Grammar & Writing

Bad Handwriting-Why The Paper Matters

  So, you have a child with bad handwriting.  Maybe it’s sloppy or maybe it’s huge.  What do you do?  How do you help them?  Today we will be discussing how to improve handwriting. One way to really help a child with poor handwriting is paper. Yes really!  The paper you use matters and today we are going to talk about why. Paper is something no one really thinks about.  We use it constantly.  But we never really stop to consider its value.  Having the right kind of paper can make the difference between illegible handwriting and beautiful, clean writing for years to come. Why the Paper Matters My child has always had trouble writing neatly.  In kindergarten they gave the kids special lined paper, but the next thing you know, they are moving them to standard, wide ruled paper.  Smaller handwriting allows a child to write more without tiring the hand as much.  However, what I found was that it is extremely hard for a child to go from writing really big to really small.  I found myself just allowing the use of two lines on college ruled paper as one line and making dashes in the middle.  This actually works quite well if you are on a budget.  But it causes a whole other problem.  The handwriting, while neater, is now bigger than before.  So how do we make it smaller?     Primary Composition Books Some companies make what are called primary composition notebooks.  These have dashed lines for making clean letters.  They are also very reasonably priced, and you can find them HERE.  The downside to these type of notebooks is that they only come in one size.  Roaring Springs In my search for another option, I stumbled upon Roaring Springs Composition Books by accident.  Can I just say that I’m so excited by these!  These composition books are organized by grade. You can select grades 1, 2 or 3.  Each grade is ruled with horizontal lines and a dashed line in between.  This helps train handwriting skills in print and in cursive.  The best part is, that as the grade goes up, the lines get closer and closer together.  This ensures that a smooth transition can be made to standard wide ruled paper. Roaring Springs Grade 1 has a 1” lines, with ½” center lines & can be found HERE. Roaring Springs Grade 2 has ¾” lines, with ⅜” center lines & can be found HERE. Roaring Springs Grade 3 has ⅜” lines, with 3/16” center lines & can be found HERE. Final Thoughts These composition books make it easy to teach proper letter formation and control the size and structure of both cursive and print.  They also teach boundaries and proper control when forming letters.  After using these it’s easy to move on to wide ruled paper and then eventually, college ruled.  Don’t forget my nifty trick for smaller hands, golf pencils.  By using smaller golf pencils and composition notebooks, you will ensure neater and cleaner writing skills. Try these out and let me know what you think.  Hopefully, they will help your child smoothly transition to smaller, cleaner and more beautiful handwriting.  If you have any other amazing paper or handwriting finds, let me know.  For more tips on better handwriting, you can check out my post Writing Challenges-When Your Child Hates Writing If you enjoyed this post, check out these others: How to Choose a Cursive Curriculum 10 Ways to Make History Come to Life Unboxing All About Spelling Level 4

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Fix It! Grammar Overview-Video Post

    Hey Guys!  I thought you might like to see the newest homeschool curriculum we are using.  It’s Fix It! Grammar by IEW.  Fix it! Grammar is an incredibly easy program that can be done in just 15 minutes a day.  The program is incredibly simple for both parents and students.  It only requires the teachers manual, student manual, a dictionary and a notebook or journal.  If you don’t have a dictionary available you can download one for free from Merriam-Webster for either Apple or Android HERE.   One of the things I like most about this program is that it incorporates vocabulary, writing skills and grammar into a simple 15 minute a day program. I also use it to build on penmanship.  So it’s a great multi-tasking curriculum. I have been extremely impressed by the simplicity of this program as well as its effectiveness.  We have had no trouble using it.  The program is good for multiple students of several different age ranges.  You only need one teachers manual, but you will need multiple student manuals.  You could also make copies of the student manual.  However, the program is reasonably priced.  So, purchasing additional manuals would be much easier and less time consuming. Here are some samples from the books. Parent’s Note This series is based on (for the most part) old fairytales and contain elements of magic.  I realize that some parents (including myself) take issue with some types of thematic elements in books and writing, so I wanted to make you aware of this.  I personally use these as a teaching element unto itself.  However, if this is not something you would want your children reading you will want to select a different curriculum. Fix It! Levels Fix It! Grammar has 6 levels.  The first level is The Nose Tree. Level 1 Nose Tree presumes no prior grammar knowledge and introduces basic parts of speech, end-mark punctuation, phrases, clauses, homophones, and more.  Level 1 is rated for grades 3-5.  The cost for the combo teacher/student editions is $29.  Each additional student is $19. Try Before You Buy You can try up to 4 weeks of this program free by going to this link HERE: If you like this video, be sure to check out these others: Unboxing All About Spelling Level 4 Unboxing Language Subscription Kits Using Spice Subscription Kits For Homeschool (Unboxing)

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