You can imagine the notes I’ve gotten from kindergarten and first grade teachers over the years while mothering three boys. Let’s face it, no matter how wonderful their teacher may be, public school is not easy on young boys. The sitting and paying attention and being quiet and worse than all those things combined…handwriting.
I suffered through it with Oldest.
I worked through it with Middle Son.
Now, I am once again trying to discover new and creative ways to help Youngest make his letters legible.
We’ve tried shaving cream on a plate, magnetic letters, tracers, fingerpaint, vertical white boards, pencil grips, jumbo pencils, and other things I can’t readily recall.
Youngest has perfect fine-motor skills. He can use a screw-driver to place the smallest of screws, build complicated Lego vehicles, paint, is learning to play piano, but his writing is atrocious.
Recently he brought home a paper that described his family. Not able to read it, I handed it back to him. “Can you read this to me?”
He squinted. “My family is…um. My family is…does that say loud?”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “I don’t know because I can’t read your writing.”
Youngest perched the paper two inches from his face. “Me neither, but I’m pretty sure that word says loud.”
“What about the other words?”
He turned the paper all the way around. “Yeah, I got nothin.”
Do you know how frustrating it is to have a child who can orally recite his spelling words perfectly and then get one wrong on the test because the teacher can’t read it?
So, after trying everything, I’ve gone back to just plain old copy work. I write the spelling words out and he copies them. Last night, I leaned over to check the page he left on the counter and found this:

He had already fixed the paper, but I thought you might have more sympathy for me if you saw it:)

“Youngest! Come here!”
A smirk rounded the corner before of the rest of his body. “Yes?”
I pointed to the paper. “What is this?”
“My spelling words?”
“At the bottom.”
More smirking.
I hat doin this?”
Youngest burst out laughing. “No, I hate doing this.”
“You spelled hate and doing wrong.”
A confused stare.
“Well? Fix them.”
Wide eyed, youngest sat down and fixed the sentence. I checked the work. “Good job, now go play.”
I have to pick my battles people.
If my child is going to rebel, he better darn well do it with good handwriting and great grammar.