Archive for October 12th, 2007

Handwriting Help: Jane’s “Bouncing Ball” Technique

October 12, 2007 @ 2:32 pm | Filed under:

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.


Poetry Friday: Of Course It Had to Be Heaney This Week

October 12, 2007 @ 9:17 am | Filed under:


No surprise there, right? If you clicked through to the "Tollund Man" link on my last post, perhaps you listened to Seamus Heaney read some of his poems. If you didn’t, oh, do!

These, from his 8-sonnet suite about his mother, are particularly poignant: Clearances 3 and Clearances 5. For copyright reasons, I cannot post them here, of course, but here’s a taste.

    When all the others were away at Mass

    I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.

    They broke the silence, let fall one by one

    Like solder weeping off the soldering iron…

Read the rest.

This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Two Writing Teachers.