Trading the pencil hug for a pencil kiss

I fessed up to Tatum today. I don’t have the neatest handwriting. HOWEVER, if I am writing FOR someone like a teacher or a greeting card, I do my absolute neatest work (usually) *wince.* Why she may ask? I answered this for her in the car. What you do on paper represents a bit of who you are. If you turn in a sloppy paper, you are basically saying, “I don’t care about myself, you, or my work.” Ouch. That hit home for her.

You see, she has her moments of sloppiness and she has moments where she is truly as neat as a pin with her printing. Her BFF, Charlotte, writes nearly perfectly, and this drives her to do better. I love that she picks friends that make her rise up.

Well, I thought….I need a challenge for her. Some type of incentive and practice plan. She loves to do these, and it can be fun if we make it fun.

We got out her cute little unicorn journal from Cynthia, and decided that she would write two sentences each day about her day. If she gets two smiley faces, she gets to color in a dot. She can earn only two a day. If she only earns one, she can try again to earn another.

First, how she holds the pencil has been a never-ending problem. It’s also become a bad habit. I had her demonstrate the pencil hug. We laughed a bit after we practiced the correct way. This now felt a bit funny!

And sloppy!

Let’s try the pinch with the three fingers. Make them kiss!

OK, now we are getting somewhere. She told me she couldn’t do it and needed those pencil grips. I told her she is ready to do this! C’mon, Tot. You are in 1st grade. Let’s DO THiS! After a bit of frustration, she didn’t give up. I love that about her.


She earned her smileys today.

I am all about creating good habits. If she can get the pencil kiss down, I think she’ll have no problem. She agreed and marked her dot.

As her mommy, my goal is to be her coach, her encourager, and her supporter. I want her to feel supported and in turn successful. She needs to feel like she’s capable. I can also make it fun because if we feel like we are having fun, we are more likely to retain what we learn. I’m proud of your efforts, Bumby. I love you!

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