Handwriting Without Tears released a new edition of their 2nd Grade teacher' guide and student books in January 2013. Luke (1st grade) has been anxious to start cursive, but I wanted to wait until after the holiday break. Perfect timing. Prior to the new 2nd grade edition, cursive did not start until the 3rd grade book. Now there is a small booklet to go along with the Printing Power book to introduce the cursive letter formation after the main workbook is finished.
Teacher's Manual- $9.25
Printing Power Plus (includes both workbooks shown) $10.25
The teacher's guide is 190 pages filled with lesson plans and additional activities to extend the handwriting lessons. The guide is divided into four sections:
Foundational skills- The basics of the program are reviewed and reinforced.
Letters, words, and sentences- There is a review of the letters and then the words and sentences are introduced using only letters they have practiced along with the new concept the lesson is covering.
Writing activities- This is where grammar, poetry and language arts concepts are incorporated.
Numbers- Reviews proper letter formation and reinforces it with math concepts.
The Printing Power workbook is 94 pages. It starts out with a review of the letters and builds into words, sentences, and paragraphs. In the back of the book are the number pages. It is suggested in the lesson plans to do one day a week in the number section. The pages in this book are perfect for my kids. They are black and white with line art to color if they choose. The expectation is that the kids do their best handwriting using the models provided. There is enough repetition to allow for improvement and not so much that they get bored and sloppy. For my kids the pages are just right.
The Kick Start Cursive workbook is 32 pages and introduces the letters and uses them within words that the kids are familiar with and not difficult read. This allows them to focus on the letter formation and not having to figure out the words, which is nice.
There are many extras tools available to assist with teaching handwriting. You can see all of them at their website page for the 2nd Grade materials.
~How We Are Using the Workbooks~
Luke only just turned six, but he has worked through all three of the Get Ready books, the K and 1st grade books. He has very good handwriting so I had no problem with him moving on to cursive. He is only using the Kick Start Cursive portion of 2nd grade. Well I should say he only used that portion. He plowed through it in a matter of days. He was very excited. Now he is applying his newly learned cursive to his daily copywork.
I must confess that the main 2nd grade book, Printing Power, is not sitting unused. Sophie is using it. Yes, she is only 5 and in kindergarten, but you know us homeschoolers. We use what works, regardless of the grade level assigned to a product. Boy am I glad I did. I was a bit hesitant to give her such small lined areas to write in because she, unlike her brother, has sloppy handwriting. I was sure it was going to be a one try type of deal. Oh no, it was won-der-ful. For whatever reason, when she started using smaller spaces her writing became much more legible. Who would have thought? Not me!
She is now happily doing her handwriting daily using the 2nd grade book and will continue until it is complete. She asks everyday when she is finished with her page to do her silly page. That is what she calls the magic c word page. If you have used the lower levels you may recall the page of magic c's that they turn into letters. Well in the 2nd grade book they have a page with either 2 or 3 c's together that they turn into a word. She just loves them. We do a few each day.
I believe in this product and highly recommend it. I have used Handwriting Without Tears since the beginning with both of my little children. As I said earlier, Lucas has nice handwriting and is fully on his way to getting his cursive down. As I also said earlier, Sophie did/does not have the nicest handwriting, but that is no fault of the curriculum. She just does not like to slow down and take her time. She is a "get 'er done" kind of girl. She knows perfectly well how to properly form her letters. Luke is much more particular and detail oriented, which is also reflected in his writing. My kids are very different in personality and learning style and this program has worked beautifully for both of them and they both enjoy it.
Click on the banner below to see more Handwriting Without Tears reviews. There were grade levels K-3 reviewed, as well as the Wet-Dry-Try app.
As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.