?!...
it takes us about 11 hours and it isn´t easy.... ;)

take care
milego pobytu w kraju!

Bri @ intrepidinsight said...

2 things, Marta!

#1- Woohoo for cursive first! I asked Josiah a few weeks ago if he wanted to do a cursive activity or a print one and HE chose cursive.

#2- I am so excited that there is a cursive magnatab! I knew about print, but not cursive! Just ordered it off Amazon for less than $20!

And a cursive idea: I am doing spelling with Josiah on and off using this free curriculum: . I am encouraging cursive recognition by typing it up in cursive and then letting him spell it out with print letters (magnetic lowercase letters). I think being able to read cursive fluently will really help him remember his letters. He has trouble every once in a while between recognizing lowercase m vs. n and lowercase q vs. g. And then at the end of a week or so, I ask him to spell his words with his magnetic letters as a "test".

Much love,

Ruamulla said...

Dear Marta,
i have dreamt today about u visiting meand Rkan with Eaton and Nathaniel, the kids had too much fun !!!! lool

i would like to also recommend
which is a great educational introduction to the computer and mouse pad in a fun structured way.
Rkan id enjoying it alot.

hope u and the kids are doing fine.


Czyżyk said...

Marta, orientujesz się może, czy taka magnetyczna tablica z kulkami jest gdzieś na rynku w wersji z polskimi literami?

ja po wstępnym przeszukaniu znanych sobie sklepów niczego takiego nie znalazłam, a z tego co widzę świetnie uzupełniłoby to nasz kącik do pisania...

plus fakt, że Chłopaki uwielbiają wszelkie magnetyczne zmazopisy daje tablicy gwarancję sukcesu

Marta said...

Wiesz ze nie orientuje sie czy maja cos takiego na polskim rynku. Prawdopodobnie wejdzie to po pewnym czasie. Kiedy to zakupowalam to bylo to dosc nowe na rynku amerykanskim, bo nie widzialam tego wczesniej. Sorki, ze dopiero teraz odpisuje, mialam dosc pracowity okres i niektore wpisy na blogu mnie umknely.

Marta said...

Rua, How are you doing these days? I didn't post for a while trying to focus on my kids and their relationship between them. Do you currently use ABC mouse with Rkan? Does he like it so far?

Do you plan to visit Hawaii again? Recently it's pretty voggy on the Big Island but still beautiful place.