With many schools and parents working together to educate their children whilst staying at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), teacher Shaun McCormick from Kaligo talks about how they’ve been helping parents and pupils continue their handwriting journey at home.
Before I start to explain what we’ve been doing to help parents and pupils with handwriting at home, I’ve seen on twitter a few parents asking about handwriting and it’s importance, particularly when the world of the future will mostly be screens. But handwriting is so much more than that.
Learning to write
Learning to write is an essential skill for both children and adults. For the younger children writing with a pencil or stylus activates the brain more than typing on a keyboard. Why? because it taps into their more complex motor and cognitive skills. Once a child can write, handwriting also helps with reading fluency because it activates visual perception of letters, then these become words and then sentences. This explains the huge role that handwriting has a big part to play in reading progress.
At Kaligo, from the second we heard schools were closing we made our handwriting app free. Then we thought, what else can we do to help. We felt that parents needed a little more structure and guidance to get the most from our Free app. So, for the last 6 weeks we’ve been producing weekly handwriting lesson plans for children, from Reception to Year 3, to help parents who are looking for a level of routine in their day.
Routine is good
Although we don’t think there should be a strict routine at home, as wellbeing is more important, some routine is helpful, and it is well-known that anxious or worried children will feel more secure if they have a predictable routine to the day. Some tips for a flexible daily routine are:
- Start and finish your day at similar times
- Make time for some fun and games
- Take time to be active
- Make time for some schoolwork
- Make meal times similar times each day
Making it fun
It’s really important to try and make learning fun, as children are at home without their classmates and friends. With this in mind, when we worked to devise our learning plans, we’ve made them informal and fun. Our handwriting plan delivers handwriting support at home for whilst schools are closed and gives parents some guidance to provide their child with extra support should they need it.
Each week has had a different theme, from Aliens and Transport, to fantasy and sport, keeping your little ones engaged and learning. We release the lesson plans for the week, every Monday morning where the virtual teacher takes you through the lessons.
To make our plan effective, we’ve looked at all angles, the daily activities plus what should come next and of course all the plans are linked to the national curriculum.
Our lesson plan delivers:
- Easy to follow, weekly activities for overall handwriting development.
- Some additional weekly activities planned for overall handwriting development including fine motor development
- Lessons which are based on national curriculum objectives and end of year expectations
- Lessons which are sequenced to focus on particular groups of letters or joining strokes that have similarities
- Lessons which manage progression so that each year group follows on from another so that handwriting styles aren’t repeated
We are also very mindful that at the moment it’s parents, not teachers delivering lessons at home. We’ve made it as easy as possible for parents by providing useful videos to support the PDF activities. We’ve also made it as visual as possible to support the explanations given.
They’ve been really well received by parents with and the children are making great progress with handwriting which is lovely to see. It’s also nice to be doing our bit to help parents and pupils through this tough time.
If you would like to find out more or you have any questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can download our app for FREE and see for yourself how Kaligo can help with handwriting at home or at school visit https://www.kaligo-apps.com/kaligo-practice/
Shaun McCormick is a Primary School Teacher with 5 years’ experience in education. Shaun also works for Kaligo.