Thursday, 20 July 2017

Contemplating handwriting

I made a collage for my Facebook page

In one year Diana has gone from being unable and unwilling to write on lined paper, to copying out almost two full pages of A4 in neat, joined handwriting.

My thoughts:

I don't believe that children require rigorous training in handwriting throughout the early years of schooling.

I do believe that schools need children who are able to produce legible handwriting as soon as possible. Competent writers make setting work easier. They also make proof-of-learning and assessments easier.

This is important to consider as a home educator, especially if one is in it for the long haul (i.e. not considering re/integration into a school environment.)

Schoolteachers, bless their overworked, kind, lovely souls, cannot possibly track and present the development of 30 kids over 11 months without a system. They need the marks, results, evidence.

And even if they did have some intricate mind palace arrangement; with each kid's achievements and improvements in their own little mental slot (I'd put nothing past the excellent school teachers I know) do you think the school superiors or OFSTED would accept THAT?

Schools have two things that matter here: a burden of proof, and strict time constraints. From what I gather, each Key Stage must be compared against an earlier one to show progression. There's little room for individuals to delve deeply into one area at a time; or to make leaps completely unexpectedly in other areas.

Home educators have the luxury of time.

In the Onions house there hasn't been a need for extended written work in our lives. Each step Diana's taken towards being able to achieve such has been on terms that suit her aptitude.

With (a little) pressure, but, most importantly;
without shame.

So if you're on this path, if you're worried about "keeping up", if your naysayers are putting you down, take heart.

Just look at what can be achieved in a year.

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