Teaching handwriting in groups based on letter formation just makes sense!
Picture this: Ava is 6 years old and she’s thrilled to attend cheerleading camp. She’s been begging to learn how to cheer because all the “big kids” already know how. The night before camp starts, she’s so excited she can’t even sleep.
Then the big day comes. Ava pays really close attention as the coach teaches the first part of the song and the movements that go with it. “It’s not so bad”, she thought, “with a little practice I’ll get this!”
On day two, Ava gets out of the car for cheer with a grin, “ I’m ready, Mom, I practiced everything I learned yesterday, and I’ve got it!”
Ava excitedly lines up to watch the coach demonstrate the day’s lesson. Her heart starts to sink: It’s completely different than yesterday’s cheer. A knot forms in her little throat and she looks around anxiously. “What? This makes no sense! I thought we would learn more of yesterday’s cheer. This is nothing like what I learned yesterday!”
The same thing happened every day that week. Each day, the coach taught a new song with new movements to accompany it. At the end of the week, Ava climbed into the car with glassy eyes and a solemn face. “I don’t want to go to cheer camp again, Mom. I’m not good at it.”
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
Learning new motor movements can be difficult. Whether it’s cheering, dancing, or learning how to write letters, motor planning takes repetition and practice. It’s important to master the beginning of the (cheer, dance, letter, etc.) before you start something new. That’s why children should learn how to write the alphabet in groups according to letter formation.