I’m a fairly new homeschool mom. We will soon be wrapping up our second year of homeschooling. While in some ways I feel like I’ve learned a lot and have grown in my confidence, there are other things that remind me I still have a lot to learn. (Maybe I’ll have it all figured out by the time the fourth child starts school, haha!) The biggest thing I have failed to do well is focus on handwriting with my kindergartener and first grader.
Because our reading curriculum includes a lot of writing practice, I assumed my kids would be fine. And while they do practice a lot, they don’t always practice forming letters the right way. Unfortunately, as a result, my daughter often writes letters and numbers backwards. Today I’m happy to share some of the things we’ve been doing to try and remedy that problem!
Roll and Write Number Practice Pages:
First, I created a simple set of Roll and Write number practice pages. I don’t know what it is, but anytime I hand my kids our giant foam dice to learn and practice, they love it!
There are two pages in this set, focusing on the numbers 1-6 and 7-12.
To use them, kids simply roll 1 or 2 dice (depending on what page they’re working on) and then practice writing that number.
The first couple of times, they trace the number starting at the bold dot. I spent time with them making sure they were starting at the right place and then going in the right direction.
They next couple of lines show where to start the number, but then kids have to try it themselves, without tracing.
The last two lines are blank so students can practice trying it completely on their own.
When working on the numbers 7-12, make sure to note that the picture of dice is only 1 example of how to form the numbers 7-10. Any way that they roll those numbers counts, not just the way that is shown.
This is also great for helping younger kids recognize the numbers 1-12 as they practice.
Another resource that has been helpful for my daughter are these handwriting pages from This Reading Mama.
This simple trick is something that we review almost everyday as she writes more and more, and has been incredibly helpful in correcting her handwriting mistakes.
And speaking of This Reading Mama, she also has an awesome handwriting app for the ipad called, “Trace it, Try it.”
We purchased this recently because my kids LOVE playing on the ipad, and I would rather them practice skills like reading and handwriting than play Temple Run. 😉
This app has been another fun way to help my kids practice forming letters in the conventional way (which helps make sure that they’re not writing them backwards). In addition, it helps kids learn when to pick up their pencil when writing a letter, and when not to. If you are writing a lowercase d, for example, and you pick up your finger, it will make you start again.
In addition, there are a couple of things that made this app stand out to me from other handwriting practice apps.
For one, when tracing each letter, it starts by saying something like, “G is for gorilla,” and then there is a picture which shows where to start tracing, and the picture begins with that letter sound.
This helps my kids learn and recognize letter sounds while they practice handwriting.
The other thing I like about this app is the “salt tray” practice. When my daughter started cursive this year, I thought it would be great fun to put together a salt tray to help her practice. Unfortunately, I don’t especially like the mess of salt (or sand), and so this never actually came to be.
But in Trace it, Try it, there is a salt tray like practice option, where kids can practice “writing in the sand” and then erasing it and writing again. My kids think this is so fun!
If you are looking for fun handwriting practice and tips, I hope you found this to be helpful!
And be sure to download the Roll and Write Number Practice pages below!
Looking for more practice with number recognition and counting? Try one of these!