Since the year is coming to a close and we just finished up our handwriting program I did with my first daughter, I want to share my official Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum review. Keep reading to see some pros and cons about the program! I also shared a video with my thoughts, so if you’re a visual person, check that out below!
Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum Review
I purchased the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum for my daughter when she was four, I believe. It’s taken us two years to work through it, mostly because I treated it very informally and let her work on it at her own pace! Here are my main thoughts on our experience with the program.
Watch the Video:
There are two components. The teacher guide and the student notebook. This is the “Letters and Numbers for Me” program, but they have curriculum levels for Pre-K all the way to 5th grade.
Handwriting Without Tears Pros:
01. I like how they group the letters for the order of teaching. They have the letters ordered for teaching in a very understandable way. Letters that start with a line down, and then back to the top to finish are all grouped together, etc. I like that aspect of the program.
02. It’s engaging to learn and teach. Handwriting can be boring, so they do try to jazz it up a bit, which I can appreciate.
03. It’s open-and-go. No prep is needed.
Handwriting Without Tears Cons:
01. They have a very specific language you use when teaching letter formations. “Down bump” “Kick” “Slide away” etc. My daughter didn’t buy into this gimmick, so it didn’t work out well for us. Perhaps because she’d already had some writing practice in the past? Whatever the case, it wasn’t my favorite, and I don’t know how well it translates into later years.
02. The wooden pieces that are supposed to aid in teaching the formation don’t come with the curriculum. I find them rather clunky and unrealistic. (See video for a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this.)
03. I’m pretty sure this was created for whole classrooms full of students. The teacher book has very specific directions that make it feel like it’s for teaching to a large group of students versus just one student. I feel like it would be wonderful for a Kindergarten classroom of many students.
Overall, I think I’ll take a more Charlotte Mason approach when my daughter starts school at age 6 this autumn. I plan to do copywork and have her learn handwriting in a more natural way. (Copying her favorite poems and nursery rhymes a little at a time to practice handwriting.) I also have a handwriting program lined up for next year, so stay tuned to see wha I’ve decided on for my Year 1 (Form 1) student!