Handwriting Secrets

This week we were still recovering from our last week and weekend. We were very busy last week with last-minute wedding arrangements, the wedding rehearsal, bachelorette and bachelor getaways, a used curriculum sale, and finally the wedding, which was on Saturday.  It was beautiful. It was an outdoor wedding and the weather was perfect.  The party followed indoors where everyone enjoyed good music and had a blast taking pictures in the photo booth.  I'm so happy to have a new daughter...and a new granddaughter, as she has a sweet 3-yo baby girl.  They are wonderful additions to our family.  Our son's mother-in-law lives a few blocks away from me and we are best friends. We work out together and go on walks together.  And her younger daughter is good friends with our daughter and our other son.  So our families have already blended well together.

I am so thankful for the homeschool curriculum we finally found for Samantha.  I don't have to worry about planning the lessons for the week.  It's been such a crazy few weeks, but she's been able to work independently when I've needed her to. Sam needs so much repetition and consistency that to miss a whole week of school work would set us back weeks.  It would be like taking 2 steps forward only to take 10 steps back. We homeschool her year-round. If you have a child with special needs, then you understand that not all curricula works in homeschooling special needs. And we tried MANY!

For the entire last week she did not do any copy work or writing, so this week we needed to catch up and get some student writing practice in. We use Mead Transitional notebook paper, which has been so helpful for Samantha.  She's learning to space her letters appropriately. Before finding this paper at the homeschool convention, it was frustrating her as she had to focus on the size of her letters, the distance of her letters, as well as punctuation and capitalization.  It's been so much easier to have a guide that helps her keep the letters within spaces. We've been using this paper all year.  If you look closely at this picture, you'll notice the blocks for each letter. It trains her to space her letters correctly. It also trains her where to start and stop so she doesn't try to go too far off the page.
I think she'll be ready soon to write without it. If she still has trouble writing without it, I'll have her write at least once a week on regular notebook paper as we slowly make the transition.

Something else I'd like to start teaching Sam is to write short paragraphs. This will be our new goal. I don't yet know how I'm going to handle teaching her the types of sentences or when to place commas in a sentence, but I don't think it's necessary to teach Sam things like comma rules or the complex details of grammar.  Yes, I taught my other children all these things, but I don't think Samantha will need to know these things. My main focus with Sam is that she would learn to communicate as clearly and effectively as is possible for her, whether orally or in writing. So for now, I'll need to keep this as basic as possible.

You see, while it takes a typical child a few months of handwriting practice to develop good handwriting skills, it takes a child with Down syndrome a little longer.  It may take Sam a few months longer, or maybe even a year or two longer, but she will get it. She learned to read when she was 9 years old, but she is an avid reader now and would rather sit in bed and read than sit and watch TV. Progress may be slow, but there's progress. Consistent practice makes better learning.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post, and I completely agree! Consistent practice is key! :)