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  1. How do you schedule it? Is 1 set of the practice books enough, or should I get 2 sets so that we have more practice pages available? How long does it take to complete the books? Is it meant to take a full school year?
  2. I'm overthinking handwriting curriculum. DD, my oldest, is almost 5 and reading proficiently. Overall she picks things up at a normal to slightly fast pace. I wouldn't stress about teaching her handwriting but she's a leftie. I've read so much on yes & no & contradicting rules on leftie modifications that it's made my head spin. Goals are for her to have decent if not beautiful handwriting and for it to become easy and painless. Personally I prefer a zaner-bloser type look, and want something that will not lift the pencil in the middle of letter formation as much as possible. Even though she's reading & spelling well, she has no training on letter formation whatsoever. She wants to start writing, but does not regularly attempt to draw letters. I've been so afraid of ingraining bad habits that I've not encouraged it at all. So, here are the curriculum I've been contemplating and questions about each. Peterson Directed Handwriting - I like the idea of ingraining the movements with rhythm, and they seem so passionate about handwriting. I wonder if it's overkill for most. Also, they say there are lefty skills, is this beyond paper slant? Do they actually recommend some different stroke directions? I downloaded a PDF from their site about teaching lefties, but I didn't see in it any directions about which letters should/shouldn't have modifications. Can anyone speak to this from a lefty perspective? Handwriting without tears - I know so many love it, I kinda wonder if it's overrated. Yes, the letters are a little ugly/weird. Should I just suck that up and go with the program everybody and their dog does? Zaner Bloser workbook - Again, not clear that it has lefty modifications. I'm also confused on what I'd need to order to teach (just the workbook? Teacher manual?). Does the current set of workbooks teach the old style, or the 'simplified' ZB that limits pencil lifts (e.g. for 'b' go down then trace partway back up and go around)? Do they group letters based on common formation? Simply Charlotte Mason's Delightful Handwriting - I like the simple aspect of this, but I've seen it mentioned that aside from a top bound coil, it doesn't address lefty quirks.
  3. We decided to pull our 2nd grader out of public school to homeschool a few weeks ago. He is a lefty with some fine motor challenges (which are being addressed in OT) and writing has always been a huge source of frustration for him - his brain just works so much faster than his hands. He and I have had several conversations about it, and we agreed that cursive might be easier for him than printing because the pencil stays on the page, but I'm really struggling to find the "right" program for him. My first thought was Getty-Dubay (I realize it's not true cursive, but I care much more that he can learn to write fluidly and legibly than I do for any particular font) but then I thought the slant would be too tough for him being a lefty. I felt like an upright script would be better, so we started HWT (Cursive Kickoff) and...I just don't love it. I got over my initial issue (that I just dislike their font) but it just feels...not right, I guess, for some reason. I also haven't been incredibly impressed with the company - I find their website and resources hard to navigate, and their CS has been less than helpful when I've reached out. (Off-putting, but I suppose not actually a deal-breaker as we are currently using the program.) His OT uses Loops and Other Groups (which I've heard good things about in general) but again...it's slanted...and I couldn't find much on the internet as far as a worksheet creator (or similar) goes, which makes me feel like it might limit us down the road. I'm just not sure. I've also looked at Cursive Logic, Handwriting Lessons through Literature, the left-handed book from Preventing Academic Failure, and some other lefty cursive book on Amazon. I do realize that most people develop their own style...but my kiddo is 2e (adhd/autistic and gifted) and is incredibly literal - I feel like it might be really tough for him to understand that it's ok for his writing to *not* slant if he's learning from a program that insists that it should. ETA: It's also entirely possible that it wouldn't bother him at all, or that he would be totally fine with a slanted script. I just don't know. I'd love to hear from people who are educating/have educated a kiddo with similar issues - what worked for you? What didn't? What is our best bet for neat, easy-to-write handwriting?
  4. My ds (13yo/8th) has terrible handwriting. We have worked on it for 8 years with little improvement. His organic state of writing is to have all the letters the same height, floating between the lines, with no spaces.He is sweet and compliant and not happy with the situation, but we have run out of ideas. Every Fall I have a panic about this. I'm thinking that there is something in his brain or his eyes that is miswired and causing this, because nothing we have tried at home has made a significant difference. Who would I have him see if we wanted to put a label on this? His vision is corrected, and has been since he was a baby, but I've read enough posts on the Forum to understand that simply correcting the vision is not always enough. In the meantime, his typing skills are completely adequate for what he needs.
  5. I am considering ordering one of the handwriting workbooks from the Getty Dubay series for my 5th grade daughter. Her handwriting is "ok," but it often ends up rather sloppy, as she tends to be lazy with it. She has gone through several Pentime books, which we really like, but I'd like her to focus more on legible printing. One thing I've noticed is that she often starts her letters from the bottom and goes up (with certain letters). She went to public school for kindergarten, and I think she was taught that way there, although she did get instruction in writing from the top down after kindergarten. Anyway, I've been looking at the Getty Dubay series, and I'm just wondering which book she should start with? I don't want her to feel that she's doing "baby" work, but I think there would be value for her in really practicing her letter formation, possibly with some tracing, before jumping into copying paragraphs.
  6. I have a 9yo DS in the public gifted program who was recently diagnosed with dysgraphia among other things. It's mostly a lack of fine motor control from going on writing/drawing strike for 3 years when little. I am hoping to homeschool some handwriting practice over the summer break. Does anyone have experience/suggestions with what to do when teaching handwriting/letter formation to an older, bright kid? Is Handwriting without Tears the way to go?
  7. CursiveLogic.com I am looking at this for my 12yo son. We have tried New American and Getty-Dubay over the last two years without much success. The reviews I have been able to find look promising. Interested in hearing your experience and wondering if the webinar is necessary.
  8. I am trying to decide which handwriting curriculum to use for my DS (6) for first grade next year. I have not been impressed with A reason for Handwriting this year and can't decide between Zaner-Bloser or HWOT. Any preferences or suggestions? I am a first time homeschooler living overseas so buying multiple things is not an option if something doesn't work out. Please help...
  9. I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader. We started out with Getty Dubay Italic and my DS was into Book D and my DS was into Book C. After repeated requests by my DS, I have switched them both to Cursive First for a more simple and traditional cursive and because we use Spell to Write and Read. Obviously, we did printing first. So far, we have followed the directions and done all the steps (saying the strokes out loud, doing it with our finger- in the air, on the card and in salt, writing it with a dry erase marker and finally writing it on paper) with the beginning strokes and letter a. However, we are all finding it boring and tedious. My DS keeps chomping at the bit to just get to the writing. He would be fine to do that- he has very neat writing and attention to detail. My DD (6) has a harder time with neatness although her motor skills are fine, so she would benefit from more, I think. The only reason I hesitate to skip any steps in the process is because I want them to know the how-to inside out, not just copy. But, at the rate we are going, we'll never finish because it's the first to get dropped when we get busy since we all find it to be drawn out. Do any of you who use Cursive First NOT do all the steps and just say the strokes and write it? How well did that work for you in the long term? Any other suggestions? I would like both of them to work thru cursive by the end of this year (and they want to also!). Help! Thanks in advance!
  10. Does any one teach manuscript, Italics, and Cursive to their children? Or is it to Confusing? If you have what do you find works best to use for curriculum?
  11. My boy has steadily declined in handwriting to the point where he is slow, messy, and illegible. He's developing fine in all other ways but it's like a regression back in time. Any recommendations for a handwriting program that would be good for an older child writing in regular ruled notebooks (and not giant sized lines)? He needs to write both faster AND neater (he's in public school now) and I'm not sure how to help him. Thanks!
  12. I've searched around on this forum to see what others had to say about utensils for writing and came up with several older threads. I've been a fountain pen enthusiast for about a year now, but I'm at a loss on what makes a good "first" pen/writing utensil for a child learning proper penmanship. I've got a handful of different styles of fountain pens, some very light weight, others exhaustingly heavy. I'd love to transition my oldest (Ms. Bug) over to a fountain pen but don't know what characteristics to focus on with choosing a pen. She tends to write much better on a standard "wide rule" paper than the designated early writing lined paper. I'd think the ease of ink flow would also help her improve her writing. Any thoughts? Thanks
  13. I would love some recommendations for my ds17. He is dyslexic but with intensive tutoring he reads quite well and his comprehension is outstanding! But, his handwriting still looks like that of a young child. He does want to be a doctor so maybe he'll be fine. LOL Any recommendations for how to help him improve his handwriting? A book or workbook would be great so he could work independently, but that's not a deal breaker. TIA
  14. my son is 9.5, left-handed, "late" writer (refused to hold pencil correctly at earlier ages). I have not pushed it all along. He is now working through Getty-Dubay Italics and has almost finished book C that starts doing italic cursive joins. He likes it well enough and does beautiful work in his book. He can also do beautiful handwriting on lined paper when he tries. His faster, less careful writing is legible. However, when I watch him write either in his handwriting book or when he's writing something else and trying to have nice writing it seems to be slow and hard for him. I can see that he seems to have to stop and think for some letters how to form them properly. And it still doesn't seem all that easy for his hands. He claims he "hates" writing. I don't have him do much independent writing. He'll either dictate or narrate to me. He has started piano lessons and doing well there. Teacher said he was very stiff at first but said he is loosening up. so... not sure if there is OT type need, or just more practice, or ?? what is the best way to help a child get faster at writing- meaning, it is not so hard for them to do the actual writing. Is it just more and more practice? if just practice, I need ideas for implementing it. He only wants to do a half page in his italic book at a time. He really would not like to do more practice. Is there a way to make it more fun? more motivating? He wrote a letter to grandma the other day but it's not something he wants to do that often.
  15. What font does Song School Latin use for the tracing/handwriting assignments? I can't find the answer on their website. My kids love it and want to use it for their handwriting assignments. TIA!
  16. I'm wondering if my daughter should be making up her own handwriting assignments, or doing copy work. This past year we did homeschool preK for E. She did the kindergarten Handwriting Without Tears. We had planned to wait til Jan to start since we weren't sure her fine motor skills were up to it, but when she saw the book and cute little slate that came in the mail, she wanted to start right away. She usually wanted to do more pages than I would let her, and we still finished the book very quickly. However, E still reverses some letters and numbers, and forgets how to form letters if it's been a while since she's written it. After we finished HWOT, she started writing one sentence in a primary notebook, with a picture to go with it. E likes writing her own stories, but is not really reading yet. An example sentence she could read is: He said, "I am going fishing." So she needs a lot of help to write a sentence a day. Should I get 1st grade HWOT? Or I saw a handwriting joke book on amazon? Or keep doing this? Start a new book now, or in the fall? Am I setting her back by not having an example to copy, or no consistent rotation through the alphabet? E is 5, turning 6 in Nov. Should she be copying something rather than trying to figure out how to spell whatever she wants to write that day?
  17. *I've updated the list below to include suggestion so far. Thanks everyone!* I'm putting together a list for a local group, and I would like to include the various popular curricular options for the elementary/intermediate grades. Here's what I have so far, I would appreciate any recommended additions. The list doesn't need to be exhaustive, but I would like to include tried-and-true programs that many homeschool families use. Secular options are especially appreciated (non-secular is fine too). Math Saxon Math Singapore Math Math Mammoth RightStart Math Math-U-See CLE Abeka Math in Focus Teaching Textbooks Horizons Math Miquon Math Math on the Level Mathematical Reasoning (Critical Thinking Company) McRuffy Math CSMP Math MEP Beast Academy Life of Fred Key To...series Language Arts Phonics and Reading Instruction: All About Reading Explode the Code Phonics Pathways Spell to Write and Read The Writing Road to Reading Teach Your Child to Read in 100 EZ Lessons The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading Logic of English Hooked on Phonics Memoria Press Phonics Veritas Press Phonics Museum Primary Phonics CLE Learning to Read, Reading Reading Lessons Through Literature Grammar, Composition and Literature First Language Lessons Writing With Ease Learning Language Arts Through Literature Easy Grammar A Beka Language series Analytical Grammar Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Saxon Grammar and Writing Winston Grammar Wordsmith Series IEW's Fix-It Critical Thinking Company's Editor-in-Chief Jim Weiss cds IEW Student Writing Intensives Classical academic press writing and rhetoric English Lessons Through Literature Writing Strands Don Killgallon's Sentence Composing series McRuffy Language Arts Mosdos Press Literature Memoria Press Literature Guides CLE Language Arts Growing with Grammar Rod and Staff English Grammar Land Brave Writer Build Your Library Essentials in Writing English Lessons Through Literature Just Write Writeshop Primary Spectrum Language Arts Handwriting, Spelling and Vocabulary All About Spelling English From the Roots Up Wordly Wise Handwriting Without Tears New American Cursive A Reason for Handwriting Zaner Bloser English from Classical Roots Spelling Power Megawords McRuffy Handwriting Speliing WorkOut Vocabulary from Classical Roots Word Roots by Critical Thinking, Co. Apples and Pears Spelling Spelling by Sound and Structure Pentime handwriting Write On Handwriting (school specialty) Spectrum Spelling Science NOEO R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Real Science for Kids Apologia Science (Exploring Creation) God's Design Science series Behold and See Science Supercharged Science Nancy Larson Science Elemental Science Evan-Moor Daily Science Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding McRuffy Science Ellen McHenry Science Science Fusion Mr. Q's Science Lab Social Studies Story of the World A Child's History of the World Genevieve Foster Books Oxford University Press World in Ancient Times books Mystery of History Biblioplan Joy Hakim's History of US Howard Zinn's Young People's History of the US Visualizing World Geography Mapping the World with Art Memoria Press geog. Series History Odyssey Multi-Subject Programs Latter Day Learning Family School Sonlight Book Shark Tapestry of Grace Memoria Press core packages Five in a Row Heart of Dakota Konos My Father's World Trail Guide to Learning Calvert School Oak Meadow Timberdoodle packages BJU Press Moving Beyond the Page Intellego Unit Studies K-12 Time4Learning Laurel Springs School Keystone Middle School The Ogburn School {FL based} Build Your Library Foreign Language Rosetta Stone Mango Language Michel Thomas Fluenz Latin for Children/Greek for Children Songschool Latin/Songschool Greek Elementary Greek Getting Started with Latin Getting Started With Spanish Duolingo Latina Christiana First Form Latin Programs that can help struggling learners Barton Reading Wilson Reading Lindamood-Bell programs sold by Gander Publishing Remedia Publications Linguisytems SuperDuper Publications JUMP Math Liping Ma's Knowing Mathematics sold by Houghton Mifflin Morningside Press Verticy Dianne Craft Other Logic - Prufrock Press and Critical Thinking Company Home Art Studio Memoria Press Enrichment Guides
  18. Not sure if this has been shared already. Interesting piece on the New York Times website - "What's Lost as Handwriting Fades" about brain processes and printing/cursive writing. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimesscience Erica in OR
  19. Okay, everybody I've met from the UK, Germany, etc., has lovely handwriting, and it looks like there is one style that is taught. Where can I buy a penmanship book that will teach that style? A lot of the handwriting books in the US (including the ones I learned from) don't look very nice to me. I like Pentime a bit, and the Spencerian stuff (although I don't have a need to be that fancy), but if you know of something else that is used in Europe or has a similar style, please share here.
  20. As long as I am consistent with teaching proper letter formation, do I need a specific handwriting curriculum? I was planning to incorporate writing/copywork in with other subjects and thought that would be sufficient, but when I see everyone's plans they always include a curriculum specifically for handwriting. What am I missing?
  21. My 6 year old has a very weird pencil grip. He pinches all his fingers together sort of on top and on the side of the pencil with no fingers underneath for support. I correct him every time I see it and he will awkwardly hold it the right way for a while and slip back to the other hold. I asked my husband to give instruction a try to see if it might help and he looked at my son's grip and said it is the same way he holds the pencil. We all compared grips and I'm the only one who rests the pencil on my lower fingers for support. Is this something I should continue to try to correct? The grip works fine for my husband but maybe it should have been corrected for him when he was little. I don't want to allow my son to keep using the grip if it's going to result in fatigue later down the line. What do you all think?
  22. Hello all, I would like to use some wise, contemplative quotes, and famous passages from books or speeches as copywork. It is for handwriting practice but also just to become acquainted with various famous quotes and passages throughout history. So things like a quote from Albert Einstein, or part of a speech by a president, etc. What are reliable resources for quotes? There are a bazillion quote websites, but I have seen many errors, many versions of the same quote, etc. How do you know if that was really Albert Einstein? So, besides going and hunting down originial sources and the like, are there some reliable resources I could use to quickly grab something for copywork each day? Many thanks!
  23. I have purchased AAR 1 for our 1st grade ds, but I'd like to add handwriting. I prefer a modern or italic form, but I'm open to traditional. Is there one that complements it well?
  24. I use Handwriting Without Tears because as advertised, it produces no tears...which happened at my house. But I'm dreaming of the future since my fall planning is wrapped up and my three year old already has amazing pencil control. Lets face it, HWT doesn't produce the prettiest hand. Legible, but not pretty. Does anyone have a favorite handwriting program, stylistically?
  25. It's our first year in Home Educating and I've done 2nd and K. My Kindergartener is reading pretty well. We did 100 Easy Lessons so now she just reads out loud to me her choice of library books daily. She did Handwriting Without Tears and followed that up with Kumon Book of Writing Words which she finished. I've ordered Kumon's Book of Simple Sentences but I think that's more beginning Grammar than handwriting. She's about half-way through Math-U-See Alpha. She does Science and History along side big brother where she dictates to me what she's learned and I write it out and she draws a picture of what she's dictated to me (about 3xweek). I just feel like she's breezing through everything and I don't know what to do next? It feels like 1st Language Lessons and Writing With Ease would be a bit premature for her at this point, she just doesn't quite seem ready for that level. What could do to keep her developing toward those materials to bridge what she's already completed? Thanks is advance.
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