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Older Children and Penmanship/ Handwriting Exercises

The following is a re-post from my now-unavailable old blog (with some revisions). Soon, I will be  choosing the books and workbooks for the next school year, and the matter of penmanship exercises for Youngest Daughter will surely crop up. 

Once again, I hope this could be of help. 

When should our children stop doing penmanship exercises? When they have acquired decent keyboarding skills? Hmmm... to start with, I don't really want my children to start using word processing software unless they can write legibly in cursive. After that, I would want them to learn touch typing. (Eldest Daughter plugged away with Mavis Beacon, and is now enjoying the fruits of her patience.) However, I also don't want them abandoning the pen for good in favor of the keyboard. Which means that I am hoping that they will do well in both.

There is something to be said about a person who writes neatly with carefully executed strokes. I have pleasant memories of reading my grandmother's letters and admiring her elegant school teacher penmanship. There is something to be said, too, about the exercise of diligently and deliberately producing each letter, careful stroke after careful stroke. I think it conditions the mind to think thoroughly and more purposefully. Quite a stretch? Maybe not. Who was it who said that when all the technological  wonders that we are now enjoying collapse, he who has not forgotten to write with his hands will emerge and rebuild civilization (or something like that)?

Which is why I think that older children should go on doing penmanship exercises long after they have transitioned from the blue-and-red lines to the purely blue (or black) lines. But this is easier said than done. There was a time when we struggled to complete half-filled penmanship workbooks at the end of the school year, the problem being that, around fourth grade, my children eventually get bored with penmanship exercises.

Sometimes new writing instruments help.But not for long.

So some years ago, I sat down and composed hopefully interesting and amusing sentences for my older children. Just to get them to do enough penmanship exercises without whining.

I actually had fun composing the sentences.

Here they are for your consideration, so feel free to offer corrections and suggestions. Warning: some sentences don't make sense.

A. Allan and Anna ate apples, apricots, and avocados. 

B. Bobbie bought a beautiful brocade bag in Belgium. 

C. Cathy cooked a chicken and cauliflower casserole. 

D. Danielle did a dandy job of darning the dainty dress with a dandelion design. 

E. Evelyn and Ernest eavesdropped into the conversation of the chefs. 

F. Fancy seeing fairies and fawns frolicking in the forest!

G. George and Georgina are gorgeous twins. 

H. Hannah hunted the wild horse and hitched it to the house's gate. 

I. Ingrid and Ignatius crossed the plains of India and the mountains of Ireland. 

J. Joe, Jack, and Jojo journeyed across Jordan. 

K. Kristine and Kirk rode a donkey out of Kansas.

L. "Lavender and lunar blue are my favorite colors," said Lolly to Leila. 

M. Max and Marmie were married for many marvelous years. 

N. Naughty Neneng kept all the nougat candies for herself. 

O. Oscar and Cookie fed their pet ostrich with oodles of noodles. 

P. Penelope peddled penny loafers in Pandacan.

Q. Quentin equaled Quincy's record in the Quebec races. 

R. Running four races in one day is a rare feat. 

S. Sabrina seemed sweet as she danced in her princess skirt. 

T. Tita tallied the hits of the ten tall archers. 

U. Ursula undermined the undying love of Lucas. 

V. Very well, Vera, Vacate this villa now!

W. William willingly swept the floor for Winona. 

X. Xavier extracted an ancient xylophone from the debris. 

Y. Yolanda taught her yak to yodel. 

Z. Zoe brought Zander to the zoo to see the amazing zebra. 

Here's to legible and neat handwriting!


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