My 8 year old, 3rd grade daughter has struggled with writing since she began writing – it’s a fight to get her to do writing and she constantly complains how her hand hurts – so when I had the chance to review Handwriting Without Tears for her I knew I had to give it a try. I requested and received the 3rd grade cursive student workbook ($8.25) and teacher’s manual ($9.25) as I thought that cursive would be easier for her to learn since her grip is so tight when she’s printing.
The teacher’s manual is pretty much everything a parent will need in order to teach their child how to write using cursive, from pencil grip (I love the multiple ways that are given), to using different learning styles, different mediums and lesson plan guides on how and when to teach which part. My daughter enjoys the ‘flip the pencil trick’ which gives her a lighter and looser grip but also allows her to hold her pencil correctly – she’s using this trick for most of her subjects now. The teacher’s manual gives several ways to teach cursive such as the teaching with technology which requires and additional purchase, air writing, laser letters, the teacher writes, as well as cursive exercises and warm ups.
The child begins with learning some basic strokes that are used for making each letter and since the cursive isn’t the slanted type it’s easier for the child to learn the strokes up and down, versus having to slant them. There is some interesting reading in the teacher’s manual regarding why they do not teach slanted cursive. The cursive the child will learn looks very similar to the printed letters they already know with the exception of the connection strokes. The student manual is written in child friendly language so that they can read along by themselves and understand what is written. There are no colorful, distracting pictures but simple large, black and white models for the child to follow step by step. The workbook is also great for left handed writers as the child can see the model as they write instead of it being covered up by their arm.
My daughter at first was hesitant to begin cursive but after I introduced the first lesson and how to hold the pencil she is now asking and excited to do her cursive writing. I’m hoping as we continue with even more lessons that she’ll use her cursive which seems to be easier for her. I used the lesson plans in the back of the book omitting the ones, like the stomp your feet, because unfortunately we have no chairs in which the children’s feet touch the floor. She has enjoyed most of the warms ups such as the “magic-C bunny” and the wet, dry, try and she loves to use the workbook.
I try to look ahead so I can read the lessons and know what I’ll need to do or what I need to demonstrate before we actually begin so that I’m not flipping back and forth during the lesson. We are still working on lower case, which is what the child will begin with, and what my daughter once thought would be hard has become fun. We work through the lesson plans Monday through Thursday devoting about 15 to 30 minutes for a lesson, depending on how she is doing – if she begins to struggle or grow frustrated we put it aside and come back to it the next day, but as the name suggests, Handwriting Without Tears – makes learning cursive fun and easy and it seems her frustrations and worries about it have fallen to the wayside.
**Disclaimer: I recieved a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.