I was so excited to have the opportunity to review “Handwriting Without Tears” for the Schoolhouse Review Crew recently. I received the 2nd Grade, brand new editions of “Printing Power” along with the 2nd Grade “Printing Teacher’s Guide” and the newly added “Kick Start Cursive.” The brand new editions are aligned with Common Core State Standards and focus on multi-sensory lessons for students of all learning styles. They have also added cross curricular activities for integration across the subjects. Check out this pdf file of the “Teacher’s Edition” to get an idea of the scope and sequence and 2nd grade lessons covered. The “Teacher’s Edition” also comes with a passcode that gives you exclusive access to a plethora of online extras:instructional resources, school to home connections (still useful for us home schoolers, I found), new tips and additional handwriting exercises.
We began using Handwriting Without Tears the very day after it came in the mail. Each letter has clues as to how to properly write it. For example, to write a lowercase n, you start at the top and dive down, then swim back up and over, then swim back down. Voila…lowercase n! These clues really clicked with my 2nd grade son. He has had difficulty remembering how to write a lowercase g forever. When I remind him that it starts with Magic c he can figure it out now.
I can’t wait till we get to “Diver Letters” on page 82. This 2nd grade son of mine is very intelligent, but has had extreme difficulty remembering how to recognize and write letters, which leads to reading being later than he would like. I have definitely seen an improvement in is recollection of letters using the tricks taught in Handwriting Without Tears. One of the reasons I believe we have already seen growth, is as I mentioned before, there are a variety of learning modules employed. Handwriting Without Tears provides active learning through visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic instruction. We have done a 15 minute (which holds his 7 year old attention) lesson 4 days of the week, with so much more yet to to be discovered. They even have an app available for Apple and Android devices, the “Wet-Dry-Try” app, which I think I will look into purchasing for a little school on the go. This app retails for only $4.99 at through the App Store and Google Play. They also have a CD, that retails for $13.75 and includes 25 songs. He loves music, so this just might be another worthwhile purchase.
He has been delighted to be write actual words using the letters he is familiar with writing. These words also reinforce previously learned letters alongside the new letters he has been working on. Video Lessons are also just a click away at hwtears.com/videos with songs and dances to reinforce skills. The Teacher’s Edition will have a smiley face icon if there are additional resources available online at www.hwtears.com. I appreciated that there was a punctuation lesson very early on early on. My son is excited to begin “real” writing and he used his new punctuation skills in a letter to his cousins.
The “Kick Start Cursive” was added because many 2nd grade students are anxious to begin trying their hand at cursive. Well, this has definitely been an incentive for my youngest to finish the consumable, soft bound workbook because he wants to get to that cursive book sitting there waiting for him! We will continue to use this book in it’s entirety so that he can get there!
About half way through the workbook, he will be writing whole sentences in the form of poems, questions, paragraphs, letters with even a little Greek and Latin root words thrown in. There is quite a bit of geography to reinforce capitalization and grammar lessons that will touch on nouns (singular and plural), irregular verbs, sentence structure using a subject, verb and phrase. They keep the lessons interesting with many new subjects and facts.
Handwriting Without Tears is a spectacular product and the costs are minimal:2nd Grade Teacher’s Edition, $9.25, Printing Power student workbook, $8.25 or $10.25 if you want the Kick Start Cursive thrown in! Very affordable for what you get. I wish I had discovered this earlier in the year. If you are still not sure, you can visit the Handwriting Without Tears website and watch a video demo or click on the link below to read more reviews of all the grade levels and the app too.
Happy Handwriting Without Tears in My Home Today!