One of the things that I like to do with the kids is practice their penmanship, as my daughter still struggles on making bigger letters then she should. She has really been enjoying Patriotic Penmanship Grade 2 by Laurelwood Books.
Patriotic Penmanship Grade 2 contains 30 lessons. Each lesson equals one week’s worth of work. However, you can adjust it to your child’s capabilities. It also gives you great instructions such as making sure the pencil is sharped and gripped firmly, instructing a child to leave a “finger space” between words, and explaining the difference between a letter and a word. Also reminds us to give some leeway to the child’s creativity in handwriting.
You can use this book to practice handwriting but you can also use it for much more. All the grade levels of these books incorporate great quotes, verses, poems, and hymns. You can study men and women from the past. You can also incorporate this into your history class. A neat suggestions was finding out what drove the men and women to write these things. It also opens the door to conversation. So really you could incorporate as much or as little as you want to. For example one of the short readings was on the “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Franics Scott Key. You could look up when it was written and more about Francis Scott Key as to why it was written and maybe the biography as well. You could use the quotes as memory verses as well. So this really does have a lot of potential other then just handwriting.
How We Used This:
At first I started with one full lesson and then I realized listening to my daughter that it was to much writing for her. She also doesn’t really like to use a pencil. I think she is bored with pencils. I changed it up to a page a day. I noticed that she was still rushing to get it done. I know that doing a page isn’t really that much. So I figured I would spice it up and then her interest really took off.
I had bought a package of gel pens with assorted colors. She picked out a different color for each section. Once I did this I noticed many positive things. She really is bored with pencils. My daughter really slowed down and took her time and really tried practicing. After she completed each page she would say to me, “Mommy look how nice my handwriting is”. She really started to build her confidence in writing and I can see it clearly as we move on to other subjects.
At the start of each lesson we would read the very short reading at the top. We read what was on the page of the lesson. She would begin to trace and then write it on her own. I noticed that she makes the letters looks exactly like they are suppose to. The spacing and where the lines are with her writing are improving.
I do like the idea that you can do some extended learning from this book. I mainly used this book during our language arts class, but I could have incorporated this into a history lesson. You can seriously learn some things from the men and women from the past as well as why they wrote the quotes and such. I might just do this on Fridays and see where the extra research takes us. I was afraid that she would be to young to learn about these men and women but with her love of learning I think it would be fun.
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