How do we encourage reluctant writers who physically have a hard time writing and fatigue quickly?
If students have grade-appropriate assignments, they should not have a hard time writing nor should they fatigue quickly. If they do, it is likely that there is a problem that is holding them back. There are many things to check:
- Eye issues
- Tracking issues— Some students cannot make their eyes track despite having 20/20 vision.
- Irlen Syndrome–Sometimes the eyes work fine, but the students see distortions when they look at the page. The distortions can make it hard to see the print.
For information on screening the student, consult The Roadmap to Literacy pp. 540–541.
- Hand issues: Some students cannot hold a pencil correctly. For a complete description of what is and is not acceptable, consult the following website: https://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/pencil-grasp.html#WhatIsPoorPencilGrip
- Ergonomics: How the work station is set up affects how easy it is for students to write. Consult The Roadmap to Literacy 101–102 for more information.
- Supplies: To be able to write with ease, students need to use the proper writing supplies: graphite pencils with erasers and lined paper. The idea that students should use art supplies such as colored pencils or crayons to write is a common Waldorf myth that has no basis in Steiner’s indications. It is a sacred nothing. For more information, consult The Roadmap to Literacy 102–104.
There are many other things that can hold a student back. For a full discussion of what to look for and what to do, consult The Roadmap to Literacy chapter 6.6 Working with Remedial Issues.
Note: Be sure to follow up with any needed therapies. Students who have physical weaknesses are not likely to out-grow them.