Homeschool Advice Needed

For those of you who are a little more experienced in the homeschooling area, I need a little advice....

When I started hs 4 yr old JR, my intent was to focus on phonics and reading this year and writing next year. However, he is reading quite well already, and wanting to learn to write now. So I have started letting him use some writing workbooks in just a relaxed, introductory manner. These involve tracing numbers and letters (dotted lines), then trying to do it freehand next to the traces. It is probably worth mentioning here that JR is a perfectionist. If it isn't perfect, he will beat himself into the ground trying until he thinks it is. He just can't make himself stop. While this can be a good thing at times, it is resulting in very unpleasant writing lessons, as he sits there crying, getting discouraged, and trying and trying and trying again. Mind you, that is with no pressure from me. In fact, I have to make him stop when his frustration gets too out of hand, because he just won't let it go. But, taking it away will usually result in a complete loss of control, where I have to sit with him and encourage him to take deep breaths to calm down. What do I do?

I am perfectly content to wait until next year, when his fine motor skills are a bit more developed, but he is literally begging to learn to write. The problem is that he tends to do things backwards and/or sideways. Is there a manual I should use that will help him, or does he just have to keep practicing. Should I limit him to 1-2 a week, or just let him "play" at his own pace? I am just not sure about this one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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