Thursday, September 27, 2012

having trouble with handwriting?

Kindergarten is time for kids to practice their printing. It's important for them to learn to differentiate between capital and lower case letters and to learn to write them. It's very normal for kids to get them confused, but it's something to work on. Children this age commonly make "reversals" when writing, which is like writing a "b" when they meant to write a "d". These mistakes usually correct themselves over time.

There are also special pencil grips to make it easier for struggling kids to attain a correct pencil grip. These are usually plastic or rubber, and slide onto a pencil to make it easier to hold. They’re inexpensive and definitely worth a try. There’s also something called a “heavyweight pencil” that can help kids to focus their attention on letter formation. It’s a mechanical pencil that is actually weighted to help kids learn better writing control.

If all else fails, an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist may be in order. They can check your child’s motor skills and eye-hand coordination much better than you can at home, and often recommend helpful strategies to solve the problem.

Friday, September 7, 2012

fall theme units

There are several theme units that are pretty popular for younger kids. In the fall, kindergarteners everywhere learn about pumpkins, apples, and the harvest. It's like there's an unwritten rule somewhere that you have to teach little kids about scarecrows and such. It's educational, it teaches them about real things in the real world, rather than abstract concepts in a book, and of course, it's fun!

If you have an apple orchard near where you live, pick-your-own apples is a great family activity. A trip to the pumpkin patch is requisite activity for this age, too. Learning about the life cycle of an apple tree might be fun, as well as cutting open a pumpkin to scoop out the squishy insides. There are lots of arts and crafts projects that go along with these popular themes, and some fun songs, finger plays, and picture books from the library would help to round out your theme unit.