WHAT ARE JIMBO-FUN AND JUNIOR JIMBO-FUN?
In much the same way as a child learns to run by first developing the muscles and coordination to sit up, crawl, stand, walk and then run; the process of learning to write starts long before a child picks up a pencil. It relies on the child having developed basic pre-writing motor skills and being able to integrate these with visual skills to produce a fluent, legible script. We would not ask a child to run if they couldn't walk, yet we often ask children to form letters when they lack the foundation skills of handwriting.
These motor skills are the bedrock on which handwriting lies and any child lacking them is going to develop handwriting difficulties. It's essential to address the lack of motor skills before attempting to correct handwriting
In a class of 30, teachers often report that 25 have mastered handwriting but there are about 5 who seem to really struggle. In the vast majority of children this is down to two main factors:-
1) Poor pre-writing motor skills
2) Incorrect letter formation.
When children lack these skills they tend to:-
- Anchor themselves by flopping their head onto the table
- Lean into the table
- Wrap their legs around the leg of the chair.
- Hold the side of the table with their non-writing hand.
- Put excessive strain through their pencil and grip it really tightly.
- Complain of pain in their hands and frequently shake them
- Tire easily.
- Drift away from the left hand margin or write in the middle or one half of the page.
- Form their letters poorly
- Have poor spatial awareness with writing rising above or below the line.
- Lack spaces between words.
- Have an immature pencil grip or inadequate pencil grip
Jimbo-Fun was developed to aid early identification of children who lack these essential pre-writing motor skills and provide an effective "catch-up" intervention programme. It also works on developing correct letter formation. These two essential areas of handwriting are vital for developing an efficient script and preventing handwriting problems later on.
WHO DEVELOPED IT?
It was developed by Cathy Parvin , a trained general and orthopaedic nurse and Dr Jenny Hickling Community Paediatrician. It was then checked by a Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist and an Optometrist. Next it was extensively trialled by Specialist Teachers from Worcester Learning Support Team who now use and recommend it extensively throughout Worcestershire schools. Worcester Paediatric OT department have also viewed it and have added it to their list of recommended resources for schools.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The child is initially assessed and a base line score established. Together with an adult helper, they then work through six levels of daily exercises and letter formation.It takes between 15 -20 minutes a day and can either be administered as differentiated practice within the literacy lesson or as a separate intervention. It is essential it is done daily because the child needs to build up muscles and develop coordination similar to sportsmen training.
Please view the testimonial film. Contact us if you would like a FREE assessment sheet to see if your child/children would benefit from using Jimbo-Fun or Junior Jimbo-Fun or would like any further information.