Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

HWT - are the manipulatives necessary?

hwt

13 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 tdbates78

tdbates78

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:45 AM

Hey everyone! As I mentioned in a few other posts, we are new to homeschooling having just started in January. My twins are 7 (November birthdays) and in first grade. One of my daughters has high-functioning autism and now that we home school we are looking into various therapists for her. We met with an OT yesterday who suggested Handwriting Without Tears at home.

 

My daughter knows how to write. She can form all letters and numbers. However she still holds the pencil with a fist (something we are always working on correcting) and, according to the OT, has low muscle strength in her hand. Her writing is kind of all over the place. Either way too big or way too small, or both in the same word or sentence. She also has problems over-spacing words in a sentence.

 

Anyways, I am looking at the curriculum and it's a bit overwhelming. Can someone tell me if the manipulatives are all necessary? I'm not interested in the wooden manipulatives because she does already know how to form letters. But the paper, slate chalkboard, blackboard, etc.? The first grade kit is $83 on Rainbow Resource, which is pretty expensive. I will do it, of course, but want to make sure each component is really necessary or if I can just buy the necessary items individually.

 

Thank!

Tracy


Edited by tdbates78, 17 February 2017 - 10:51 AM.


#2 MeaganS

MeaganS

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2793 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:12 AM

Nope. Not necessary. I have a dd with hfa and used hwt with her. I tend to be a minimalist about these things, though. I did get her the slate and found that useful-ish, but nothing else was particularly helpful and I've barely even used the slate with subsequent children.

#3 school17777

school17777

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2413 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:13 AM

Nope. I bought them, but never used them.

#4 tdbates78

tdbates78

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:22 AM

Good to know. Thank you!

 

I saw a few used slates at a local homeschool consignment shop for a few dollars so I may pick up one there. I'm going to forgo most of the other stuff.

 

What about the paper? It looks like they use paper with different types of lines?



#5 Farrar

Farrar

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22607 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:25 AM

Well, I'll disagree a little. I think if you want to really do things the HWT way, then you need the manipulatives, the chalkboard, the teacher manual, etc. I think a lot of people skip it and then find the program lacking or just mediocre. But you can totally make cardboard letter pieces, buy a dollar store chalkboard, etc. And I think by age 7, even for a child with some handwriting issues, the letter pieces may be less necessary than for a 4 or 5 yo just starting out.


  • Tibbie Dunbar likes this

#6 tdbates78

tdbates78

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:00 PM

I am definitely planning on getting the teacher's manual. The total package comes with a CD and the larger chalkboard, the slate, etc. I just didn't know if I needed all of those components.


  • Farrar likes this

#7 wathe

wathe

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 250 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:17 PM

The manipulatives are what makes the program so good, especially for kids with fine motor challenges.  The chalkboard/slate work was particularly valuable for us.    But I didn't buy them from HWOT.  They were all simple to make very inexpensively.  I bought a 4x4 foot piece of MDF, and had the hardware store cut it into four 12x18 inch (large chalkboard size) and six 4x6 inch (slate size) pieces, and painted them with chalkboard paint.  Dollar store chalk boards would work equally well.  I used automotive pinstriping tape to put the lines on the large chalkboards.  I cut up a sponge and broke some chalk to get sponge bits and chalk pieces.  I made "wooden pieces" out of cereal box cardboard. 

 

The one thing I do buy is their paper.  There is something magic about the way HWOT paper makes my 9yo's handwriting tidy and legible.  Any other paper and it falls apart a little.


  • tdbates78 likes this

#8 Mom2three8383

Mom2three8383

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 15 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:52 PM

My son is mid to high functioning ASD. Our OT had told us the same things. We never used the manipulatives for HWT. And tbh I didn't realize there were manipulitives. My sons biggest problem was holding the pencil wrong. I CNT even explain it, I guess in a way he held it as you explained. When we did our writing he had to hold the pencil correctly and when doing assignments. It was a constant trouble. He could hold pencil how he wanted when drawing...a yr later(Now) he finally holds the pencil correctly all the time. He's 11 btw. Just wanted to share our story with you.

#9 tdbates78

tdbates78

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 18 February 2017 - 08:08 AM

Thank you for sharing! The whole-fisted writing approach is something she has always done. We've tried, and continue to try, various pencil grippers that teach her how to hold the pencil correctly. The problem is she tires out easily using them, usually after 10 minutes or so, just because it takes so much effort. And when she does use them, her handwriting is so light it's almost illegible. I'm hoping that with continued use of them, broken pieces of crayon (also recommended by the OT) and the HWT we will get somewhere. She has never liked to write, and complains any time she has to do so, and I'm thinking it ma be because writing is so uncomfortable for her.

 

I'm contemplating adding in cursive next year. I know, for myself, the flow makes it much easier to write, and for longer periods of time. Her twin sister still flip-flops some letters (b/d, p, etc) so I'm hoping cursive will help with that as well.

 

 

My son is mid to high functioning ASD. Our OT had told us the same things. We never used the manipulatives for HWT. And tbh I didn't realize there were manipulitives. My sons biggest problem was holding the pencil wrong. I CNT even explain it, I guess in a way he held it as you explained. When we did our writing he had to hold the pencil correctly and when doing assignments. It was a constant trouble. He could hold pencil how he wanted when drawing...a yr later(Now) he finally holds the pencil correctly all the time. He's 11 btw. Just wanted to share our story with you.

 



#10 aprilleigh

aprilleigh

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:33 PM

You can skip the CD - it's just songs that help them remember some of the concepts, but it's not a critical component at all. I'll list the items I recommend, and why...

 

1. STUDENT WORKBOOK - self-explanatory (one per student)

 

2. TEACHER'S GUIDE - particularly important at the early levels when you're learning the HWT way yourself, but it also contains tips and ideas to make the lessons more interesting as well as a suggested schedule

 

3. SLATE - this is important for learning how to form the letters the HWT way, and if your DD needs to work on hand strength, this will be one of the most important pieces (but skip the chalk bits and sponge bits as you can make them cheaper). If you want to try to purchase a different slate for this task, make sure it's about the same size and proportion, has a frame (which helps in proper letter formation), and uses chalk rather than dry-erase or wet-erase markers. Chalk is key to the Wet-Dry-Try method used in HWT and will be particularly important for the repetition needed to develop her hand strength.

 

4. DOUBLE-LINE CHALKBOARD - the slate is for capital letters and numbers, but the double-line chalkboard is for everything else and is every bit as important for developing hand strength as the work with the slate. Outside purchases need to have a permanent double-line and be wide enough to write entire words rather than just one letter, but there is no real need for a frame on this one.

 

5. HWT DOUBLE-LINE PAPER - this reinforces the lettering habits learned in this method and is pretty important to have around for practice in the beginning, but once she's mastered the forms and is consistent, you can show her how to make the same letter forms on regular notebook paper or the three-lined paper that is popular in the lower grades (buy the smaller pack if you're not sure, unless you're working with more than once child).

 

As I mentioned above, the chalk bits and sponge bits are cheaper to make yourself from standard-sized chalk and normal kitchen sponges. Just stick to white or yellow chalk if you can, because the darker colors don't work as well for the Wet-Dry-Try method. I also didn't buy the short pencils because it was cheaper to purchase a small box of golf pencils. We weren't even done with those when DS was ready for regular-sized pencils.

 

The wood pieces were useful to us, mostly because they reinforced the strokes used for most letters, but they aren't critical. I was going to make them out of cardboard, but my husband made a set for me from the same material the company uses (woodworking is his hobby). You won't need them past the first grade curriculum anyway. Same goes for the capital letter cards. They're useful, but not critical, when working with one or two students - there is a picture on each capital letter page that shows how the pieces would be laid out if you really need to reinforce that, and cardboard or craft foam is plenty sturdy enough for a homeschool situation.

 

We skipped the sentence strips, the notebooks, and the CD. The CD is great for working with a larger group of kids in a classroom, but really isn't much value added. The other two are redundant components if you have the paper, and are more useful for classroom situations. If your daughter likes to write and illustrate her own stories or journals, it might be worth picking up a package of the notebooks to encourage that.

 

Let me know if you have any questions. HWT was recommended to us by an OT for similar reasons (DS needed to work on and strength and fine motor skills).


Edited by aprilleigh, 18 February 2017 - 09:43 PM.


#11 tdbates78

tdbates78

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:38 PM

Wow! Thank you so much for your detailed description of the items! It really helped. I purchased the workbook, teacher's guide, slate, chalkboard and double-lined paper. Will make our own sponges and break apart some chalk.

 

You can skip the CD - it's just songs that help them remember some of the concepts, but it's not a critical component at all. I'll list the items I recommend, and why...

 

1. STUDENT WORKBOOK - self-explanatory (one per student)

 

2. TEACHER'S GUIDE - particularly important at the early levels when you're learning the HWT way yourself, but it also contains tips and ideas to make the lessons more interesting as well as a suggested schedule

 

3. SLATE - this is important for learning how to form the letters the HWT way, and if your DD needs to work on hand strength, this will be one of the most important pieces (but skip the chalk bits and sponge bits as you can make them cheaper). If you want to try to purchase a different slate for this task, make sure it's about the same size and proportion, has a frame (which helps in proper letter formation), and uses chalk rather than dry-erase or wet-erase markers. Chalk is key to the Wet-Dry-Try method used in HWT and will be particularly important for the repetition needed to develop her hand strength.

 

4. DOUBLE-LINE CHALKBOARD - the slate is for capital letters and numbers, but the double-line chalkboard is for everything else and is every bit as important for developing hand strength as the work with the slate. Outside purchases need to have a permanent double-line and be wide enough to write entire words rather than just one letter, but there is no real need for a frame on this one.

 

5. HWT DOUBLE-LINE PAPER - this reinforces the lettering habits learned in this method and is pretty important to have around for practice in the beginning, but once she's mastered the forms and is consistent, you can show her how to make the same letter forms on regular notebook paper or the three-lined paper that is popular in the lower grades (buy the smaller pack if you're not sure, unless you're working with more than once child).

 

As I mentioned above, the chalk bits and sponge bits are cheaper to make yourself from standard-sized chalk and normal kitchen sponges. Just stick to white or yellow chalk if you can, because the darker colors don't work as well for the Wet-Dry-Try method. I also didn't buy the short pencils because it was cheaper to purchase a small box of golf pencils. We weren't even done with those when DS was ready for regular-sized pencils.

 

The wood pieces were useful to us, mostly because they reinforced the strokes used for most letters, but they aren't critical. I was going to make them out of cardboard, but my husband made a set for me from the same material the company uses (woodworking is his hobby). You won't need them past the first grade curriculum anyway. Same goes for the capital letter cards. They're useful, but not critical, when working with one or two students - there is a picture on each capital letter page that shows how the pieces would be laid out if you really need to reinforce that, and cardboard or craft foam is plenty sturdy enough for a homeschool situation.

 

We skipped the sentence strips, the notebooks, and the CD. The CD is great for working with a larger group of kids in a classroom, but really isn't much value added. The other two are redundant components if you have the paper, and are more useful for classroom situations. If your daughter likes to write and illustrate her own stories or journals, it might be worth picking up a package of the notebooks to encourage that.

 

Let me know if you have any questions. HWT was recommended to us by an OT for similar reasons (DS needed to work on and strength and fine motor skills).

 



#12 ReadingMama1214

ReadingMama1214

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1118 posts

Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:01 PM

We've done it with no manipulatives. Just the student workbook. I tried making my own pieces and my daughter just wasn't interested in them at all. We do have the HWT lined paper as well.

#13 school17777

school17777

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2413 posts

Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:19 PM

I just remembered what dd and I used instead of the chalkboard. I squirted paint in a gallon ziploc bag and duct taped the top closed. Before I did that though, I traced the chalkboard on the bag and drew the smiley face. We used the bag instead of the chalkboard to draw the letters. Dd wasn't interested in the chalkboard, but liked using the paint bag.

Edited by school17777, 19 February 2017 - 11:09 PM.


#14 ByGrace3

ByGrace3

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4135 posts

Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:42 PM

You have gotten great advice, just adding to the "definitely necessary" group. Without the manipulatives it's just a workbook, and not a very good one at that since over half of the practice is intended to take place using the manipulatives.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hwt