Why teach handwriting?
In this tech age of texting and tweeting handwriting continues to be an important life skill. Especially in the lower foundational grades children spend a great part of their day handwriting. A child's performance in every subject from math to spelling can be affected by handwriting. Handwriting facilitates the encoding needed for reading. Studies have shown that children with good penmanship get higher scores regardless of content.
When should handwriting instruction begin?
From infancy on children are developing the sensory and motor building blocks for handwriting. Usually around 3- 4 years children begin more refined prewriting activities (coloring, cutting, fine motor manipulation, spatial, size/body awareness) and multi-sensory directed play that prepares children for success with handwriting. Formal handwriting instruction usually begins in kindergarten. However 4-5 years is an excellent time to provide multisensory enrichment activities to begin developing print skills needed in kindergarten.
What types of students benefit from this program?
This program is beneficial not only for typically developing children but for children with learning differences such as ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, sensory integration difficulties, gifted children,, etc.,. Activities and workbooks are easily adapted to the student's developmental level and different learning styles. The program also includes considerations for left handed students.
What kind of progress can you expect in 6 sessions?
Most children make noticable progress in 6 sessions. The number of sessions recommended depends on the child's training needs and handwriting goals. The lessons are paced in 6 -8 session units to cover the desired handwriting goals. If there are multiple goals such as grasp development, printing capitals, numbers, and lower case or a slower pace is desired additional sessions are recommended. Some students may return for a refresher during the summer or when entering another grade or to learn a new skill such as keyboarding or cursive. Results are affected by the child's motivation for handwriting and handwriting foundation skills. Advice will be provided on each child's unique needs.
What if my child's school is using a different curriculum than Handwriting Without Tears?
My training includes analyzing the various handwriting curriculums. An unbiased assessment of handwriting proficiency is provided which considers the handwriting curriculum of the child's school. Tutoring is then adapted to the skills the child has already learned and his individual needs to develop a functional legible handwriting style. The simplified "Handwriting Without Tears"® method may be best if the child is having difficulty. If needed other programs may be used such as "First Strokes"®, considering the school's adopted curriculum to customize the child's specific learning situation.
My child despises handwriting how can handwriting be made fun?
Children do not sit and do handwriting drills. Instead handwriting instruction is combined with foundational gross motor, fine motor and sensory motor activities. Handwriting is geared to the child's level which decreases frustration and increases success. Handwriting is made FUN.
Does not my child receive enough handwriting instruction in school?
Due to increasing curricular demands teachers often do not have enough time in the school day to focus directly on handwriting. Due to the numbers of students they might not have enough one to one time with each student.
Do I work with home schooled students?
Yes, " Handwriting Without Tears" is a popular curriculum for home- schooled students. Individual handwriting tutoring is valuable if the student is struggling with handwriting.