Keeping up with the progress made so far
We decided to try and keep up with the progress made throughout the school year by incorporating a school work routine into the days. I decided to teach my child cursive writing this summer. Even though we’ve been assured they would learn some of it in school still, they are always on him about his hand writing and his speed in writing. Cursive gives him a chance of a writing flow. Starting off, I ended up sitting down with him daily and doing the same work parallel to him. During what time I find out, he tells me the teachers make him erase his work over and over until it is perfect. In my thought process it seems to do more harm than good, and here is why… Erasing means disregarding an effort he has already put in, more crushing to his self-esteem than succeeding. So, I explained to him: We are not in school, you are not being graded and all I am asking is for you to give your best try, the progress will set in by practicing. We started with a book tracing and copying Capital letter, lower case letter, Capital and lower case alternating, first words e.g. Detroit (connecting lower case to Capital) and short simple all lower case words (creating a writing flow) as well as one complete sentence including punctuation. I can already say, his worst cursive is easier legible than his print and he doesn’t take half the time. Also, at the point of explaining that I will not ask him to erase or strive for perfection I explained that from his mistakes he will be able to learn, learn what not to do as well as a variety of ways to fix it in the aftermath. And by the time we hit middle school the advantage of learning cursive, besides speed, low and legibility, I used a vocabulary he actually came up with. He would say “wow, Mom this letter is just a hybrid of this letter in print”. So, I said by middle school he would start developing his very own personal handwriting, it would be legible and turn out to be a personalized hybrid / combination of we would teach him. Anyone seen their teenage kids place a signature lately? It looks the same as their name in the printed line.
We also decided to repeat some math from the basics throughout the last couple of grades. As well as, where every teacher reminds you of – Summer Reading. Oh it was a struggle, until I went to the library with him, made him pick an audio book and search out the accompanying reading book. He is listening and reading quietly along to these books. Which gets him through faster, no struggling on difficult words and he’s doing it where I can watch. I know for a fact he’s reading along as we are reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (which if you are not accustomed to it, has chapters and integrates comic, the audio will read in an interpretation of the comic) So my son would say things like “Mom, it doesn’t say this here …” i.e. “he whispered: …” and I looked and told him “look at the comic, see how he is turning his head and half cupping a hand around his mouth? What does that look like?” and he’d answer “oh now I see it, he doesn’t want the teacher to hear so he’s trying to direct the sound of his words to the people he wants it to hear.”