Are you looking for a good handwriting curriculum for your child? With so many options available, deciding on one can be hard! In this post I’ll share with you 4 things to look for in a good handwriting curriculum to make your decision a little easier.
I spent a lot of time researching the handwriting curriculums available out there. In my search, there were three key things I was looking for that helped me narrow down all the curriculums and today I’m going to share those three things with you.
Proper letter formation
Honestly, I am a stickler about handwriting. I want every one of my children to have neat and nice handwriting. I want them to write their letters properly. No scraggly, squint your eyes to read what I wrote kind of writing. I want it neat, legible and dare I say pretty, even.
I believe in a particular way of writing that is correct and neat looking and I expect that from the program I will be utilizing.
For example, when writing a capital J, you start at the top and draw a line down ending in a curve to the left. Then you pick your pencil up and cross the top from left to right. You never start at the bottom – this applies to all letters – and the line across the top of the capital J is not optional.
For me personally, I look for proper letter formation both taught in the curriculum and emphasized through practice.
Enough examples and practice space
I also look for plenty of practice space. Specifically, I want a good example letter to practice area ratio. I don’t want to have one example letter at the beginning of the line and then all this space for my child to get progressively worse.
My child typically looks at the last letter written instead of the first example given so he copies his own (not so great work) as opposed to the example. The way to prevent this is to continuously give examples and area to practice right next to it.
Another important component I look for in handwriting curriculums is clear and helpful tips in writing. For example, I saw a curriculum that had this confusing, color coded, numerical help to writing the letter. Just to write a letter, you had to know the proper color placement and then follow the right order through this strange dot to dot style method.
This essentially makes handwriting more complicated than it needs to be. A simple example, maybe a traceable letter or two, and a good starting point indicator is all that is needed to effectively teach handwriting.
A good teacher guide is also beneficial to teaching proper letter formation if you don’t know where to begin. This also needs to be clear and straight forward. If it takes you longer to understand how to give the lesson than actually give the lesson, there’s a problem.
Finally, I look for something that wasn’t so… well there’s no other word for it… boring. Handwriting is pretty straight forward. You have to practice to get better so in a way, handwriting practice can get pretty boring pretty fast.
I don’t think it has to be this way though. With enough color and good graphics, it is easy to break up the monotony of handwriting practice and bring a little fun into the mix. Essentially I look for something visually appealing. Something that gets my child excited about handwriting.
And that’s it! Four key ingredients to finding a good handwriting curriculum!
Just to recap, the four things to keep in mind when looking for a good handwriting program are:
- Teaches proper letter formation
- Provides enough examples and practice space
- Offers clear helps both in the student workbook and the teacher guide
- Is visually appealing
I hope this post helps you narrow down all the handwriting curriculums to one or two top contenders. Most importantly, remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Sometimes you just have to try it out and see.
I did a review on the handwriting curriculum that I chose after using these components to narrow down my search. You can check it out here if you’d like.