I cannot say enough good things about the Handwriting without Tears program. I think it is truly an amazing handwriting program. I believe a focus on penmanship seems to be a thing of the past in most educational programs, which I find very sad indeed. Luckily, as homeschoolers, I can focus on our handwriting as an actual subject 10-15 minutes per day.
One of the many things I like about the program (it is so much more than the workbooks) is that you first begin by teaching the child the correct letter formation using wooden pieces. For this reason you can begin before the child is even developmentally ready to form letters with a pencil or crayon on their own! It is also a wonderful program for special needs children for this reason.
For this morning’s lesson with Pumpkin (age 4.5) she began by forming the capital F over and over using the wood pieces and then again using the stamp and see manipulative before finally using her workbook and completing the letters using the flip crayons.
As she is forming her letters I encourage her to repeat after me (when writing the letter F):
Big line down, Little line across, Little line across
There is also a great little song on the CD (not necessary, but included in the workshop I took) which I’ve altered slightly and sing to the children when they aren’t forming their letters in the correct order:
“Where do we start our letters?
At the top!
At the top, at the top, when writing we start our letters at the top!”
My children enjoyed the CD but sometimes I’m not in the mood to set up the CD player for our lessons. I’m not one for background noise so I find that I naturally omit during most of our lessons.