As I was planning this year of homeschooling, I started by using Charlotte Mason as our core. With Averie being so young, I still thought it best to stick with letter formation and she has been doing so using A Reason For Handwriting for kindergarten.
We have had a few struggles, you can read more about that here. However, moving past that, I noticed with her letter formation she simply has grown bored. I was really unsure of why at first, but I had instinctual suspicions that she wasn’t feeling challenged. This was confirmed when in her free time she began to write actual stories.
Meet Olivia Foe, a character in Averie’s imaginative and creative story. Which is about a little girl who was a Foe of God, but through a series of events became a friend of God. This explained things for me, I am asking her to practice forming letters, but she is showing that she is ready for more.
I don’t want to push her. I also don’t want there to be gaps in something that is so foundationally important. I spoke to a few other homeschool moms, some more seasoned then I. After which, I decided to take a more child led approach on what to do next.
Charlotte Mason has a detailed guideline in writing and how to begin, first starting with printing. Beginning with capital letters, until they can be done with firmness and decision, then moving on to small letters. She goes on to describe text hand, which is medium sized print that should be continued until a child can do so with ease.
Next is transcription, which Charlotte Mason begins chronologically by age, when a child is seven or eight. This should be slow beautiful work that a child copies from a favorite poem, passage, sentence from a favorite book, or scripture verse. Transcription should be thought of as a introduction to spelling, where the child visualizes the words and then writes it from memory.
I have now discussed with Averie what I have noticed and asked if she felt challenged. She said “Sometimes but I still like writing my letters.” Moving forward, I am going to ensure that she can form each of her letters using our A Reason For Handwriting. I am not going to have her write line after line after line so that she grows “bored” of it. I don’t want her to lose her love for learning. Instead, once she has shown that she can form a letter, three consecutive times, then we will move on.
Once I have confirmed she knows all her letters then (at her lead) we may start some copy work. I don’t plan on buying anything for this just yet. I intend to make my own printables based off of passages she has chosen from living books, a line from a poem, or even scripture.
I also think that her desire to write stories of her own is a sign of written narration. Charlotte Mason ascertains that narration is an art, like poetry. It isn’t something to start young, shouldn’t be pushed, and never forced. As far as narration goes, then I’ll just allow that to continue to naturally unfold.
As I begin preparing for Copy Work, I’ll be putting together several Copy Work printables. They will be available to download (once complete) as a free printable when you sign up for my newsletter.