Friday, February 22, 2013

Handwriting Without Tears Homeschool Review

Handwriting without Tears Logo

When my husband and I decided to homeschool our children, I never gave much thought to handwriting as a course.  I really didn't remember doing handwriting in school and thought I'd just have the kids practice on their own.  I really did not realize how hard it can be to make letters correctly for some children!  Now, let me introduce a handwriting course that works wonders!

Handwriting Without Tears is an easy to teach(so wonderfully easy!), easy to learn(my daughter loves it) curriculum for kids.  They have a great teaching program to take you from kindergarten all the way up to grade 5 to help your children learn.  Recently the books have all been redone!  HWT(Handwriting without tears) also offers a preK program called Get Set for School.  One of the many wonderful things about this handwriting curriculum is that it is used daily for only about 15 minutes.  In that time your child will learn how to properly form a new letter or practice on one they've done before.  If you purchase their manipulatives to go with the younger grades your child will learn how to form the letters first by using their hands and straight or curved wood pieces and then with pencil and paper!

I was blessed to get to review the second grade course with my oldest daughter.  She just turned 8 less than a month ago and had finished already(in one semester!) her entire years worth of first grade handwriting.  I was so pleased to get to try out HWT as we had heard about it through our occupational therapist in regards to another with learning disabilities.  We were told this was an excellent course for those with problems learning and those without.  It is even being used in some schools now!  We were planning on using this with our other girl at the start of the new school year so as not to switch midway through.  Now I think I'm ready just to move all of my kids over to this!

The student books for grade 2.
As you can see in the above picture, we received the second grade Printing Power as well as the Kick Start Cursive.  Since HWT just revamped their curriculum we got to test out the new books as well as the cursive!  I really was not looking forward to starting cursive with my kids as I remember hardly nothing and really don't write in cursive except for my signature.  This book makes it so easy!  I'm relearning the letters right now as my daughter works through the printing power book.  Then, when she starts the cursive I will at least know how to show her how to properly form the letters!

A page from the Kick Start Cursive book.
Above in the picture you can see a page out of the Kick Start Cursive book that is part of the second grade course.  While my daughter has not started this book yet, I have looked through it and am very impressed with how easily they are teaching cursive.  I have learned cursive before but remembered none of the proper formations.  I have looked through the book and practiced forming my letters properly.  It really is very easy to learn from this and I know instead of dreading the day that we'll start cursive am looking forward to it!

If you would like to see sample pages from the second grade print power as well as the kick start cursive book please feel free to visit this page on the HWT website!

This page comes from the Printing Power book.
As you can see above in a page from Printing Power, the books shows them the correct way to form the letters step by step.  It then has them practice the letter by itself and in words.  This is perfect for my daughter.  I looked at the younger age group books as well and they are much the same but with more practice per letter to ensure that they learn it correctly.

The first thing I noticed about the curriculum is the fact that the lines are different than what I've always used. I had never seen papers with only two lines before.  To someone who went to public school and has always used the bold line, dotted line, bold line form of paper to learn my letters this threw me for a bit.  My daughter had no such qualms though.  She seems to think the elimination of a line is easier to work with.  When I asked her how this was different than her other one she said it was easier because she didn't have to worry about all the lines.  She had always struggled with making all of her letters the correct height and now does not seem to have any difficulties.

I was very pleased when browsing the HWT website that I could also buy notebooks or paper in a variety of line sizes for my kids for extra practice as well as spelling tests, copy work, etc.  I would recommend the paper to go with the course if you plan on having your kids do writing outside of their books.  This has helped to not confuse my daughter who did not like going back to the other paper for her spelling tests.  We purchased a notebook of this paper and her spelling tests have become much neater and her letters formed correctly with this.

I am sure by now that you are wondering on the costs of this program.  It actually is a very reasonable one!  The second grade set that we received including the Kick Start Cursive with the Printing Power book is $10.25 while the teachers book for these can be purchased for $9.25.  This can easily be used for more than one child by purchasing more workbooks.

To learn more about the other grades and also an app for your Android phones or the Ipad please check out the TOS Crew members reviews.  We don't have either of those wonderful devices, but are greatly enjoying the books.  You will find reviews for grade K-3.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with  a copy of this curriculum for free in association with the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I was not compensated in any other way besides this curriculum.  All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own and not influenced in anyway.  I was not coerced to write a positive review but rather wrote my own thoughts(or those of my children) on the curriculum.  I am disclosing this to be in compliance with the FTC Regulations. Pin It Now!

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