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Callirobics vs. Writebrain Potential or other


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#1 merry gardens

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

Has anyone here used either of these programs? Has anyone seen approaches like this to writing tried by their children's occupational therapists? :bigear:

I'm trying to decide on a handwriting program for my children, (including my 9 yo son with dyslexia.) Every cursive handwriting book I've seen uses words that are well beyond his reading level, except the programs that only teach letters formation. He's still on very controlled reading with the O-G reading program we use. My search turned up these programs that work on stroke formations rather than letter formations and sentences. They sound promising. My other children could use improvement with the neatness and flow to their writing too.

Here's the websites: http://www.callirobics.com/index.html

http://www.retrainth....com/learn.html

Any experience with these?

#2 NCW

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:06 PM

I looked over the WriteBrain website, but despite all the narrative I had difficulty discerning exactly what the program covers for $89 for each level. Their idea of learning to read through writing may be very similar to the Writing Road to Reading, or Spell to Write and Read programs.

I own and use the Callirobics materials with my son on and off. For a while two years ago we did it every day, during a period when he was balking significantly at handwriting. My son didn't mind doing the exercises, and actually liked the music. He hasn't been complaining about writing lately, so I guess it just fell by the wayside. He does, however, continue to dictate longer papers. One goal this year is to master keyboarding.

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#3 merry gardens

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:27 PM

I looked over the WriteBrain website, but despite all the narrative I had difficulty discerning exactly what the program covers for $89 for each level. Their idea of learning to read through writing may be very similar to the Writing Road to Reading, or Spell to Write and Read programs.

I own and use the Callirobics materials with my son on and off. For a while two years ago we did it every day, during a period when he was balking significantly at handwriting. My son didn't mind doing the exercises, and actually liked the music. He hasn't been complaining about writing lately, so I guess it just fell by the wayside. He does, however, continue to dictate longer papers. One goal this year is to master keyboarding.

hths,
NCW

Thanks for your response!

I'm leaning towards Callirobics because it's half the price of the other. The two programs look rather similar to me. I'm glad to read your son liked the music and didn't mind doing the exercises on Callirobics. Thanks for sharing your experience with the program.

#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 11:06 PM

Hey Merry, can I dredge this up and ask if you ever decided on Callirobics? Our OT used it one day with dd and has never picked it up again. I tend to think it's because she (the OT) is a little hairbrained, hehe. The materials seemed a little young, so I was looking at the 7-14 set. And if you bought that and don't like it, I'd be happy to buy it from you. :)

#5 merry gardens

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:45 PM

Hey Merry, can I dredge this up and ask if you ever decided on Callirobics? Our OT used it one day with dd and has never picked it up again. I tend to think it's because she (the OT) is a little hairbrained, hehe. The materials seemed a little young, so I was looking at the 7-14 set. And if you bought that and don't like it, I'd be happy to buy it from you. :)

Yes, I decided on Callirobics. :) It's a fun little handwriting program. Thanks for the offer to buy it, but we're still using it. It's a ten week program. We're repeating the exercises again from the begining. Apart from the handwriting exercises, my children enjoy the music cd too so I plan to keep it.

For you, (and anyone else who is interested) here's a little update: When we started the program, I was surprised to discover that my son could not make some of the rounded arcade strokes apart from forming letters. He can now. :) As we repeat the program, there's a dramatic difference from the curved shapes he drew ten weeks ago.

This year I decided to devote some of my homeschooling energy to nicer penmanship for all. I did a fair amount of research on this topic since I started this thread back in August. It might be the Callirobics program, or the pens, or something else we're doing, or a combination of all of the above, but something is working. He writes with appropriate pressure now. My other children enjoy handwriting more and write neater this year too. I plan to eventually move to other materials that work with cursive letters (rather than just strokes) but we'll continue with some Callirobic exercises as warm-ups and use the Callirobics cd as backround music for penmanship for the rest of the school year.

Edited by merry gardens, 26 November 2010 - 12:48 PM.


#6 OhElizabeth

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 04:43 PM

Well good, I'm glad to hear it's going so well! I'm definitely going to pursue it. Dd's handwriting has improved DRAMATICALLY with vision therapy, but it still has a ways to go. At least now she can see the stuff to reproduce it. We tried the handwriting pages (free online) for fountain pens, and she literally could not make the small circles accurately. That was the final straw for us, when I became very certain something was WRONG. Our OT says music helps organize the brain, so the callirobics is an especially good fit. I'm not sure why she didn't continue it. I'm sure it can't hurt. And yes, like you I've pretty much dedicated this year to working on this stuff.

#7 NCW

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 09:47 PM

A nice next step after or with Callirobics, if you like the Italic style of handwriting, is Nan Barchowsky's materials. You can buy them from her website or from Amazon. She has some rhythmic warm-ups, only the writer counts instead of music (I'm thinking you could use music with these warm-ups).

I like her materials especially for kids who are slower to transition to cursive from print, as she makes it pretty easy.

I'm sure this isn't the only choice out there, I just like that she also understands how rhythm has an important role in handwriting.

For my son, I ended up with a clumsy combination between Barchowsky and HWT...not something I'd recommend, though. :tongue_smilie:

#8 OhElizabeth

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 11:51 PM

Methinks the counting while attempting to write would be a real challenge with the short term memory deficits... I can just see dd now, jamming her pencil into the paper as she tries to count and write and gets all flustered, lol. (She's gone this week, I can laugh. Next week it will be too real.) But that's a good point that we can continue the music while writing. Very good point!


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