My boys (9 and 11) have always been unschooled. I have decided that I want them to learn, in a more structured way, to print and write. They can print all of the letters of the alphabet, but not with any speed or confidence.
I've been researching, and have decided on either Handwriting Without Tears or the Portland (Getty & Dubay) program. Have you tried those? Can you recommend one over the other? Would one be more appropriate for older kids with no previous formal instruction?
I like the idea of learning a printing system that proceeds easily and naturally into cursive. From what I can tell, that describes both of these methods. So, how to choose?
I like them both. I first bought HWT for my son when he was 5 (or so--not exactly sure). He really liked playing with the wooden letters, the songs, etc. For older kids, I don't think I'd necessarily purchase a wooden letter set. You could do similar things with play dough, popsicle sticks, etc. if you wanted to--or just focus on the actual writing.
I then decided that GD looked nicer, so bought one of the first books--I think A or B. I liked it more than my kids did. For them, the writing on a slant was weird.
From a cost standpoint, if you don't purchase the wooden bit, they're about the same. For younger kids, I'm all about HWT. For older kids, I think I'd go with the style that they like best. Show them samples and see what they think.
Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1). "Kids do as well as they can."
I agree. If they like the style, they may be more motivated to get it right.
My kids used HWT. We didn't buy anything but the books. My goal is legible writing (print and cursive). I don't give a dang about font styles. I really liked how HWT structured their learning. I like how they built upon letters that were already learned. My oldest dd liked that she didn't have to worry about the slant. She also liked the simplicity of the letters. She had previously (at PS) been taught a very curly method of cursive and it was more annoying to her to add "extras" to the letters. Now, she sometimes will add a bit of extra--for flare.
Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (12), Maya (8).
I lilke HWT. My 7 year old is advanced in many areas and prefers straight to the point things, my daughter is 5 and loves to see fairies and butterflies on everything. They are both happy with these. She has the yellow book, He has the blue one. I like that t hey group letters that start out the same. "magic C," c, a, g, d...it's working very well. DS writes so much better but is just now picking up the pace a little. He doesn't look likle he's "drawing" every letter anymore. DD I think is more of a natural writer because even though she has tendency still to not write the perfect size, she writes letters a little quicker. I don't pick much while they are doing it though, there is enough repitition that by the end of the book they should work out all those quirks. I'll point out if there is something terribly wrong but they get sensitive about it. There are such clear examples at every page so I know they are trying their best.
Overall we really love it to anything else! We have so much else we have to do in a day that keeping the writting practice simple is nice. Also DS is very interested in learning cursive so I told him I told him I already bought the book and as soon as he's finished we will move right on to that. He does 3 pages a day on his own usually
That is great advice! I was leaning strongly towards HWT - and then I showed the boys samples of both styles of cursive writing. The younger one didn't care either way, but his older brother strongly preferred the Portland. We spent quite a bit of time looking at all of the resources, and I think he has bought into the whole idea. Hooray!! (He was initially not keen on the idea of formal instruction - but he does want to be able to write with ease.) I am excited to get started!\
For those who have used the Portland/Getty-Dubay - where do you think we should start? With book B or C?
napless - back in 2004 you posted about a song you had heard and been looking for. If you found it, great, if not I think it's "Mother's Prayer" from the album "Out of the Blue" by Connie Kaldor. :)
You can hear it here: http://www.conniekaldor.com/about/out-of-the-blue/