If there was an award for false advertising, I’d give it to this web app that claims to teach kids how to write with pure ease.
Handwriting Without Tears was one of the tools that was part of T’s junior kindergarten virtual schooling last Spring.
Cute lessons and activities allowed kids to practice handwriting by tracing letters and numbers on a touchscreen.
As we joked with T’s teacher last year, the daily activities were anything but without tears.
T always lifted his finger off the screen before the app signaled the letter or number was traced. So it did not recognize T as having completed the task. Then asked him to repeat it again.
Cue the ocean of tears and deep valley of sorrow.
It got to the point where I refused to do the daily exercises with T and told the hubby he had to do them or one of us was going to end up dead.
Like many kids with similar prognosis, T’s fine motor skills are a work in progress.
He never showed much interest, focus or care to write or draw.
We know it’s an important skill to develop as he heads into Grade 1 next year, so we made it a goal to work on it this school year.
His Child and Youth Worker provided great tips and resources, which we’ve applied.
We practice writing and drawing with a crayon or marker, because they are thicker than a pencil and so they’re easier for him to grip.
I sometimes write out words in pencil or pen and have him trace over them.
The hubby got him this fantastic Fisher Price handwriting toy for Christmas which we practice with on weekends.
His amazing Child and Youth Worker bought him this handwriting book, with laminated pages that T can practice repeatedly with using dry erase markers. We similarly practice with this.
We also got him sheets of paper with guided lines so T can get support around writing upper and lower case letters to proportion.
Most importantly, we try to have fun and give him time to have freeform drawing – with zero expectations, zero pressure and zero tears.
He really enjoyed the weekly art classes during the recent six weeks of virtual schooling!
We got a nice message from the school this week!
So T is back in school this week – and I could not have shoved him out the front door any faster on Tuesday morning!
Jokes aside, the first three days have been good so far. Fingers crossed we end the week off on a high note tomorrow!
On Wednesday, I heard my phone ping repeatedly with message notifications from T’s child and youth worker while I was on a work call.
I felt a bit anxious, because why would she be messaging me during the day.
Thankfully, it was good news!
She was excited to share that T did a great job on practicing drawing and writing on his whiteboard.
She wanted to share the news with the hubby and I because it was some of the best drawing they’ve seen from him, he was focused and they noticed an improvement in his work.
And this just truly made our day. I paused everything I was doing with work and went downstairs to share the news with the hubby.
It was handwriting tear-worthy moment but this time, they were near tears of joy.
His handwriting and drawing skills still need lots of work but it was a nice boost to our morale that T seems to be headed in the right direction.