Now Accepting Encouragement

In CategoryHome Schooling, Navel Gazing

Okay, here’s where I’m at lately.

Big hates handwriting. I think one of the problems is that his brain works faster than his hand, so he gets frustrated with how long it takes to write anything down. Plus, his hand cramps. He’s only six. I don’t think he quite has the hang of not using a death grip on his pencil. 

Pencil grips are not a huge help – in the past few years I have probably spent over a hundred dollars experimenting with various pencil grips (that sentence was not for you, husband!) I don’t know why that stuff is so expensive – and half of them don’t even fit a wooden pencil properly, they slide around. Maybe it’s a conspiracy…

We finally found a foam grip that he’ll tolerate, but he still doesn’t love to write. I finally decided to do one short page of handwriting practice every day (he has some very bad letter formation habits we need to work on) and we do most of the rest of his work orally. He does have to write for math, but I don’t make him write all the words out in his Explode the Code workbooks, and we do the majority of spelling orally. I think it’s harder to spell orally than on paper, so if that’s how he wants to do it, I say knock yourself out.

Now we have started to integrate Notebooking (I heart notebooking!) into our school day, which means I take dictation and he complains about my handwriting. My plan is to transfer the handwriting duties over to him as he gets older. I tend to think it will happen naturally.


I have had this tiny, annoying, doubting whisper in my head the last few days that maybe I should start making him write more. That I’m not doing him any favors by letting him go at his own pace. Then I tell my self that’s ridiculous, going at your own pace is the only way to really absorb information (in my opinion). Notebooking is writing-intensive and that’s probably what’s highlighting the disparity. All the words are his, I merely serve as the person doing the writing. He draws the pictures and does the other activities.

Plus Math-U-See has had us writing out the numbers from 0-100 for our current chapter and it’s about going to kill me. It takes all morning. We haven’t done anything besides write numbers for over a damn week – and we aren’t even halfway done with the chapter. I am tempted to just forget the whole stupid thing, but then the doubting voice pipes up and tells me I am enabling him enough and to quit being such a coward with handwriting. Then I do that thing where I go around and around in my head, arguing with myself.

Probably I shouldn’t go into a lot of detail on the warring voices in my head, lest you all think I am a crazy lady.

On the other hand, I do sound like a crazy lady. I don’t even know where I am going with this rambling conversation.

Oh yeah – help me get the doubting whisper to shut up. It’s annoying. And singularly unhelpful.

Probably it’s too late to convince you I am not a crackpot…

Also, my daughter is a lefty. The only one one either side of our families. So anything I learned teaching Big how to write is out the window and I’m starting from scratch. If anyone has any VERY SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS on how to teach a lefty how to do things, I am now accepting ideas.


Thanks peeps.