Handwriting Help: Jane’s “Bouncing Ball” Technique
I overheard Jane coaching Beanie how to write something— "Remember, make the ball bounce off the ground and up to the fence…"—and it called to mind this old post from Bonny Glen. I’m seeing a lot of Google hits on handwriting-related topics lately, so I’ll reprint the post here in case Jane’s little word picture is helpful to anyone else.
Having a Ball
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.
Oh, how cute! It’s really amazing any time I get to see how my children’s minds work–what an awesome window into yours.
The image that immediately came to mind to me, though, was of Steve McQueen bouncing a ball off the wall and the floor in solitary, in “The Great Escape.” One of my all-time favorite movies–maybe we’ll pull it out tonight!
On October 12, 2007 at 4:20 pm
I love the buddy system you have going with your children!
Handwriting was a struggle in my home, and Handwriting without Tears was a big help for them. I had to make many modifications for my daughter with autism, but she writes legibly and, more importantly, writes for pleasure now!
On October 13, 2007 at 11:11 am
Mary Beth P says:
Great job, Jane! I think you have a future as a pediatric occupational therapist! Wish I had this technique when I was working in the schools.
On October 13, 2007 at 1:39 pm
Sarah S. Chicken says:
I showed my 5 year old today with my writing, and I think she may have been paying attention while I formed the letters. Her personality is such that it might be awhile before she tries it herself though. 🙂 Thanks for the fun tip!
On October 13, 2007 at 3:43 pm
Thanks for this tip. I will try this with my 6 yod. She has a verrrrry short attention span and maybe this idea will encourage her to sit still for a minute.:-)
On October 13, 2007 at 8:02 pm