Monday, March 4, 2013

Handwriting Without Tears - Cursive

Remember last fall when I told you that we were beginning cursive?  Well, I wanted to update you and show you it was going.  We actually started cursive writing because our therapist recommended it.  She believes that many children often find it easier to write in cursive because they don't have to lift their hands as often. I have to say that I am finding that to be true. 

Gess is really loving writing in cursive.  Once she learns a letter in cursive, that is the only way she writes it.  It also making her overall writing more legible.  Gess still struggles with spacing her letters appropriately when printing but since cursive letters are hooked together it easier to see where one word begins and another word ends.

To learn cursive our therapist recommended the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum and as you all may know I was already fond of them.  They were the curriculum that Gess first learned to write with.  In fact they are the only handwriting material we have used.  I love their use of manipulatives and shared about the Mat Man  method they use to prove how this approach translates on to the paper.  That is how Gess learned to draw people. (Look how young she was!)

 We do go pretty slow through the curriculum because I want Gess to be confident in her writing before moving on. I do not want her starting to confuse the letters. So far Gess knows, c, a, g, d, h, t, p, e, l and s, all in lower case.  Here is some of her work which I think is pretty good.

We actually taught the s out of order so Gess could sign her name.  She has been trying to sign her name in cursive for quite some time.  I found some worksheets where she wrote her name at the top.  You can see the progression as she learned.  Look how sloppy her printed s was in the first one.  Then she started to try to write in cursive all by herself.  As you can see she had the concept but not training.  Then she learned the appropriate way and did better, and with practice she now does great!

I think that last signature is neater than many adult ones. I love this curriculum and think it is especially helpful for kids who had special needs.  Whether your child is just learning to print or ready for cursive I think Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) is an excellent curriculum and they are reasonably priced too.

I do want to mention that since we started this book HWT has recently updated their material and now its all new.  I haven't personally seen the new curriculum yet but our Schoolhouse Review Crew just did a review of them. The reviews should cover many grade levels, not just cursive.  I was not a part of the review and was not asked to share it with you but since I love HWT and Gess has excelled using it through her entire school process I wanted you to know about it.  So, if you want to learn more, as always visit the Handwriting Without Tears website or see what members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about the new materials by clicking on the banner below.


1 comment:

Anna said...

My daughter is legally blind and I have found HWT most helpful in learning to write her letters! I am hoping one day she will be able to at least write her name legibly, but really want to encourage more than we even dream is possible and let her show us what she is capable. That's the best way right?!


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