NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
When I found myself in a foreign country with three small children soon-to-be school age without access to an English language-speaking school, I began researching home schooling. I found one that was developed for children of foreign diplomats in my situation.
The school was wonderful. I was able to teach them to read in six weeks using time-tested methods. The next thing they learned was writing. Using the school’s method, all of my children developed beautiful long hand by the third grade. The methods used incorporated the lastest research on hand and eye movement development and made perfect sense.
When a child is first given paper and crayon, or better a fat piece of chalk, they begin to make circles, back and forth and up and down movements as they draw. Straight connecting lines are not seen until the child later develops fine motor control skills. Some children’s games help such development.
I am appalled that my grandchildren were never taught longhand in Norman Public Schools. They all print ... poorly at first, but better later. When I asked one of my grandaughters about her penmanship (her printing was terrible) and if could she write in longhand, she said, “I guess I missed that day in school.“ I offered to teach her; however, I was too late and she wasn’t interested.
Somewhere I read that elementary school teachers were thinking about only teaching printing. Too bad that teacher training foregoes the latest brain research. Sometimes the oldest methods are best. I would encourage universities to utilize the best teaching methods, not necessarily the latest.
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