When I began teaching Apple to write, we worked on the traditional block letters. She, being the princess she is, has honed her writing and now uses what she terms as "fancy" writing. As fancy as it may be it is horribly hard to read! I've been searching for a handwriting curriculum to use with her in homeschool this year and I was so excited to have the opportunity to review the DVD curriculum by Steps4Kids that is for Modern Manuscript (D'Nealian). She has been begging to learn cursive so I have enticed her by saying if she can practice with this DVD and improve her handwriting, then we will begin cursive.
It also worked perfectly to try this DVD curriculum because Speedy is just learning to write! While I was looking over the Steps4Kids page, I was really wondering if the DVD would be too hard for Speedy and too easy for Apple. The recommended grade level says Kindergarten+. The kids were excited as soon as the package came! They both really enjoy DVD curriculums that we can use during homeschool. It doesn't feel like learning even though it is!
They both got seated at the table, and we got it turned on. The program is great! Not only are the kids learning handwriting but it repeats the letters over and over (great for Speedy who is still learning them) as well as the phonic sound of each letter (which Speedy is also working on). I will say that the DVD goes pretty fast! We had to pause it again and again and again for Speedy. Even Apple wouldn't have been able to keep up the whole time on her own. Having Apple write her letters over and over while it was paused for Speedy worked well though. After the intial letter work (which is broken into similar letters C, G, O, Q) then there was word recognition and practice using those same letters. Again perfect for Apple and we adjusted for Speedy. When Apple was writing a whole word, he did his best to write the first letter of each word. Then Apple's favorite, there was even an art break using the letters to draw! Anything that includes art is fabulous in Apple's book! By the way she loves the "fancy" letters!
I have very little to say that is negative. If I was doing a revision of this video, I would give more pause for writing. I would also make the menu a little easier to navigate. There is an introductory menu which isn't bad, but the sub menus are very confusing and have way too many choices. I would prefer that it was only broken into lesson plans, not by lesson plan, individual letter, and more. It's a little overwhelming and wouldn't be easy for the kids to navigate alone.
If you haven't already go check out Steps4Kids website. There you can see the other products they offer including a Multiplication DVD and Cursive DVD. Did I mention they offer free writing templates and printing worksheets? They're right there on the website. They are also on Facebook where they offer learning tips and discount codes!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.comhttp://www.tomoson.com/?code=BOTTOMfccfe18a0a8f9b2159f6abb7d89b52b3">Tomoson.com>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.