Handwriting Without Tears Homeschool Review
by Gina S.
My daughter building
I have used this curriculum for one year at the Preschool and Kindergarten levels, and it is well-loved by both of my children who have used it. We plan to continue with this program through the next levels.
The student workbooks are very affordable, with a clean layout and some features that just make so much sense! For instance, rather than offering one sample letter to copy, the book has evenly spaced samples across the page. This way, the child is always copying a good model rather than looking at his or her last attempt, growing progressively worse across the page. The pages feature fun and simple illustrations that allow for coloring if time allows. The books are durable and made of high-quality paper that has a nice feel for writing; they also lay flat fairly easily.
I purchased the teacher manuals but wold recommend saving money by skipping these unless you are in need of a lot of instruction for working with a learner who needs many approaches and reinforcements. I did not look back at the manuals after the first week of using the program.
One downside, if you see it that way, is that Handwriting Without Tears uses a different approach to lines for writing: a middle and bottom line but no top line. You will need to teach your child to also recognize the more traditional three-line method that
is bound to show up on worksheets for every other subject. I have not found this to be a problem.
Additionally, the handwriting style is not quite like any other style I have seen. At first this bothered me, but now I see that it makes for a much more intuitive transition to cursive, as well as some built-in reminders for correct letter formation. If you want to see their rationale for the style used, check their website or a teacher's manual.
My daughter, who completed the Pre-K program, especially enjoyed the large wooden letter-building blocks. I did not expect them to be so well-liked when I borrowed a set from a friend, and had planned to simply make paper versions. Looking back, I would suggest investing in them for young writers; they really do have a nice feel and look to them in natural wood. Many of the other HWT materials are unnecessary or found more cheaply elsewhere, e.g., small magnadoodles, small chalkboards, bits of sponge, short pencils, and more.
Overall, this is a very affordable, easy-to-use, child-friendly handwriting program with great results. I highly recommend it.Excellent review of Handwriting Without Tears, Gina! I know about this curriculum but your review has given me a very good understanding of how the program is set up. Other parents looking for a homeschool handwriting program will definitely find your review helpful. Blessings, Heather :)