Handwriting curriculum

When I was in school handwriting was torture.  The teachers were always telling me how awful my writing was and forced me to use those awful grips and told me I had to hold the pencil above the grip.  I have never even been able to use chopsticks properly because I was always told to hold them like you hold a pencil but I can’t hold a pencil right!!

So a good handwriting curriculum was important to me.  There are several religious options out there but I wanted something that would really give Maddie a good foundation.  I think I first heard of Handwriting Without Tears (www.hwtears.com) through Old Schoolhouse Magazine(www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com).  Almost everything I know comes from them!  Anyway, HWT was developed by an occupational therapist and it just makes sense!  The Teachers guide is a must, it explains how to teach their method of “building” the letters and the why’s also.  HWT works well with lefties too! 

Another great thing is that HWT has teaching ideas and products for visual, kinesthetic and auditory learners.  The wet, dry, try method works well with Maddie and TT.  They each have a small slate that they can write a letter on, trace over it with a wet sponge cube, trace with a dry sponge cube and write it again with their little chalk.  TT likes to dip her finger in warm water to trace the letter.  HWT does sell sponge cubes and small chalk.  The chalk, IMO, is worth the small price of about 2.50…but I think next time I will just buy some cheap sponges and cut them up myself.  I also saved $ by using the template in the teacher’s guide and making my own lines and curves out of old cereal boxes!  This is another element of the curriculum where the child “builds”  the capital letters with big lines, small lines, big curves and small curves.  

For school teachers out there, this company offers discount on larger orders and is used in public and private schools nationwide.  Even Sidwell Friends (where Obama’s girls attend) endorses it!

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  • MB  On March 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Wow, I wish I would have used them. My daughter, who is left handed and has trouble with her pencil grip and has autism probably would have done well with this program. She is now working with an occ. therapist and she’ll be in 6th grade, so I’m probably past the point of using this for her. However, I will have to keep this in mind for my other kids. My 2nd born does really well without all the extras. But my son might need this. He is alot like his big sis. Do you still struggle with pencil holding? You know, I’ve found it isn’t a huge deal. The school told me to get my daughter to type instead because handwriting is laborious for her and really, most everything now is done on a computer. So we’ve done that and its helped a ton.

    • walkinintheway  On March 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      I would ask the OT if he/she is familiar with it, HWT actually has tutors who specifically help remediate kids who have a hard time with writing and alot of them are OT’s. I don’t know if I would say I still struggle with pencil holding, i switch my grip alot because my hand gets tired quickly but that has always been a problem for me and I probably have arthritis. I think that is great if typing works best for your daughter, if it helps you guys to be less frustrated. For myself, I want to still teach handwriting, I feel like it is an oft forgotten subject in this computer age. For some reason even though it has been difficult for me, I still love handwritten letters and I just want to make it easier for my girls than it was for me!

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