Handwriting instruction begins in Kindergarten. The children learn how to make each letter, which is much harder than it sounds. There are twenty-six letters, times two (upper and lower case) that use a combination of lines: straight, curved, zig zag, and dots. In first grade September slips by while the children gain confidence in writing using the handwriting they know. This week we are beginning handwriting instruction which focuses on c0rrect pencil grip, letter shape and size, spacing, and speed. We do not hurry through the alphabet. We attempt to do one to three letters every week or so. After a letter is introduced and practiced, the children are expected to use the correct formation in their daily writing. The printing learned this year is preparing them for cursive writing in the years ahead. Many of the children will be asked to change their “invented” pencil grip to a correct grip, which will improve small muscle development and eventually writing endurance. Yesterday the Tree Lady came to visit our classroom. You might ask your child about the different kinds of cones, they aren’t all pine cones. Why not?