Friday, 26 September 2014

Write Away

You may possibly remember that my tiddler started school a few weeks ago, (and we're both coping very well thank you, since you ask!) so when Cambridge University Press offered to send me a few of their 'Penpals at Home' books for handwriting practice, I eagerly accepted.

Priced at £4.99, these colourful, bright books are a long way from the handwriting copy books of old.

They are aimed at 3-5 year olds, and give the child plenty of practice to develop their motor skills, before eventually moving on to letter formation.

On each page, there are also ideas for extra activities, notes for grown ups, and a free accompanying app to engage them further.

Best of all, Luke loves them. Homeworks haven't fornally started in Primary 1 yet, but every day he bounces up to the table, and his brothers look aghast as he actually asks me for homework to do! It would be a sin not to harness such enthusiasm.

So he's diligently working his way through the 'Getting Ready for Handwriting' book at the moment, and will move on to 'Forming Letters' after.

Each page has a theme-underwater, knights and princesses, jungle etc and there's  lots of lines and shapes to trace within each scene.

Would you look at that wee tongue sticking out!
 To be honest, I wish I'd discovered them a year earlier because I suspect he would have been ready for them.

I should mention that the books are actually laminated and therefore hard wearing, and they can also be wiped clean and reused.

Now, this sounds great in theory, especially if you have children coming behind, but I've found it to be a bit of a pain myself for a couple of reasons.

 First of all, the child must use a marker - pencils and biros don't work - and markers just tend to be chunkier and less precise to use.

Secondly, this leads to a lot of pen on their hands because the marker tends to smear, which  I realise isn't helped by the fact that Luke is a lefty.

But honestly? Apart from this minor issue, the books are a great resource and go hand in hand ('scuse the pun) with letter formation and handwriting development  in the school. What's not to love?

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