Thursday, 6 November 2014

Stabilo's Handwriting Advice for Little Learners (including Pierre)

When the kids went back to school, Stabilo, alongside the National Handwriting association, set out to help the nation's little learners get off to a great start in their literacy skills. They sent us through a package of their products, including :

Woody 3-in-1 Multi-talented pencils : They are a coloured pencil, a watercolour and a wax crayon all in one ! They also write across most surfaces, helping your child get creative with no limits (which is not necessarily a good thing when this includes walls, floors and tables !). A very handy feature is the enclosed pencil sharpener - I had great problems sharpening the last chunky pencils we had.

EASYoriginal Roller : Specifically designed for both left and right handers, this overhaul of the fountain pen is easy to grip with its non-slip zone, whilst the ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold, preventing writing fatigue. It's even erasable with a "colour killer" pen enclosed in the pack, alongside two refills.

EASYergo 1.4 : Like the EASYoriginal, this mechanical pencil is designed for writing comfort. The cushion tip prevents having to push too hard on the paper, enabling your child to create neat, accurate marks.

Trio Scribbi : This unbreakable pen is great for budding artists and with its triangular design, gripping it couldn't be easier.

They also enclosed a little guide book, packed with handwriting hints which is full of great advice.

Speaking of advice, I even got the chance to get some tailored specifically to our needs so I asked the following question : "My almost-5-year-old is currently going through a phase of "mirror writing" copying letters like S, J, B, E backwards. I know this is a common thing that many kids go through but I'm not sure how to help him, because even if I give him a model to copy, he still copies it backwards !"

Here was the reply from their handwriting expert : "Does your child perhaps show any left or right confusion in other areas, such as putting shoes on the wrong feet, etc? Some children grow up with directional confusions which particularly affect handwriting and maths. Try speaking with your child's teacher and encourage your child to practise the letters in their movement group (eg b like h, j like g and y, etc). The teacher should give you the correct groups to use for this exercise. If this persists, it may help if an OT can assess him and make suggestions for training the left-right issue."

Well, this was several weeks ago and I'm pleased to say, it appears to have just been a phase that he's grown out of. It was actually quite impressive in a strange kind of way to see him writing whole words in mirror writing - I've kept a couple of pages to show him when he's bigger !

He's been getting in lots of practise with his new pens and pencils too, which could be another reason why he's progressed.

Disclosure : We received a goody bag of products from Stabilo.

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