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What are the necessities to this program, I can't spend a couple hundred dollars on handwriting alone? Chalkboard, letters, mat + workbook? Do I need the teachers manual, cd...? Or is there an alternative you like better? Thanks for you input.

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We used the practice book and the magnet board. We could get away without the magnet board.


But it does depend on your child. Some children need more reinforcement.


I did buy the teacher manual, used it for one lesson and never looked at it again. If you could flip through someone else's you'd probably be fine.


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The Teacher's Manual (and I'm not positive now if it was the one for K or 1st grade) is where a lot of instruction is. You can see a visual of the letter in the workbook and know where to start--but the TM has cute stories and teaching suggestions (like a little story about "catching George" with the tail of the G, and not to leave a big garbage can in the middle of your m--just enough room for a Hershey's Kiss.) The stories and teaching ideas really made the program (and the letter formation) memorable for my kids. We didn't have money for the wooden pieces (would have been fun though)--but I felt the TM was valuable for at least one level. Once you know the formation and just want practice, then go with just the workbook.

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When I started reading here when DS was little it seemed like HWT was the way to go because everyone was using it but I didn't like it. It's really meant for a brick and mortar school setting imo. I did not think it was worth the price. There is very little practice for each letter. With DS I bought the manuals and workbooks and he did the pre-k through 1st books by K. Even though it wouldn't cost very much to buy new workbooks to use with DD I am not going to bother since I really don't think there's much to the program. With DS he needed more practice with letter formation so I got him Kumon books and I found that was much more helpful because there was more practice per letter and review. For DD that's what I'm using now. I had also bought the CD for HWT but rarely used it and won't bother to try it this time. I had also bought the slate and the tracing version for DS which I can't say were very helpful or worth the price. It would probably be easier and definitely cheaper just to use an app for letter formation. If you want to give it a try start with less, like just the workbook, and don't spend too much (like I did!) before you decide if it's effective. If you want to start simply and cheaply use Kumon. It's very effective and super easy to use.

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