Handwriting - Posture, Desks

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Cyndi (AZ)
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Handwriting - Posture, Desks

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:58 am

spaldingclan wrote:So, my dd6 mentioned the other day that her arm was tired after completing some of her writing for K. I took a look at her and noticed for the first time that her posture is all out of whack at the table. We are using our formal dining room table as her school table and it's made for adult to sit at and eat, not for 6 year olds to sit at and learn to write the letters properly.

My question is, what do you all use as "desks" for your kiddos? has anyone else had this come up? Since we have decided we are in this for the long haul, I am considering purchasing used elementary school desks that have the storage are under the table top, but would love to hear what others have done.

Thanks!
Kim
The cheap immediate fix is a Cooshie Booster seat and a footstool. It worked for my dd. She thought she was a bit too much of a big girl for a booster, but we used a foam seat that I pointed out was very comfy and supported all her wiggling better, and her legs didn't get tired from dangling (like Laura Ingalls). Now that she's almost 9yo, she sits in a chair and uses the Cooshie Booster for a footstool!
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MelissaM
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:25 am

I agree - I don't have room for desks for the kids, so we use the table. Ds (K) sits in a "youth chair" which he's getting too big for; I think I'm going to move him to a regular chair with a booster. DD (9) still has dangly legs, but I've tried convincing her to use a booster/stool and she just refuses, so I don't fight about it.

Also, wanted to say - for the handwriting sheet on day 2 of the K lessons, we split them up and do them over 2 days. I know that's not a help to the posture/desk issue, but it might help a little.

I have a friend who uses those elementary desks with the storage - I think they're great. I just don't have the space. I know a lot of people who use a small kid-size table and chairs, so something like that might work too.

:)
:)
Melissa
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spaldingclan
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by spaldingclan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:38 am

I had thought of the booster seat idea, but I'm concerned that it would put her up too high with the table, and her legs would get stuck under this table. However, I might take a look at those anyway.

We have the room for the desks (We are borrowing the dining set from my mom so it would go back to them if we get the desks). We have very rarely used the formal dining room as an actual dining room over the years so it's been turned into our school room, which I love. Perhaps as they get older I'll switch things around, but for now, it works out great.

I also have one small child's table with 2 chairs, which my 4 year old uses as her school table, but it isn't big enough for both girls to work at it together, and dd6 is almost too tall for it now anyway.

Thanks for the booster seat suggestion!

Kim
Kim
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MelissaM
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:53 am

If I had a room I could dedicate just to schooling (and the funds to do what I wanted with it), I would put in whatever tables/desks I thought fit the space and my kids the best. And I would get some comfy seating for snuggle-up and read time. Ooh, and....oh wait - this isn't a "Design Your Fantasy School Room" thread, is it? Ahem. Sorry.

Go for the desks!

:)
:)
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Amy C.
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by Amy C. » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:10 pm

We use our dining room table/chair, too, but I have a tall 6 year old. His feet do still dangle, though. This has not been a problem with us because he doesn't sit still long enough. We take lots of breaks. Our biggest problem is him holding his pencil correctly.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that we have a portable, adjustable table. My mother let us have it. It folds up for easy storage. I can adjust the angle of the table top and the height of the table itself. So he can sit on the floor or an ottoman or a small chair and adjust the height of the table to fit him. One disadvantage is the table top does not have a smooth surface for writing. We put a table mat on the table top to make it smooth. We use this same mat on the dining room table as well to protect its surface. We mix it up a bit on where we do things. Of course, I have a very fidgety boy who needs frequent breaks and he likes to move around a bit to do his work so sometimes we are at the dining room table and sometimes we bring out the portable table. It has also come in handy when I am nursing the baby, and I need to dictate to him and then see him write. He will sit on the ottomon with the table in front of him with me on the other side sitting in the chair. I don't know where she got the table, but I would think surely Wal Mart or an office supply store would carry them.

Amy C.

Julie in MN
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:33 pm

If you have space and a few $$ then a desk is nice. I got old public school ones

We long had two desks of different sizes, which is nice. I would hesitate to get more than one of a particular size, since they do outgrow the K size.

We've always lived in fairly tight spaces, but the desks served many functions. They have been the place children did everything from drawing to eating. They have had stains from food to magic markers. But our grown children look back at them fondly. Our grandson is enjoying the little one. It's kept in the most crowded, most used room, but somehow there's always a nook for the desk.

If you can find an attached seat (vs. a separate chair), it helps prevent falls for younger kids (remember how many times teachers were telling little boys to put their chair legs on the ground?).

Julie
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gratitude
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:32 pm

My children still prefer eating with boosters (go figure ;) ). They like the comfort of being able to reach the table the way we do. So they have their ripped up Cooshie Boosters from their toddler years, and yes they do help with proper height for writing.

However, we also have one school desk. It is Extremely helpful. It is one of the old fashioned kind, with a slanted top. Perfect for handwriting posture and learning to write. They come new (a bit pricey, around $100), or on Craigs List they can be found. The rule in our house is whoever is doing handwriting has priority use of the desk. My oldest ds uses it for all of his phonics & math & handwriting work. My second son uses it for handwriting. So it sits near the dining room table, in our fairly casual house, and helps with some of this.

I wanted to add though that my children all say their hands get tired. I think it is partly these ages too.

spaldingclan
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by spaldingclan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:38 pm

Julie, I hadn't thought about getting two different sized desks. Good point! The ones that I have found on craigslist aren't terribly expensive and I like that they have built in storage for all of the girls books and art supplies so that they could get to it easily and then put it away out of sight when we were done with school. I LOVE the idea of converting our dining room into a complete school room. However, I have to move slowly so as not to freak out the other members of my family too much, lol! I can get a little carried away sometimes, and I for sure need to not blast out our budget in the process.

My girls are not terribly fidgety, and they like having their "school room" to go to when it's school time. They know that when we are in there it's time to pay attention. I notice that when we move our school location to the family room or outside, it's a lot more chaotic. And that's ok too. There is a time for that for sure. But, most of the time, we stick to our school room. We take a couple of breaks though for exercise and to get our wiggles out and that takes care of restlessness.

It just occurred to me that if I get the girls their own desks, I am going to need my own table/desk to keep all of my stuff etc...Sigh...see, this is how I get carried away:-)
Kim
**Stars of Grace Academy**
happily married to dh since 1995
mom to 3 outgoing daughters:
dd1 age 14: Freshman at PS
dd2 age 6 1/2: currently in MFW1, finished MFWK
dd3 age 5: currently in MFWK
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Metairie
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by Metairie » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:42 pm

I have two, used student desks with storage collecting dust. I'm wondering if I need to bring them out of storage to use. I got them at a garage sale two years ago when my girls were no where near ready. The problem is, I usually move between the kitchen, living room and dining room table where school takes place. Going back into the playroom where the desks are to do school isn't really comfy.
Cindie, wife to Gary for 18 years, mom to girls,
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Julie in MN
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:14 pm

As far as using the desks in school, my ds only used them for things when proper posture and position was helpful. We almost always used them for handwriting practice. They were also a back-up if he told me his arm was hurting or something. He did the majority of his writing on the floor with a clipboard in the younger years :) But I was still happy to have somewhere proper for the training in cursive etc.


...to clarify, basically, we've loved having two school desks of different sizes in our home for well over 20 years -- if you can believe that !! They are a magnet for children and were used as an "appropriate place" for writing, gluing, eating, and various messy things long before I started homeschooling (around 9 years ago).

During our actual school, however, we only used the desk for handwriting training and other times as my son expressed any difficulty with writing. But those who know me realize that my ds did precious little with the pencil over the years he was homeschooled (3rd-9th grades so far).

So for homeschooling itself, the desk wasn't used a ton, but for me it seemed like an important tool for those times it was used. If I had the room and the $$$, I'd want one.

Not sure if that makes more sense or not... :~
Julie
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1974girl
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by 1974girl » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:19 am

We do have a room dedicated to homeschooling. If I didn't, we would take over the house with material. It used to be a playroom but now it is a homeschool room.
fishinghomeschool 031 (Small).jpg
fishinghomeschool 031 (Small).jpg (31.98 KiB) Viewed 10326 times
We do have desks and chairs. But the chairs are what helps the most. I got them at Office Max or Staples..can't remember and you can pump them up to different heighths and then let them out as they grow. I think they were hot pink office chairs that I found at "going back to school time" for $29.99. I'll try adding an attachment of my room. I haven't ever tried this so if it shows up blank sorry!
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
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shera
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by shera » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:05 pm

For the meantime, as a booster you could use old phone books. I remember visiting my grandmother's house and needing a booster. We could always tell when I grew because we had to remove a book from the stack. We had multiple phone books tied together.
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Renee413
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Re: K daughter tiring after writing

Unread post by Renee413 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:30 pm

We also use our dining room table. We purchased a Keekaroo chair that boosts them up and also has a foot rest. It's all adjustable. We love it. She can use it for many years.
~Renee
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TriciaMR
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Student desks?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:16 pm

fdjoyce wrote:We are wanting to add more workspace to our very small home. Although I have always hated the idea of student desks (too schooly for my taste/philosophy) we have found a set of old timey classroom desks in our price range. My husband thinks it is a great idea. Just wondering what experience others have had using individual desks? Did your kids tire of them quickly? Did you like being able to move/rearrange or did you wish you had the larger space a table would afford? Did individual space help with concentration or lead to daydreaming ? Any thoughts/experiences?

My other option besides the desks we already found is one larger table. The drawback of that is that our size constraints are very specific & we're having a hard time finding a fit. We may have to buy a taller table & saw off legs, add legs to a coffee table, or build it ourselves. Makes desks sound easy! One drawback is that they will be right at our front door but my husband says "we homeschool, desks at the door is cool!"
We have 2 old-timey desks that my father-in-law refurbished. My kids do use them some. (One of my kids more than the other). It's nice to have a place to sit for a math drill or handwriting practice.

-Trish
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jasntas
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by jasntas » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:27 pm

I think desks are probably more a matter of personal preference. I personally like my kids having their own space and be responsible for their own supplies. They also like this. We have a spare bedroom so I am able to use that as our school room. Their desks face each other and I have a small table in between them for my supplies. I work with each one individually at their own desks. Then we move downstairs to the kitchen table for crafts, science, and such and then to the couch for read alouds. I'm not sure if that helps.
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gorillamama
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by gorillamama » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:42 pm

fdjoyce wrote:Just wondering what experience others have had using individual desks?
This is the gorilla family experience with desks for what it is worth:
We always had done school at the dining room table, people were distracting others, minds not staying "on task", mama thought, desks! We have very limited space, squeezed two desks into our back room we affectionately call the MUD room. Tried to rotate who was at the table with me and who was at their desk. son especially was distracted at desk, but not always, worked for awhile, but I found people were getting done with work, but not returning for next assignment, mama didn't like this, I needed to see where they were at times and couldn't with desks where they were - no room for anyone else back there. then Christmas came and we used the desks to pile lots of stuff on. And we didn't use them again until the next school year when I squeezed one into a 2 person shared bedroom and the other into the other 2 person shared bedroom upstairs where things are still very crowded and where the desks still are. Desks were used all year for independent work for older 2 and sometimes older 3 (with 2 kids taking turns at the 1 desk). The key here was independent work: they had a list of things to do and it could take them all day, but when it was time to meet at the dining room table for things with mama they left the desk and would return later to finish if not already done. oldest daughter esp. likes the desk and uses it for her typewriter, doing crafts, writing letters, keeping stuff on, etc.
.
fdjoyce wrote:Did your kids tire of them quickly?
.
fdjoyce wrote: Did individual space help with concentration or lead to daydreaming ?
The other desk doesn't see much outside use - just school related and often my son will opt out of using desk to come downstairs to the dining room table and do work there instead. Both desks were in front of or very close to in front of a window upstairs and I think my son often daydreamed his mornings away which cut into his free time in afternoon so he figures he can get more done at the dining room table.
fdjoyce wrote: Did you like being able to move/rearrange or did you wish you had the larger space a table would afford?
The space we have doesn't allow too much in the way of rearranging - definitely not for the dining room table and very little options for the desks so to that end it is what it is.

Now that we have switched to MFW this year, neither desk has seen much use. I think oldest gal did math there once so far this year. Not sure why exactly as desks are still an option for independent work...maybe they just want to stay close to the book basket!!! ;)

cbollin

Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:47 am

stray thought.... classroom teachers in elementary change up the order of a classroom from time to time too.
Back at my church in old state, we had an elementary school as part of the church. Most of the sunday school classes were in the school rooms. All of the rooms were different. Even within the same room, the teacher would shift it up. Some weeks desks were in rows. Some weeks, the desks were in pairs, or groups of 4. Sometimes, it was more like a business meeting room with all desks side by side to make a U shape.

ok... so I miss my old church from time to time. Now Sunday school class is sit in rows of chairs with nothing to set a book or paper on. (I'm talking adult classes.)

Desks in my house?
We have this slanted top hinged desk. That' seems to be favorite because it is easy to move around. Open the top and have place to store stuff.
Oldest has a "real" desk in her work area. 5 foot long, 3 ft wide, 3 drawers on side, middle drawer. she's high school years.

I had dreams and hopes when I moved here that the upstairs room would be a more traditional school area......

-crystal

gratitude
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by gratitude » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:02 pm

I tried desks for the first 6 weeks of Kindergarten. The reason I switched to the table is because I found myself always teaching on my knees and trying to keep toddlers/pre-schoolers occupied at desks was more difficult than the table. We still have one that has gone through seasons of use, but our new house is small so I am probably going to let it go along with a few other items. Overall, I think this decision is different for every family, and starting out with them had some benefits like learning to sit while doing school work and learning how to write with good posture.

TNLisa
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by TNLisa » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:04 am

We will start school September 1 so I am attempting to get our school area ready - which will consist of a folding table (probably 2x4) for my daughter to use. We are putting plexiglass on top for a smooth surface. She is artsy-craftsy and is very excited to not only have a "desk" but an area to spread out her duck tape projects, bracelet making, etc. We'll put one of the Sterilite storage bins with drawers beside it for her to store it all. I had priced "desks" but everything I've seen has a minimal workspace. A white folding table isn't the prettiest, but very functional! (we found ours at Sam's Club - it is heavy duty, with a solid top; the legs fold under it)
Hope that helps!
Lisa
Homeschooling since 2005!

jasntas
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by jasntas » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:41 am

Carin mentioned that when her kids were using a desk she found herself teaching 'on her knees'. We all have rolling desk chairs and I pull mine up next to the desk of the child I am working with. I actually traded chairs with my dd because her chair was lighter and my chair was heavier and harder to maneuver around the room. She likes the heavier chair as it seems to make her feel more stable. (Of course, if one is not leaning or constantly sitting on the side of one's chair this probably woudn't be an issue. ;) )

I know Carin also has the issue of little ones which, in addition to space, is another issue to consider.

I recently saw a blog where the mom showed pictures of her newly transformed living room. I can't remember where I saw it and I don't remember desks but I do remember the huge picture window with an adjustable table in front of it. I really like the idea of an adjustable table. That's another issue to consider with desks.

I originally purchased a couple of kid sized desks but last year my two were just spilling out of them. So we purchased a couple of bigger desks. The only real issue I have with them is the fact that I had to put little step stools under each desk because they were unable to put their feet flat on the ground if they have their chairs at the right height for them to comfortably write.

There is never a perfect solution, is there. ;)
Julie in MN wrote:Tammie, I'm just picturing you whizzing around the room on your lightweight, rolling chair! 8[] 8[]
I used to work in an office so I've had a lot of practice rolling around the room, in a chair that is. I didn't know that was a skill that would later come in handy. ;) 8[] 8[]
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TriciaMR
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:57 am

I have a friend who uses an exercise ball to move between her 3 kids. She sets the kids desks up so they're facing each other in a triangle, and then sits in the middle on an exercise ball.
Julie in MN wrote:Oh, my, what a feat! Was she on her belly LOL 8[]
Nope, she just sits on it... but, until a friend recommended this to her, she was hurting her knees on her wooden floor. (Those new wood-laminate floors you aren't suppose to have "rolling chairs" on, so she was kneeling by each desk as she went help her students.)

-Trish
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gratitude
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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:34 pm

jasntas wrote:I used to work in an office so I've had a lot of practice rolling around the room, in a chair that is. I didn't know that was a skill that would later come in handy. ;) 8[] 8[]
8[] 8[] Hi Tammie! Like Julie, I am laughing while I picture the rolling chair! My desks were in a room with carpet, but isn't it silly that it never dawned on me to use my computer chair and instead to teach on my knees. ;) Must have been my first week of home schooling! 8[]

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Re: OT- student desks?

Unread post by lisabee » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:33 pm

We were blessed with desks (the one piece kind) from a school being demolished. We have 2 kids right now, but are planning (God Willing) on 3...so my hubby snagged 3 desks. My oldest (kindergarten) ADORES his desk and willingly sits in it every day! The room we have right now could feasibly hold 2 of the desks...but not 3...so hopefully by the time we NEED 3 we'll have our addition built onto the house!

The desk gives my son a special place for school and keeps him focused.
Lisa M.
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