Handwriting has always been a bit of a struggle in the Walden household. I have one student with a physical writing difficulty and one learner with a creative difficulty.
Creative difficulty= my sweet girl is super creative and artsy, not so interested in coloring in the lines or writing on the lines. She would prefer her paper be beautiful rather than legible. I would prefer both!!
I was excited to try the newly updated Handwriting Without Tears cursive writing program with her- I had heard great things about the program, but honestly we have never followed an actual curriculum for handwriting. I had deferred to a more fluid, copywork-type learning pattern, which looking back might have been contributing to our difficulties.
We received the newly updated 3rd Grade set from Handwriting Without Tears including the Teacher’s Guide ($9.95) and the Student Workbook ($8.95). I have to admit, the Teacher’s Guide scared me a bit at first- it is HUGE!! At over 170 pages it is almost twice the size of the student workbook- but to my pleasant surprise it is chock full of amazing teaching ideas and information.
Once we received the set, I introduced the idea of our new writing program to my creative learner. She was less than thrilled with the idea of it, but reluctantly agreed to give it a go. I planned for us to do one lesson a week for our usual 4 day school week, thinking the consistency would help us get into this new program.
The weekend before we began, I delved into the Teacher’s Guide, hoping to get a good grasp on the teaching method before introducing it to her. The first think I noticed, which I loved, was the simple style of lettering that is used to teach cursive in this program. The transition from print to cursive is so simple and I knew the simplicity would go over well with Miss. Creative.
I also really appreciated the explanation of why, in our technology driven world, teaching cursive to our students is still so very important. Not only is it a faster way to write, it also naturally helps students with letter spacing, which Miss. Creative has always struggled with.
Our first lesson was not without a bit of struggle. I have always employed the “it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be your best work” philosophy in our schooling. I think Miss. Creative and I had a differing opinion on what “her best” was going to be. But, after a few struggles, she really settled in and has been very much enjoying her lessons (much to my surprise and happiness).
So here’s what we LOVE:
– We love the Letter Stories– these are cute stories that help students remember important information about those trickier letters. Her favorite is “Stinky M”- totally typical for a Walden.
– She loves the simple, quick lessons (only 15 minutes a day). They are just enough information and practice without being overkill and busy work.
– I love, love, love all the great learning ideas in the Teacher’s Guide. Each lesson is very simply and completely laid out and so very easy to follow. They include additional information including connections to other learning opportunities.
– She loves the simple style of the lettering (I knew she would!!). She is so happy to not have loopty loops and curlicues.
– I love the helpful videos, teaching tools, worksheet maker, and so many other great teacher helps.
– We both love the “Use it, Don’t lose it” ideas in the back of the Teacher’s Guide. These are ideas for students to do over the summer or long breaks to help maintain their handwriting skills. I have included some of them in our daily lessons to help mix things up and these have been a huge hit.
What we didn’t LOVE so much:
– Nothing!! I know- it never seems like a balanced review if you don’t give positives and negatives, but we really haven’t found anything we didn’t like about this program.
A little bit about the Handwriting Without Tears company:
For over 30 years, Handwriting Without Tears has been offering their multi-sensory, fully integrated handwriting curriculum that includes hands on learning, music, technology links, workbooks, student assessments, amazing expanded Teacher’s Guides and so much more. Their “easy-to-teach” and “easy-to-learn” programs allows for success for teachers and mastery for students in a simple, enjoyable way.
Connect with Handwriting Without Tears:
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 the opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
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