I was a little worried in December that he wouldn't be ready for the Kindergarten Handwriting Without Tears workbook. He had finished the preschool book at the beginning of December, but that book is pretty much just tracing fairly large letters and numbers. I figured that I might as well try the Kindergarten book and then decide if it is too difficult for him. I am sooooo glad that I decided to try it. Benjamin is now drawing smaller letters without the help of lines to trace. I am going much slower through this workbook than I was through the preschool workbook and am really focusing on teaching him correct letter formation, correct grip, and correct pencil pressure. The results are amazing!!
For those of you unfamiliar with Handwriting Without Tears, the program has shape blocks that when you put together make letters. They also have a small magnetic board (like a Magnadoodle) that has the same shapes with magnetics on the back. You "stamp" the shapes on the board as shown above and then trace them. Ben really likes that activity, mostly because if he makes a mistake it is easy for him to erase and start over. He really is a perfectionist when it comes to his work, which is one of the main reasons we had so much pushback during writing. He couldn't make the letters and numbers he was writing look the way he knew they should, so instead of trying, he just gave up. I really backed off on my expectations and tried to make it as fun as possible, and we are now seeing the progress.
You'll notice in the picture that there is one letter "D" circled. I have Ben always circle the one that he thinks is the best.
Kate also began her preschool Handwriting Without Tears book this week. She has really good fine motor skills, but has had very very little interest in writing letters and learning letter formation. I made a big deal out of her starting her very own book, and this was enough incentive to get her to start to learn. She also LOVES the magnetic board and uses it a lot. Here's one of her first pages.
If you notice, Kate has circled ALL of her letters because she says that they are all the best. We obviously don't have confidence issues there...