Posts Tagged 'homework'

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware! #2

<When writing on unlined paper with his eyes closed, the second grade student's letters are 3/4 inch high.  The space on the worksheet is unlined and allows for 1/4 inch high letters.

Problem:  When a child writes letters with their eyes closed either for fun or for professional observation, the height of the letters produced can represent the “comfort level” of his finger movements.  If the height of the letters are 3/4 inch, this is more appropriate for a kindergarden student than for a second grade student.  As he must tighten down his fingers to place the letter in the worksheet’s smaller space, hand fatigue and decreased writing speed can result.

Solution: Copy the worksheet allowing for larger spaces or allow the writing on an extra page.  If ask to write on the back of the worksheet, two problems appear: 1. usually there are no lines on the back.  We all write better with lines. 2. Flipping the worksheet from front to back and then back to the front can be very distracting as well as taxing on the child’s memory as he attempts to remember the question and answer, flip the sheet and then write.

To help with improving the size of his writing, a program such as “Callirobics” ( may be helpful.  Also it would be important to look at his pencil grip which may be a cause (though not only) of the larger writing.


Need to Wiggle? Teacher Tips

Tips for those kids who need to wiggle to stay alert but should not leave their seat:

1. Chew gum or suck on sour candy (if allowed in school; allow at home if no problem with choking or swallowing)

2. Tie a stretchy exercise band around the front legs of the chair.  Place your legs and feet behind the band.  When the need to get out of the chair arises and you should not, push against the band to help release the “wiggles”.

3. Try a “Sit and Move Cushion”. This has bumps on one side and air inside which allows “wiggling” without getting out of the chair.  Purchase at or

4. Place tennis balls on the back legs of the chair to provide gentle rocking movements.

Other tips you can think about?

Just a thought: For I know the plans I have for you….Jeremiah 29:11

Resources for Dysgraphia Information

Book:  Cavey, D.W. (2000) Dysgraphia: Why Johnny Cant Write: A Handbook for Teachers and Parents

Articles: Dysgraphia:

Kay, Margaret J. EdD: Dysgraphia.

Disorders of Written Expression.

Deul, Ruthmary K., MD. Developmental Dysgraphia and Motor Skills Disorders, Journal of Child Neurology, vol 10. Supp.1 January 1995.

What is Dysgraphia Spelling?

Richards, Regina G., “When Writing’s a Problem”. Resource Directory, Southern California Consortium, Orton Dyslexia Society 1996.

My article reprinted in this blog: HIBIDA Resource Directory 2011 available from The Neuhaus Education Center, Houston, Texas

New Thoughts from Your Child

You know, Mom, I sit in a chair all day at school.  Do I have to sit down to do my homework?

Suggestions to Mom

If writing legibility does not fall apart, allow your child to stand at the table to do homework.

Have you tried allowing your child to lie on his stomach, propped on his arms on the floor to do his work?

Sitting in a bean bag chair for reading work can be very calming

If good handwriting is required, make sure the desk or table top is two inches above his bent elbow while sitting down in the chair.  Make sure your child sits in a chair which allows his feet to be flat on the floor.  This is important for good writing posture and good hand movement. It can be hard to do your best writing perched on a bar stool!

Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R