Heinel’s teacher always praises him for his good writing skills. I find this a compliment because it is a result of our writing sessions that we started at home when he turned 3.
Before starting on any learning program for my son, I always assess whether he is prepared for it. By the time Heinel was 3 years old, he is already very familiar with the letters of the alphabet and is showing interest in writing. I’ve proven that no matter how good the program is, if my child is not prepared, it will not provide positive results and will lead only to frustration to both me and my son.
For our writing drills, I decided to group the letters of the alphabet depending on my assessment of its degree of difficulty for a child. Letters with simple horizontal and vertical lines are easier, compared to letters with curves and swirls, thus, they come first.
To help with our writing drills, I bought two workbooks; 1 for line strokes, and 1 for letter drills. There are several workbooks available in your local bookstore for you to choose from depending on your preference. I bought Heinel workbooks in which he can trace the lines initially, and then later on, there are blank spaces for him to write the lines on his own.
We begun with writing drills on basic lines; vertical and horizontal lines. The first few study sessions was a bit frustrating to Heinel especially when he could not figure out yet how to properly hold a pencil. At that time all that I can to do is to be patient and be encouraging. As much as I want to teach him how to hold a pencil, that is something that he has to figure out on his own depending on where he’s comfortable at. After mastering the basic horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to letters with vertical and horizontal lines such as letter E,F, H,I, L, and T.
After letters with horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to drills on slanting lines. Then followed by practicing letters A, K,M,N, V, W, X, Y and Z.
After letters with slanting lines, we proceeded to curve strokes. This is more challenging for Heinel as it requires more control of the pencil in achieving the different curve strokes. Once familiar with the curve strokes, drills on letter B,D,J,P,R, and U followed.
The last series of drills involved wavy lines then followed by letters C,G,O,Q and S.
Heinel and I have writing drills every weekday, 30 minutes each session. On days when he feels inspired, we have two sessions. I try to limit it to 30 minutes so as not to tire him out. This schedule also works well with working moms like me because we still have time to play. Usually, we have 2-3 sessions per letter but not all in one day. But we don’t mind extending if I feel that he needs to practice more. He does not have to write it perfectly, just as long as he remembers it properly without any help from me.
Aside from a writing being a learning activity, it is also a great chance for me to bond with my son. The key is to be supportive and encouraging. I always end our study session with a hug and praise for a job well done.