- Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting
- Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers
- Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert
My family had the opportunity to give Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting a try. I wanted to see if this would be a good way to incorporate read and writing with my 7 year old son.
The course by Caroline Joy Adams states it is for “teaching any child how to read & write in 60 days.” Now, full disclosure, I was not able to use it for a full 60 days before giving you my review but I can tell you, using for the time that I did, I saw some great improvements in both reading and writing with my 7 year old son. The course is meant for any age, whether wanting to learn to have beautiful handwriting or learning to read. It is self-paced and easy to use.
Lesson 1 is learning to read and write the alphabet. Even if you child knows the alphabet, the handwriting form is introduced with the alphabet. The handwriting form used in Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting is italic. The author states that she chose italic because it is easy to learn to read and write. She states that, unlike traditional manuscript writing taught traditionally, the letters are easier to form when writing for younger students because they do not require perfect circles but ovals and some letters are connected to make it easier to write quickly.
The beginning of the guide has frequently asked question about teaching reading and writing as well as teaching tips, suggested schedule and a section entitled “four ways to use this book,” which talks about the way to teach a beginning reader, a reluctant reader, someone that is reading that wants to do better with reading and writing, and teaching yourself to have beautiful handwriting.
Lesson 1 is the alphabet, which begins with the vowels and then moves into the constants. The student learns to read or identify the letters and then write them in italics. These lessons are short but should not be rushed. Work through them at the pace best for your student. Lesson 1 is the entire alphabet so it will take you as long as you need it to take.
Lessons 2 through 23 work on reading. Beginning in lesson 2 with short “a” and moving through constant blends, compound words, plural words, words with “or” in them, and short words that end in vowels. These lessons are short, just 2 pages
Lesson 24 through 41 cover more complex reading like “i” versus “y” sounds, “ir,” “er,” and “ur” sounds, and “oo” sounds. Lessons 42 through 60 includes lessons on silents letters, endings, contractions, exceptions and numbers. Chapter 6 is handwriting practice including copywork, a reproducible guide sheet, adding serifs, and using an edged pen.
The books states that a lesson could potentially be a 5-15 minute lesson each day; however, following the suggested schedule of 5 days a week you would spend between 5 and 30 minutes a day depending upon your goals, your child’s abilities, and the age of your child.
The book is designed for 1 lessons per day which would be how you would accomplish teaching in “60 days;” however, if you spend extra time on a lessons this would increase the time required to master reading and writing. I think that this is totally doable. I doubt we would do it in 60 days because we definitely would be 4 days sometimes and would take more time on a lessons periodically, especially as we got to the higher lessons but, even so, this would easily be accomplished in less that one full school year going at your own pace I would think.
My older daughter thought the writing was “cool” and decided to work on learning to write that way. She started with the alphabet pages to get familiar with italics writing and the moved on to the handwriting practice in chapter 6. She enjoyed it and said she liked it about the same as she likes cursive and thought it was a little easier. But since she has already firmly learned both manuscript and cursive, she didn’t find it necessarily easier. However, she did like the look.
Overall, I think this is a well-written, easy to use, complete reading and handwriting program. I like that they are taught simultaneously. My 7 year old is great with things that teach 2 things at once because it’s one less thing to cover separately. He likes to dig in and get it done 🙂
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