It’s not my lefty whose handwriting has me concerned. All of a sudden, my youngest daughter has physician’s scrawl in 2nd grade. Perhaps I am exaggerating. (Would the queen of hyperbole exaggerate these matters when it comes to her children? Of course). But I do want her to take her time with handwriting. It’s a made of work effort, appearance, and grade. She’s a bright, bright girl, but will get a lower mark if she hands in her physician’s notes. Whether it’s handwriting now or later doing her thesis in graduate school, I want her to take her time.
This is a new phenom, as she used to have wonderfully neat work last year. What’s the rush in 2nd grade? I guess she’s just catching up to the rest of us. As Jen Klein writes in her blog article “Promoting Penmanship”, society has less of an emphasis on this at large. In the 21st century, we spend more time on the computer keyboard, than with a pen and paper for communication. As far as the classroom, her school is hardly alone with its lesser emphasis on cursive and greater emphasis on many other things. It’s a far cry from my days in parochial school where the nuns had us first do circles and lines on dry boards before we even attempted letters.
As a cost, penmanship, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination have seemed to suffer across the population.
I do so think proper penmanship has its place. Who doesn’t want their child to put forth their best efforts on paper—have the exterior match the thought and consideration of an answer that is jotted down? Who enjoys having their handwritten note examined and misunderstood, as if it was ancient Greek scrolls? This isn’t ancient Greece. I am that writer who jokes about how she should have been a doctor for the poor and sorry state of her handwriting. I do not want our children to follow suit.
In her article, Klein offers some great suggestions to stem the tide of poor “penning.” She encourages her children’s efforts by having baskets of colored pencils and pens for writing, drawing, and this type of handy work. She also has purchased calligraphy sets for them to practice with and take pride in using on paper. Additionally, she has challenged herself to write more neatly and take her time doing everything from grocery lists fancifully to personal thank you cards. This is just one of those things…
Oh to have a fine day like our children had in school! What did you to do today?- Out of the mouth of babes and bigger babes, nothing – surely not. I am not quite sure when this became the norm for responses. We know their nothing is a whole lot of something. How do we get our children to talk about their something from school? Here are a few ideas.
In our home, we often play high and low. I have also seen it called roses and thorns light and darkness, kid torture-okay just kidding on that one. With this, everyone shares a highlight from their day and a low light. We do it at the dinner table. While our three year-old is still getting the hang of it, I have learned things about our girls’ school day I would never have known otherwise. It does get them beyond the nothing.
Another tactic is perhaps waiting to ask about their day. Like us after a trying day, maybe they don’t want to rehash it right off the bus. Maybe they need a snack; some downtime; and a little space from their day. Our oldest is infamous for “unloading” right at bedtime.
Leave to some of the Huffington Post writers to think of some funny and quirky ways to ask this question. Liz Evans shares her questions for her kids in a recent article. My personal favorite is who would you have beamed up to space from your classroom today, given the chance? This might open the door to getting your child to discuss a social situation or other uncomfortable situation, that otherwise might not have been brought up. If nothing else, levity will be brought to your day and theirs. We know our children are doing a whole lot in school. Let’s continue to find ways to stay involved; show them our interest; and underline our support.
Perhaps your child is a newly transitioned middle school student. Going from elementary school to middle school is chalk full of changes for everyone. While middle school orientations can help, I do believe students and parents still find themselves in somewhat of a wilderness when it comes to making this leap.
When researching information on this subject, I came across an article that was wonderful for looking at this milestone from a middle school student’s perspective. An article at the PBS Kids website: “It’s My Life, “Middle School, What’s Different,” discusses what your child is probably starting to fully realize these first few weeks of school. School right now is a whole lot different! From looking at middle school students ‘shift in perception in their teacher’s eyes and switching classes to more homework and surviving cliques, this series presents many kid friendly perspectives on middle school, and how to make it a great success.
Not to leave parents out of the loop, the article at scholastic. com “Making the Transition” offers many suggestions for helping parents navigate this challenging time with their children. From addressing the physical and emotional changes their children are starting to go through to looking at self-esteem issues, this article has great ideas for parents in helping them remain a bedrock of support in their children’s lives, in what can be a rocky time. There are discussion points and suggestions for parents in how to teach stress management skills. By knowing what’s typical and helping our children stay centered and supported, they will transition and soon thrive. Transitions do end and then we are all on to a new normal…