Monday, February 18, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting without Tears Logo

My sweet niece visited with us over Christmas and one of her favorite things to do while she was here was "work" on my iPad. She was thrilled with it and enjoyed playing so many of our apps.  iPads really are fun -- but we are learning that they make great learning tools, too.

I've been watching the changing quality of apps through the years -- moving from purely entertainment to quite educational -- and I have been intrigued with so many of my fellow homeschoolers appschooling that we're adding that dimension to our days at Long Leaf Academy as well.

We've long struggled with handwriting {the Boy Scout had a stroke at 18 months and the Princess has never held her pencil correctly} and I've been searching for just the right thing to help them learn to PROPERLY form letters and improve their handwriting skills. After many years of Occupational Therapy and pencil grippers designed to make them hold writing utensils correctly, it's nice to find an app that teaches proper formation BUT is fun for my children.  I don't like tedious work and neither do they.  The new Handwriting Without Tears iPad app brings it all together in a way that is just what this family needs.

HWOT Wet/Dry App Title page
Covering both capital letters and numbers, and showing the proper technique to form both, Wet-Dry-Try can be used to improve writing skills by a large age range of students. The Princess and I have been working on multiplication drills and I cringe every time she writes the numbers 2 and 8. She has such an awkward way of forming them both. I am constantly reminding her to erase her 2s and try again -- and her 8s . . . Whew.  What a relief to have her finally learn the correct place to start that number.  Wet-Dry-Try has done wonders for her confidence as well -- as she figures out the correct way to form those pesky 2s and 8s.

The app looks like an old-timey chalkboard slate and students make each letter or number a minimum of four times as they work through the levels.  The first time through, students watch the chalk correctly form the letter or numeral.  Then, students use their fingers as a "wet" sponge to form the letter or number themselves.  Encouraging words are spoken as they form it correctly and they are gently reminded to "keep their finger on the board" if they stop or falter.  After completing the "wet" stage, children use their finger as a "dry" cloth to trace the letter or number and finally they use their finger as "chalk" to write it by themselves.

This Handwriting Without Tears iPad App -- Wet-Dry-Try -- is available for immediate download from the iTunes store for only $4.99.  As easy as it is to get my girl excited about school done on the iPad, this is a great deal in my book.  For the same price as those special pencil grippers, she's ready to "play" and learn -- and she's excited to do so.  You'll want to make sure and check it out for your family AND while you are there, make sure to also check out the other HWT apps available to meet the needs of children in all age groups and skill ranges.


~Disclaimer:  I was given the opportunity to use and review the Wet-Dry-Try Handwriting Without Tears iPad App as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I received the app in exchange for my honest review. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of both the App and the Handwriting Without Tears books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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