handwriting without tears or reason for handwriting for kindergarten????
handwriting(15 posts) (10 voices)
I don't have experience with either of those curriculums but we started Delightful Handwriting this summer with my 5 yo ds. He loves it! I am starting a K year in September but he was begging to learn to write his letters so I ordered it and we have been doing it for a couple of months now. We only spend about 10 minutes a day on each lesson and he loves when he gets to copy words and not just letters.
I am sure others that have used HWT or RFH will chime.
If she already knows how to form her letters and just needs more practice, I would go with A Reason for Handwriting personally. (I have one of their workbooks, although I haven't started it with my ds yet.) Handwriting Without Tears is probably going to be more appropriate for a child just starting out or really struggling with letter formation (from what I've seen of it, haven't actually used it with my kids), and their font/style is very different from the usual ones, so it may be confusing to her if she has already learned her letter formation using something different. Or if more practice is more what she really needs, you could even just skip a workbook entirely and just start doing some simple copywork with her - starting with even one or two words each day and building up from there.
I agree with Jen. However, something pretty neat about Handwriting without Tears is the pattern the guide includes for making wooden letters - you can buy the sets already made, but they're so expensive. My dad made us two of the sets of wooden letters, and the kids had tons of fun through the years first making their letters before they wrote them, and then writing words across the living room floor. However, they also really loved the presentation pages done at the end of each week in A Reason for Handwriting; they really enjoyed choosing just the right page for a special person, coloring it, and carefully writing their verse.
I am using HWT for my DS5. He cannot form his letters on his own yet, so this is perfect for him. I bought just about every tool to help him learn how to form the letters, so it was a hefty price, but it is way cheaper than private school, and I will use it with his little brother down the road. Also, when we are finished with it I can sell it.
A Reason for Handwriting didn't work out for our kindergartners. However, we have used some of their other books with older students and they worked very well: books b and up. The K book just wasn't a good fit (it was too easy).
I prefer though now the books I make from PDF files I order through CurrClick from LightHome Publications: A to Z Animals was the one we used last year for K.
We used HWT and enjoyed it but I started the PreK book when dd was 3 years old so all the extra stuff on forming letters was very helpful. I will definately be using it again for ds when he starts to show interest. Their method of learning on the slate first makes it much more difficult to mess up the letters.
If your child already knows how to form most of the letters I would look into a copywork book like this one. If you sign up for their email list they send you a $5 coupon code which actually pays for one of their copywork books. You can get it for free! The books are very nicely done IMO and you can print out the pages as many times as you need.
We used HWT for my two oldest and I am now starting to use it with my ds, 5 and a half years old. For his age, it starts off with a very gentle schedule. I think that it does a wonderful job of teaching correct form. All my kids (even th 8 and 10 yr old LOVE the music CD's that go with). I just wish that HWT was Christian based; however, for copywork, we are now able to make copy sheets through Start Write with the HWT font style.
It really makes handwriting fun to learn and fun to teach as well.
I would like to chime in here too. I am interested in HWT also - i like especially the various methods used to teach letter formation, such as with the wooden pieces, the dough cards, the slate (especially). But they sell about a million products. And it's hard to decide what to get and what not to get. I can see starting the Pre-K book sometime this year with my 3.75 yo. He'll turn 4 in Nov. He's already asking what his school is going to be. But my son who'll be doing K this year already knows how to form most of his letters in basic ZB manuscript. I don't want to confuse him. Would doing HWT cause him problems? The reviews on it are so mixed!
Also, I have a DD who'll be starting 2nd grade this year. Her cursive is nice because I started her on cursive in Kindergarten, with a cursive-frist program of simplified cursive, but because she'd been playing around with manuscript previously, her print is now atrocious - all formed wacky and she still jumbles together her upper and lowercase letters - plus, even though her cursive is rather nice, she hates it and still prefers to print. But the print is terrible, and so everything has backfired for her. I don't know what to do to correct her print. I was thinking of using HWT with her, but I can't figure out what book to use. I contacted HWT via email to ask their rec on this, and they sent me a stupid response telling me to try either the first or the second grade books, but that's what I was asking them to help me decide about, then the email proceeded to try to sell me like a hundred more of their expensive items. Plus with HWT, you need those TM's to train them in the little stories and techniques, etc...
Amy - I had a similar experience with my ds. I started Cursive First with him, he did it in "grade" 1 and (a slightly different version) in grade2. His cursive was nice (assuming he was copying a sample....) - but anytime he was writing on his own, it was this horride pre-school non-taught print. And my daughter couldn't even write a clear letter with the program we were using....
So - I did a bunch of thinking, etc - and we used Penny Gardner's Italic handwriting program. The cool thing with it, is after you do the Italic Print, it is a small job to learn a few joins, and you have Italic cursive. I also suddenly realized that my handwriting is also Italics (well, roughly... I did the standard print in school - cursive in grade 3... and in grade 6 found a book my mom had bought, I guess to improve her own handwriting... and adjusted my handwriting with that.... so it tends to be a mix of all that!)
One thing that was cool with doing the Penny Gardner's Italic program was that she has videos on Youtube... so I let HER teach the kids! They liked doing the video program... and it worked well.
My son's writing is much better (a little less "impressive" than the cursive...). My daughter's still needs some work - but when you consider I couldn't get a single letter (in the style we were doing) last year - it is much improved.
Oh, I also found a free italics font - and a program that goes with the font to add in the joins if you need the italic handwriting. It isn't identical to the "font" used by Penny Gardner - but it is close enough!
Suzuki mom, do you think it would confuse her though, to go to another style of handwriting entirely? and should i just carry on with my son doing manuscript?
there are too many options! no one else in our family has ever learned or used italic. my oldest dd had used d'nealian when she was K in a PS. Because she already knew all her manuscript letters, she just about lost it, and hated the d'nealian style. we moved during her K year, and the new school didn't teach it, so that was that! if i intro'd it now, for the 3rd and/or 4th kid(s), i am not sure it'd fly...
sigh. i don't know.
when I was a kid, in Gov't School... you learned Print in Grade 1, and Cursive in Grade 3. It didn't seem to confuse anyone...
So no, I don't think having done Cursive in K and Print/Manuscript/Italic or whatever in Grade 2... Kids are resiliant.
If Italic isn't something you'd be interested in, then that's fine. Teach her Manuscript, and also still require copywork in Cursive. (so she doesn't lose it.) I let my son "lose" cursive, because I'll teach him the joined Italic (probably this year)
Sorry I'm not much help otherwise!
suzuki mom, i actually just spent some time watching the youtube videos, and looking at her samples. then i saw the currclick sale, so for 7 bucks, i just bought it. it actually looks lovely and easy. thanks. i think my two kiddos and i will give it a try, since my writing is pretty messy, too, lol!
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