Having a Ball

March 10, 2005 @ 3:07 pm | Filed under: Fun Learning Stuff, Language Arts

Rose’s handwriting improved dramatically this week, quite suddenly and to my surprise. I commented on a particularly lovely word, and she told me matter-of-factly that Jane’s “writing idea” had helped her.

“What’s Jane’s writing idea?” I asked. This was the first I’d heard about any such thing.

Jane looked up from her Mossflower dictation to chime in. Jane is awfully fond of chiming in, no matter what the subject.

“It’s the bouncing-ball technique,” she enthused. “I invented it.”

“Yes, and it really works!” said Rose.

“See, Mom,” Jane explained, “here’s how it works. You pretend the line you’re writing on is a sidewalk. The point of your pencil is a little bouncy ball. The ball drops to the sidewalk from different heights and bounces back up. Sometimes, like for g or y, it rolls into the gutter. For little a, it bounces up and then you push it straight back down, see?”

I did see, sort of. Rose saw it clearly—this bouncing ball thing made more sense to her than any guidance I’ve attempted to give. She’s a perfectionist and tends to get frustrated about every tiny flaw in her handwriting. Not today, though. She contentedly bounced that ball off the sidewalk and into the gutter through half a page’s worth of “Cute Sayings” for the collection she is compiling.

Lots of material for that collection around here.


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