Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Making Handwriting Fun (and Phonics, Too!)

I don't like to buy handwriting curriculum beyond kindergarten. I think they are boring and feel like busy work. But students do need a lot of practice. We do copywork, and when a little older, written narrations and dictation. Meanwhile, though, I like to find fun ways for my younger students to practice their handwriting.

This is one of my favorite ways of making handwriting exciting. Crayola makes some markers called Color Switchers. These markers have two ends. At one end, you can write just like a regular marker, but if you use the tip at the other end, whatever was written with the first color magically changes to a new color!
I write whatever words I want the student to practice on a sheet of paper.

Then he takes the other end of the marker and traces over the word as carefully as he can.

The more careful he is, the more he is able to switch my red to his yellow.

Today Quentin was very curious about "silent-e" words, so we talked about how the "e" changes the other vowel from a short to long vowel but then I used the markers to show which letters were silent. We would trace over the letters to sound out, changing their colors from red to yellow, and then left the "silent e" yellow. He had fun writing his own words for me to trace and sound out.

For his reward for work well done, I let him color pictures with them.
But after he was finished, I put them away so that they would be special for our next time writing with them. 


  1. No, but I love this idea.

  2. I really like these! Never heard of them before. I'll have to stop on the Crayola aisle and catch up on what I've been missing. Our 5 yr old is practicing writing her name by signing the family Christmas cards we'll mail out soon. Just one or two a day :)

  3. My middle one would love this, especially as she is at the point when writing is "boring". I can't imagine using these pens for anything else now!

  4. Ooh, love the markers and what good use for them! It makes me want to do copywork too!

  5. What a fabulous idea! I think my kids would really get a kick out of this. I'll definitely have to try it.

    Thanks for visiting Helpful Homeschool Hints.

  6. I haven't tried this, but I definitely think my 8 year old is getting a set of these markers for Christmas! I think it's a great idea to use them for handwriting practice, and I can see using this for both of my younger children. Great tip!

  7. That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  8. GREAT idea for often such a boring task!

  9. I don't think I've seen those markers, but I will have to look out for them. My daughter would love them.

    I think its a good idea that you put them away and bring them out at writing time, makes it exciting each time!

  10. Awesome! I haven't seen these markers before.I know some children that would jump at writing using those markers. Thank you so, much for sharing and linking up.

  11. Neat! Where can you find these markers???!


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