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Handwriting Without Tears Review

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Handwriting without Tears Logo

Handwriting has really caused a LOT of tears in our house… My son absolutely hates writing.  We have fought and cried over it way too many times.  I have tried a lot of different things to help him.  His writing is atrocious. He does a jumbled mix of lower case and capital letters. He is also left handed- which makes things a little harder.  For the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we had the chance to review the new Handwriting Without Tears K-4 curriculum. I begged and pleaded to be allowed to review this one.  We need help in this area!

We received the 2nd Grade Teacher’s Guide ($9.25), the 2nd Grade Printing Power Workbook ($8.25) and the Kick Start Cursive book for review.  The cursive book is included in the Printing Power Plus Set ($10.25).

HWOT 2nd grade Teacher's Guide
HWOT 2nd grade Workbook

The Teacher’s manual is full of activities to enhance the program.  I liked the different things that they recommended. They call it “Active Teaching”- which is really our style around here. It brings the workbook to life by adding in different interactive learning strategies and activities on each page. They incorporate music, movement activities that use the whole body, building letters with various materials, letter stories, air writing, and more…  They have a variety of writing activities from poems, paragraphs, to word activities. They are also teaching sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and numbers too.

Some things that I liked in the curriculum- they really teach the kids how to write correctly in fun ways with pictures & stories to help them remember.  They group similar letters together to help them see that they start in a similar way like the “Magic C” letters.  They all start like a c and go from there (c, a, d, g).  I like the 2 lines that they use to write words.  I think it simplifies writing from three lines with a dotted line in the middle.  It makes more sense to me & to my son.

Now, I said that my son was crying over writing.  When I gave him MORE writing practice, he was not happy to start with.  However, the first day of doing it, we did some of the fun things that go along with it.  He said- “that’s not so bad”.  I know that may not seem like much, but from this kid, that’s a LOT!  I was asking him today what he liked about it- he said, “it’s easy and it doesn’t take too long”.  When asked what he disliked- he said “nothing, really”.  The lessons are brief and simple.  But they teach a lot in them.  I like a program that is short and to the point.  I like something that doesn’t cause a fight.  We haven’t cried over handwriting since starting this program.  I have also noticed an improvement in his writing- a slight improvement, but it is happening… Maybe someday I will be able to read his handwriting.  Sigh.
As a Mom buying curriculum, I am very impressed with the price.  I will be purchasing it for my daughter as well.  I am a happy momma!

One thing I would like to get to enhance the program is the Rock, Rap, Tap and Learn CD- they refer to this a lot in the book.  We did not purchase it, but did use some of the samples that they have online. The songs are really fun and I think I will end up buying it- my kids enjoyed the songs a lot!


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  1. I have a 6 year old daughter with Down Syndrome, and HWT has come very highly recommended from our occupational therapist. Through a private fund at therapy, I have received most of the resources for Pre-K. I have not fully implemented it yet, but like what I see at this point. Some of the manipulatives/extras can be made more inexpensively than purchasing from HWT. For young kids with learning difficulties, I would highly recommend the wood pieces.

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