A common complaint among home educators is the difficulty in getting their students to practice handwriting skills. It seems there’s nothing more dull than sitting down for a long page of copy work. In our family, we’ve tried many programs, all touting the *fun* and *excitement* that children will have by using their system. Not one of them delivered.
That all changed with the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. My son has been using the 3rd Grade Program for several weeks, and while I wouldn’t call it “fun and exciting”, he absolutely does NOT dread doing his handwriting pages! This is a major obstacle for him to overcome. He’s struggled with printing all his young life, lacking the fine motor skills to do it easily. (For the record, it isn’t just holding pencils that is troublesome, but using scissors and similar tools as well.) Suddenly, with using Handwriting Without Tears, he’s breezing through his exercises and starting to write with confidence.
Just a few of the opportunities in Handwriting Without Tears:
- Video lessons online
- A+ Worksheet Maker
- Handwriting Proficiency Screener
- Student & Teacher Workbooks for 36 Lessons
- Cross-curricular and ELL connections
- Aligned to National and Common Core State Standards
- Affordability – Teacher’s Edition is $9.25, Student Workbook is $8.25
Why does Handwriting Without Tears work so much better than other programs? To quote their website, “The Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies for your classroom. The program follows research that demonstrates children learn more effectively by actively doing, with materials that address all styles of learning.”
What this statement translates to is that kids practice forming the letters in a variety of ways, using multiple senses, in humorous, non-threatening ways that let each student achieve small successes every day. My son feels that the exercise pages are achievable. I believe it is largely because the letter and word formations are broken down into such small bites that he knows he is having success from the top of the page. In addition, the instructional method is such that errors are practically nonexistent. He has had difficulty with letter reversals and writing from the “bottom up”, but those bad habits have disappeared. Really! I’ve watched him move his pencil from one line to the next, following the HWT guides, and it has corrected his poor print habits!
Handwriting Without Tears is geared for Kindergarten through 3rd grade, and while I’m grateful for getting to repair the damage done in early years, I really wish I had had this tool from the beginning. HWT has even released a tablet app for early learners that appears amazing in getting kids enthused about writing, and getting it right from the start.
Lessons for the teacher are easy to follow, with lots of ideas for expanding the learning and offering even more opportunities to integrate handwriting skills into the daily program. For under$20, a teacher and student set can be purchased that will take you through a whole year without the fighting to practice handwriting. That is well worth it to me!
I had thought that we would be stuck with poor handwriting forever, and that cursive writing would be lost from the start, but I really do have new faith in our ability to make handwriting an easy part of our routine. Don’t let the simplicity of the cover and design fool you – this curriculum is pure gold!
You can read more experiences right HERE, at SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com, and in the words of Reading Rainbow’s Levar Burton, “Don’t just take my word for it!” Read these other great reviews by parent educators like me!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for
my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with
the FTC Regulations.