There is a great deal of preparation that children and parents need to go through before a child is ready to start grade school in Germany. Formal registration, meetings with the directors, and doctor's examinations round out the top three. At the doctor's visit, a variety of tests are done, pattern recognition, physical assessments, drawing a stick figure, etc.. Claudia fails when it comes to holding a pencil correctly. We've been told no less than three times, on three different occasions, that this needs to be corrected before she starts first grade. Demonstrating hasn't helped, but I found a clip online that offered a handy tip. I'm sharing this in case any one else is struggling with helping their child avoid a childhood of fancy plastic pencil grips. Or stern German Directors.
The trick is to fold up a piece of tissue and get them to hold it under their pinkie and ring fingers. Then, when you pass them the pencil, they'll instinctively know how to hold the pencil properly. It's pretty much magic. Try not to zero in on the grubby, sand filled fingernails and instead marvel at that line work. 
15/11/2012 04:55:56 am

That is magic, and so simple.
I was I had known that when I was struggling to get Michael to hold a pencil properly.

Paula Rennie
15/11/2012 06:12:25 am

There's every chance that they won't be so anal in Scotland. You should see the way Tom holds a pencil! Ultimately, who cares? He's also left-handed (as am I) and I really had to go to town on his Grade 1 teacher who asked me why he couldn't write with his right hand. Yup, you read that right.

15/11/2012 02:43:33 pm

Oh let's hope!
My Dad (a natural lefty) had his hand smacked so many times as a kid he's quite ambidextrous now.

18/11/2012 06:21:53 am

I ,as a kindergarten teacher, had never heard that trick and wish I had as I had many children struggling. Is it actually working with Claudia? I tried teaching her the proper grip but she was never interested in learning so I didn't push it.


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