My daughter, Gemma, is 5 ¾ (yes, three-quarters). When it comes to homeschooling styles, I lean toward the Charlotte Mason method, which means that we haven’t officially begun “school.” Charlotte Mason believed that a child should have “a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive, receptive life.” While I can’t claim to have given Gemma six years without academics, I can say that I’ve put off teaching her to write.
Now in the homestretch of kindergarten, Gemma’s public school friends, are writing complete sentences using uppercase and lowercase letters. While I don’t feel pressured to get her caught up, when presented with the opportunity to try Channie’s Visual Handwriting Workbooks for free, I was quick to say yes.
I received the Visual Handwriting & Math Workbook Bonus Pack, which included six workbooks:
2 Quick & Neat Alphabet Pads (PreK – 1st)
2 Quick & Neat Writing Pads (1st – 3rd)
1 One Page A Day Single Digit Math Practice (PreK – 1st
1 One Page A Day Double Digit Math Practice (1st – 3rd)
The Quick & Neat Pads have forty 11” by 8 ½” sheets of paper, and each sheet is printed front and back. They look like green-and-white-striped graph paper, and all the pages are identical. The Alphabet Pad, which is designed for beginning writers, has larger blocks for practicing letters than the Writing Pad. The pads are not pre-printed with letters for children to trace, write underneath, or write beside.
They’re blank, so you can decide how you want to use them with your child. For example, Gemma, who likes to follow directions (as long as they’re given by someone other than me – wink, wink) chose to copy the example alphabet on the inside front cover. But you and your child can use the pages the way you want. You can use them for copying the alphabet or for copying one letter multiple times.
You can also use the pages to create your own copy work. You can write Bible verses, lines of poetry, or beautiful quotes from the pages of your current read-aloud book, and have your child copy your example in the color-coded blocks.
The blocks are one of the things that really make Visual Handwriting pads different from other handwriting workbooks. Typical handwriting workbooks have rows where children can copy letters or words. Each row has solid lines at the top and bottom, and a dashed line in the middle. A child is supposed to make lowercase letters fit between the dashed line and the bottom line. Dashed lines help children with letter height, but they don’t help with consistent letter width or spacing between letters. The Visual Handwriting blocks solve both of these problems.
I wish I’d had this product a few years ago when I was teaching middle school. It really would have been useful for one of my 6th graders. I’ll call him Felix.
Felix had the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen. He wrote letters on top of other letters. It took a lot of effort to decipher the work he turned in. If he had been using the Visual Handwriting workbooks, it would have been easy for Felix to space his letters, and easy for me to read so that his handwriting didn’t interfere with the ideas he wanted to communicate.
Gemma loves math, so she was also excited to try the One Page A Day Single Digit Math Practice and the One Page A Day Double Digit Math Practice Visual Math Workbooks.
Gemma is enjoying teaching herself to print. A handwriting product that is self-correcting – how cool is that? But my intention has always been to teach Gemma cursive first. Well, guess what? I discovered that
is also available in cursive!