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  1. #1

    Default Handwriting Help

    My 9 yr old needs help with handwriting. Her reading skills needed extra work so we worked on that for 1st and most of 2nd grade and in 3rd grade we've added more language, math, spelling, history and sometimes science. I want to add handwriting, but I don't want to waste a bunch of money. My thoughts were to buy 2nd grade HWT workbook and the 3rd grade cursive HWT for her to work on or do I need to buy the teacher books as well and actually instruct her? Since my son is starting 1st grade in Sept I wouldn't mind purchasing the teacher work books if they are necessary. She is also doing Winning with Writing, which I get nothing but complaints about from her. If there is a better handwriting program for her out there please share your thoughts.


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  3. #2


    My dd is using HWT cursive. You do not need the instruction guide (I actually forgot we had it- I never used it).
    Patty - homeschooling two great kids (6 & 8). My approach has completely changed since we began in 8/11. I thought "school at home" would be our style, but we are evolving, finding out what works for us.

  4. #3


    I used HWT with my younger son and he wasn't overly thrilled with it at all. So with my older son (12) who can barely read his OWN handwriting I knew we had to do something drastic. I haven't started yet but I chose to try out the Write Now program with him. It wasn't too "kidsy" or repetitive which would only turn him off to even making an attempt. I also saw another program I was considering that was put out as leveled workbooks but I can't quite recall the name of it...maybe someone else here knows :P

  5. #4
    Senior Member Enlightened Pawz4me's Avatar
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    Apr 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    You do not need the instruction guide (I actually forgot we had it- I never used it).
    Agreed. I bought the teacher's book when I was using HWT with my son. I flipped through it quickly when it arrived and never looked at it again. It's really not needed.

  6. #5


    Hmm... I'll disagree about the HWT teacher guide. I think they are worth at least reading through. There's a LOT more to HWT than the workbooks - a lot more than most programs. I don think its something you'll refer to often though. Optimally, it's a resource you'd want to borrow and return to a friend.

    But I don't know if it's the right thing for a 9 yo though... Are there other issues? Why does she still need to work on handwriting (othe than cursive)? How's her grip?
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  7. #6


    I'd buy one teachers guide, to go along with first level you buy. It has useful information about the program. I don't think you'll need one for each level. I found it useful.

  8. #7


    I've just never gone over the proper way to write the letters more than what she has learned on handouts and I've tried to explain the spacing, but she needs help with that. I will look at her grip more closely tomorrow

  9. #8


    We started using the Zaner Bloser workbooks with my son - very very hesitant writer with motor control issues (erbs palsy at birth on his right side and he is righty). We looked at samples of several programs, but this one seemed to fit best. We also started using those extra wide pencils. I got some from Rainbow Resource that are fat and kinda triangular in shape. We had tried all sorts of various grippers with no real result - still hated writing, complaining of hand cramps after a few letters, horrible messy scrawl. Between the books and the fat pencils - we are finally making a break through. His writing is getting neater and he is gaining confidence. He HATED handwriting and would only use the lap sized dry erase board and markers - but now he willingly does his ZB book and is almost excited over it some days. It has poems and puzzles to break up the tediousness of writing. It is bright and has pictures that he likes. We both really like the stop and check aspect too. They are supposed to trace a line of letters, then write a line of letters (with green "go" dots showing where to start and helping with spacing issues), then he goes back and circles which one he thinks is his best letter. It gets him looking at his own work and the quality of it, taking pride in doing it well. While it is supposed to be circle the "best" we do it circle all the ones that are "good" - good as in straighter lines, correct sizing, etc. Now that we are one the second book, all are improving and he only circles 1 or 2 of the best. I also like that it has him practicing upper and lower case, punctuation, and application is in the form of sentences, letter, etc. It teaches grip, letter spacing, and word spacing too.
    ~ Michelle
    Momma to one crazy fun, super silly, kind-hearted, high-spirited little boy. We've strayed far from the beaten path but are really enjoying our crazy off-roading approach to life and learning.

  10. #9


    I don't know if this will help, but my son who has AS had a lot of trouble learning to write. It was more a lack of caring than a lack of ability, I used to create writing pages specifically designed for him. Once his writing was about vampires instead of bunny rabbits, he began caring and we made great progress. It probably won't replace a program but it can be a great supplement.

  11. #10


    I'm in agreement with Sionnon. We've used HWT for years and I feel that one of the teacher's handbooks is useful, but they pretty much repeat the same information in the first half, then go to the grade-specific information in the second half. The teacher's handbook has tips and ideas to expand the lessons, though I don't think you need one for every grade level. You might find it useful to have a teacher's handbook for one of the print grades and one of the cursive grades, though, since the instruction changes somewhat. Hope that helps.

    If HWT doesn't work for you, folks here can give you many other recommendations for writing programs.

    By the way, gratefulbambina, my son is also 9 and while we've done the HWT books from K to 3rd, he still forms some letters incorrectly. Writing was a once-a-week thing when we first started, as I focused on reading skills first too.

    It's not a huge problem - his writing looks pretty normal for a child his age, but I feel like a review and daily work are necessary now if I'm going to make sure he's writing his letters correctly. I'm debating whether or not to go back to some remedial handwriting instruction (do the HWT K workbook all over again) or trying something different (looking at the Zaner Bloser program that Michelle mentioned). I want to make sure he's mastered the actual skill, before we go into creative writing when we start our new school year.

    So you're not alone in having a 9-year-old who needs extra help with the handwriting skill.
    Last edited by JinxieFox; 04-24-2012 at 06:38 AM.
    Mumsy to Gavin (13-year-old artsy boy) and Rowan (3-year-old disco queen)

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Handwriting Help