Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We recently moved to a new city and state. Our son is in the fifth grade and doesn't know how to write in cursive. He can read it, but actually writing in cursive was taken out of the school curriculum a few years ago. It has been taught in the schools where we live now and the kids are really giving him a hard time. Most days, he comes home crying. How's the best way to handle this unfortunate situation? He doesn't want to get these kids in trouble because he'll be in school with them for a long time.

Your son can learn to write in cursive just by practicing every day. My 73-year-old grandfather just learned, so I'm sure your fifth grader can as well. We hired a tutor to help my grandfather because he felt more comfortable getting his instructions from her. You might also want to do this. Practice, practice, practice is the key. - N. S. in San Diego, CA

FROM JODIE:

In today's society, with all the technology surrounding us, there's less opportunities for us to actually use cursive. Many schools have computers or iPads available in the classrooms for their students and of course, most kids have cell phones by the time they are nine or earlier. Writing on these is a breeze by simply using a keyboard or can even be accomplished by utilization of a voice prompt. I know for a few years some states did away with teaching cursive due to these conveniences. However, many are now reinstating it. If you haven't already talked to his teacher(s) and asked for suggestions, get started there. There is a wide array of books and workbooks on the topic with plenty of practice pages and tips. Be sure to use a regular pencil, as opposed to a mechanical one, so the lead doesn't break. Stock up on extra erasers so mistakes can easily be erased. This will help to ease frustration while he's learning. One of the teachers in the school currently teaching cursive may have some ideas and may even be willing to work with him. As far as not wanting to get the kids in trouble that are teasing him, if I were you, I would certainly mention it. Having your son come home crying everyday is unacceptable. This is definitely a form of bullying. Their names do not have to be included in the conversation but at least the situation can be brought to light. Like the reader above said, it's going to take a lot of practice but it's also going to take patience on his part as well as your own. Since your son can already read cursive, it may be easier to help him learn how to write it. He will most likely learn it quicker than you think.

CAN YOU HELP?

Our eight-year-old daughter is constantly lying to us about random topics. Since she is an only child, at first we thought she was making use of her imagination but now it is really becoming a problem. How should we handle this?

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