Wednesday, February 22, 2012

pre-writing work



Anything hand-write-y is SO hard with Trevy.  We’re battling his focus.  Plus, because his fine motor skills are still so immature it makes purposeful writing a difficult task.  Trevy doesn’t do difficult.  Or at least not without torturing his mommy (and therapists…teachers…aides…) who are crazy enough to make him try!


trevy handwriting 006


But he’s so very interested in letters right now.  And spelling his name.  Not to mention he has made gains.  He can write a mean T and O – which he must always turn into a face.  Because a circle is just begging to be accessorized with dots for eyes and a crooked line for a smile.  In love


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I’m taking full advantage of his interest!  Handwriting sheets live in his Trays now. 


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And was super happy when one of my fave homeschool mommy bloggers (1+1+1=1) posted some FREE letter tracing printables the other day!  I mean, I really want to buy Handwriting Without Tears workbooks.  I’ve added things to my cart but never checked out.  Somehow it’s just much easier to click print than purchase.  Smile with tongue out


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I love love love how she uses a green dot to represent the starting point and a red star the ending point!  So wonderfully visual!  I was like, duh, why didn’t I think of that!?


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In fact, I’m going to go green and red Sharpie crazy!


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I like to either laminate printables or pop them in a page protector so he can use dry erase tools.  This mama knows how to stretch a dollar.


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Did you notice the groovy green binder?  I stole that idea from Trevy’s preschool teacher.  Slanted surfaces make writing projects easier.  Click here to read all the benefits of using a slant board if you don’t believe me!


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While Trevy was working, his sister (evidently a future movie producer) was taking video clips.  For me “to load on YouTube” (her words).


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Being a YouTube movie star happens to be a great Trevy motivator as you’ll notice in the clip below.  In love


This video clip represents the actual amount of time Trevy worked on this project minus a minute or so when I hand over handed with him.  All the still pictures can be SO misleading.  Like we spend 30 minutes happily penmanship-ing.  Which is just not even close to true!  I’m lucky to get 3 minutes in a row of Trevy focused and compliant.  In fact, I tried to get him to show daddy when he came home from work.  Yeah, that didn’t happen! 



Mooch Alert -  Any OTs out there who read my little blog, if you have pencil grip recommendations please share!  In fact, feel free to share any pointers you have with me!  Kindergarten is breathing down our necks…and I’d love to have Trevy writing his name in time for his first day!


**editor’s notes**

A couple additional great ideas were given to me by a couple great professionals!


  • When using dry erase boards use the Crayola dry erase crayons so you can break them into a smaller piece.  This forces a fist gripper like Trevy to use his pincher grasp.
  • In general use smaller writing tools.  This helps encourage the pincher grasp as opposed to the fist grab.
  • Use the rainbow method.  Hand over hand letters (numbers or shapes or whatnot) with one color…and keep drawing over that letter in new colors each time fading your help and allowing the child to work more independently as able.
  • Try having your child write on a tall whiteboard or craft paper on the wall.  The more of their body they use the better.  This helps work on crossing mid-line too!
  • Make sure your child is sitting in a supportive chair (both feet flat on floor) and using a stable writing surface.




 Montessori Monday


  1. This is great! Kids figure out the simplest, most logical paths to learning. I'm shocked when I see what my kids can do with Montessori materials- they are so hands-on and logical. We have those counting rods (colored and in one inch increments). My son has zero interest in looking at numbers, counting beans, whatever. Our daughter pulled those out and all of a sudden he's counting the blues, counting the reds, counting them together. It amazes me. I'm not surprised Trevy figured out how to map his letters with colored points! :)

  2. It's true...the power of the sibling peer model is HUGE too!


  3. Good idea to use the page protectors. We laminated ours but it was pricey

  4. It is pricy to laminate...but the laminated sheets last MUCH longer. I'll probably laminate these printables cause they're that good! The ones I'm iffy about are the ones I use the sheet protectors. It is a good cheapie alternative though. :)


  5. Our favorite pencil grips were the triangular ones like these When not using a pencil grip I take a pen and draw an "x" on the two fingers and thumb where the pencil should be held - that acts as their control to check themselves to make sure they are holding their pencil properly. For letter formation you might also try some sessions where your son lays his hand *on top* of your hand while you practice letter writing on a large chalkboard or dry erase board. My son had a stroke as an infant and a therapist taught me that if we try to help them write with our hand on top of theirs it actually inhibits their muscular memory. Try writing both ways with someone else and note the difference yourself.

  6. I noticed the tinyurl for the pencil grips I recommended above does not work but if you go to amazon and search for "triangle pencil grips" you will find them.

  7. Using a binder as a slanted work surface is a great idea! We laminate or use sheet protectors for almost everything too. Such a frugal way to school! I know what you mean about being lucky to get 3 minutes of compliance with a planned activity. With my Boogie, who is obviously younger, it is always the unplanned, messy, everyday activities that keep him happy the longest. Like today I gave him a soapy bin of water and all his play dishes and I was able to clean a sink full of dishes while he did the same at my feet. He was soaked, the kitchen was under water, but our sink was empty and dinner was ready when the Hubby Man got home :)