A while back I posted about Beanie’s preference for gripping a writing implement with her whole fist. She was 5 1/2 then, six years old now, and I wanted to let you know that in these past few months, she has made a fairly seamless transition to using the proper pencil grip without much intervention on my part. All I did was continue to give her occasional (and honestly, "occasional" is code for "infrequent") practice sessions with small pieces of chalk or crayons which forced her to grip with her fingers instead of fist, and she played a lot with the Handwriting Without Tears Magna-Doodle thing I mentioned in that post.
I did not do regular daily handwriting lessons or anything like that, in keeping with my convictions about delaying the beginning of formal studies until age six at the very earliest. I let her keep on coloring her pictures with her fist grip, because she adores coloring and I didn’t want that very pleasant pastime to become a source of frustration for her. A couple of times a week, I asked her to practice her "pencil grip" (our name for the correct hand position, as opposed to "fist grip"), and gradually she switched over. Now she uses the pencil grip almost all of the time when coloring, and always when writing words.
Recently, Rose started working on pretty, swirly cursive writing with the Getty-Dubay Italic cursive book (what eight-year-old girl doesn’t leap at the opportunity to learn fancy writing?), and this got Miss Beanie all fired up to have a handwriting book of her own. I’m seizing the moment, therefore, and she’ll be starting the Getty-Dubay Book A pretty soon.
(A side note about handwriting programs: I have taken a pretty unschooly approach to penmanship, allowing my kids to use workbooks when they wished, but not requiring it. So far, all three girls have wished it. I buy Getty-Dubay Italic for the totally self-indulgent reason that I like the way the writing looks.)
Anyway, just wanted to share the news of Bean’s progress in case anyone else out there was worried about a fist grip. There are some helpful suggestions in the comments of that first post, too.