Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Less a book of skills than a set of Handwriting work sheets in one style, with a very little bit of advice
on 7 December 2012
This is a set of handwriting work-sheets with a few simple tips, well let's be honest, Extremely Few and Very Simple tips, scattered around for left-handed writers. If that is what you need and the style of script suits what is being taught at your school or you wish to abandon your school's script and use the one that's in this book, then this is a good and suitable book of writing worksheets. Don't expect advice for lefties, and don't expect any discussion of writing styles or how to work with your school's style which is likely to be different from the book's style. And there is Nothing Whatsoever on how to manage if your child moves from a school with one style to a school with a different style and the change is disruptive of your child's nascent handwriting.
So, what's the style and is it ok? The style is fine, but may clash with that taught at school. Children can learn new styles and it might even help; but there is also a significant possible risk that a clash between what you teach at home and anything being taught at school will end up confusing your child. If what your child needs is a little help working alongside the teachers at school, then it would be much better to get a copy of the school's handwriting scheme and some work-sheets from school to match it. If you want a clean break and your child is older and no longer getting any help with handwriting, then this book of work-sheets could be good.
The style is mostly but not completely joined - this can make it more legible and is common to several styles. It assumes that cursive (=joined or running) writing is being taught after separate letters, rather than teaching cursive from the start. Letter f has a descender with no loops and is unjoined to the preceding letter (but double f is crossed both together) joining from the crossing to the following letter unless it is an e, s is properly s shaped (rather than missing the top curve), x is a cross (rather than curly mathematicians x) and joined to the preceding letter but not to the following one, z does not join to the preceding letter and is similar to most type faces in having no tail below the line, g j y and q do not join to the following letter and thus have no loop in the tail. Number 5 is formed as a single stroke which will almost inevitably lead to it looking like a letter s when written fast: a significant problem in mathematics; number 9 fares better, being written as an anticlockwise circle then into a downstroke which means it is much less likely to be confused with a 2 or a 7.
Apart from the poor choice of five, there is no fundamental problem with the style. I would recommend not following the worksheets for number five, but teaching a five as starting with a downstroke moving straight into a backwards c followed by a horizontal line at the top (for young ones this can be "down and round with a big fat tummy, then put a hat on.") In all other respects this style is a suitable choice, but if it does not cause problems with what has already been and is being taught. It is perfectly possible to make some changes to writing style, but only do so with careful thought and support and the co-operation of teachers, as confusion will make writing worse, not better.