I've written before about my son's atrocious penmanship. He is now 8 years old, has recently started 3rd grade, and all too often, I still need to decipher what he has written.
I have gotten him some copywork books. I still refuse to pay for a penmanship program like HWT. Spending that much money on handwriting practice is something I just won't do. I'm not thrilled with needing to use copywork, to tell the truth. He obviously needs it, though, so we'll do it. I bought some of the Happy Scribe copywork books when they were on sale. I got 12 on world History, 7 on animals, 15on sports, a few that came as singles - Irish Proverbs, Weather Folklore, Lord of the Rings, Rocks & Minerals, and 19 books of quotes, all for less than $5. Most of these are things he is interested in or that we are studying for school, with the exceptions of some of the sports & the quotes. Hopefully, the interest in the topic or the connection to his schoolwork will keep him doing them without much complaint.
He is doing one page per day. So far, it's going ok. He isn't thrilled with doing the copywork, but he does it. Since it's just one page per day, he doesn't fight much about doing it. Of course, this is not the only thing we are doing to improve his penmanship. He has now gotten to the point where I expect his writing to be legible. If I cannot read his schoolwork, he must rewrite it.
He is still doing his spelling words the same as least year, spell with tiles, then write on whiteboard, then finger spell. He also writes his dictation sentences on the whiteboard. However, we have added one extra aspect to his spelling. He also writes his dictation sentences in a notebook. I read them to him, and he writes them on the board. That time is more for practicing listening skills & improving memory. Then, I write the sentences in his notebook, leaving a few blank lines between each. He then uses the blank lines to write the sentences. The point of my writing them in first is to show him a nicely written copy for him to try to emulate.
While all of his schoolwork must be legible, the copywork & his dictation sentences are to be his best effort. Hopefully, this year will prove to be the last that we need to focus on penmanship at all. My daughter has decided that she wants to do some of the copywork books, as well. She thinks her penmanship needs work.