Sunday, December 9, 2007

Let The Writing Lesson Be Short (Copywork: Part Four)

"I can only offer a few hints on the teaching of writing, though much might be said. First, let the child accomplish something perfectly in every lesson––a stroke, a pothook, a letter. Let the writing lesson be short; it should not last more than five or ten minutes. Ease in writing comes by practice; but that must be secured later. In the meantime, the thing to be avoided is the habit of careless work––humpy 'm's, angular o's." Home Education pg. 234

For the first handwriting lessons, Miss Mason recommends only five to ten minutes. Have you ever timed your handwriting lessons? I hadn't until I first began reading about CM and her use of short lessons. I had my daughters (at age 4) writing for 20 minutes to finish their A Reason For Handwriting lessons! No wonder we were on edge by the end! By using short lessons (truly only 10 minutes or less, even 2 years later now) the children stay fresh and their concentrated efforts to form their "very best" letters do not give way to sloppy, half-hearted work. At the beginning, the important thing is to do it slowly and carefully - the very best the children can write for just a few minutes.