Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Pen and an Electronic Thesaurus

When I went to the SouthEast Homeschool Convention, I had the pleasure of hearing Andrew Pudewa speak. One of the sessions I went to was entitled " Reaching the Reluctant Writer." Most of his talk was extolling the benefits of using IEW curriculum to teach writing. After seeing how The Boy's writing has improved over the past 2 years using IEW through co-op, I was already sold on the program.

There were 2 points, however, that were extremely interesting to me.
  1. An electronic dictionary/thesaurus will increase the desire to use interesting words, especially for boys. The Boy loves anything electronic, so this might keep him from huffing and puffing when I ask him to either a) look up a word in the dictionary or b) find a synonym to use in his writing.
  2. Allow a child to write in pen, rather than pencil. Neurologically, pencils change as they're being used. This explains why my small people are CONSTANTLY needing to have their pencils sharpened. They really aren't trying to annoy me. Also, when a child complains that their hand is tired or hurts from writing, it is probably due to visual immaturity. Their eyes need to see darker lines, so they press harder with the pencil - tiring their hand and causing them to need to sharpen their pencil more often. Pens give them the darker lines they need to see.
Since I returned from the conference, I've allowed the small people to do certain subjects in pen and have noticed a difference in the complaining about having to write. Math, of course, is a pencil-only subject, as are handwriting practice and spelling.

When I order our curriculum for next year, I will also be purchasing an electronic thesaurus. I'm positive that The Boy will love it.
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