Monday, February 18, 2013

Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 3 Cursive: A TOS Crew Review

Handwriting without Tears Logo
From their website:
Our curriculum is designed to make handwriting easy to teach, and easy to learn, in just 15 minutes a day. The Handwriting Without Tears printing and cursive programs draw from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies. Research shows that children learn more effectively by actively doing, with materials that address all styles of learning." 

HWOT 3rd Grade Workbook

The NEW Teacher's guide - $9.95  offer the latest resources and strategies for teaching handwriting in only 15 minutes per day.
  • Technology links for lesson extensions and support 
  • Video links to demonstrate lessons and activities 
  • Curriculum connections 
  • More to Learn to extend each lesson

NEW Edition! Third Grade Cursive Student Workbook - $8.95

AEP Distinguished Achievement Award: 2008 WinnerThis workbook is for third grade students or those working at that level.
  • Cursive Warm-Ups facilitate easy transition from printing to cursive.
  • Lesson plans incorporate letter review with words and sentences.
  • Activity pages combine handwriting instruction with paragraph, poem, composition, and language arts activities.

Some othe members of the TOS Review Crew were reviewing these editions as well - check them out!

Bentz Test Laboratory has never put handwriting at the top of their favorite subjects...  BUT, it is a crucial skill to master.
We struggled to find a program that "fits" - until we were introduced to Handwriting Without Tears (or as grandma likes to call it around here..."handwriting without pain").
For this review, my tester was introduced to  Grade 3-Cursive Writing -.  It was her first exposure to cursive writing, and truthfully - I was dreading it a bit.  Her letter formation can be, how should I say this - "inventive" at times. 
Handwriting Without Tears made it easy to teach!  The Teacher's Guide is filled with helpful teaching information, tricks and resources.  They even address the "Importance of Cursive" in the age of technology (you may have heard that many schools are completely leaving cursive instruction out of their scope and sequence!).   Here's a couple of points to consider:
  • Printers write slower that cursive-writers - very important skill for being able to quickly take notes in high school/college classe and essay entrance exams.
  • Cursive writing uses both your right and left hemispheres of your brain at once.
  • Cursive builds pathways and improves mental effectiveness.
  • Can also over be used to overcome printing troubles.

Right off, I knew the "Letter Stories" would resonate with her - teaching the correct letter formation with a memorable story and simple verbal cue.  For instance "Zip the Tent" - a reminder to keep your "t" zipped closed so that animals will mind their own business.

Another feature both my tester and I loved - the lessons are short!  Only 15 minutes a day.  Plus, each lesson features a "Connection" in the Teacher's Guide that lets you link the lesson to a math, social studies,  language arts, or science lesson.  Videos like this are available online to help teach as well!

The Teacher's Guide also offers "A Click Away" - a special section of their website, just for Teacher’s Guide users (password protected). Includes downloads, extra practice pages, and additional activities and lessons.  (worth the minimal investment on the Teacher's Guide alone - it is filled with handwriting help!) 

This is a company committed to helping you teach your children handwriting.  Every learning style is addressed, teacher support is offered, and the cost is kept affordable.  Additional training and materials are available at their website.   But, best of all - this program gets results!  My children have mastered every lesson, and their handwriting is the proof.

Handwriting Without Tears changed our view of handwriting!  It has become the much-requested subject (instead of the dreaded one...) The smile says it all!

See what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.
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  1. Cursive is something we haven't tackled like we should have. I now have teens with less than wonderful cursive. I have started HWOT with my young ones and plan to continue through with the cursive.

  2. I just love how you call your gang the "test laboratory". Handwriting without tears is one of my favorite handwriting products.