When beginning homeschooling for kindergarten one of the first things everyone looks for is a handwriting curriculum. There are so many to choose from! With so many choices it can be hard to know what is best. There are many, really good ones, but I'm really excited to share something brand new to me and what I think I'll continue to use with Grace through Kindergarten.
Fundanoodle is a really neat company I was not familiar with before this review. Their learning activities are very hands-on and all about experiencing while learning. When you have time, take a minute to read about their company and philosophy. You'll see why I'm really behind this company. We reviewed the I Can Build Upper Case Letter! activity kit ($29.99) for ages 4-5 (Pre-K-Kindergarten). What a blessing it has been for Grace!
This is such an amazing value! The kit includes a magnetic dry-erase board, a set of magnetic curves and lines for buildling letters, a dry-erase marker, activity cards for gross motor skills, and a wooden dice. There are other handwriting systems which incorporate building the letters with a set of basic curves and lines, but not for this price with everything included. The magnets are very high quality and sturdy. Directions for building the letters are also included.
Upon opening the box I hadn't even taken everything out before Grace was trying it out! She knew it was for making letters and without any guidance she built D and was so very proud of herself. I know it wasn't exactly how it was intended to be built, but she was discovering on her own and loving it. I knew she was hooked and this was going to be fun!
Although many schools are doing away with recess researchers agree physical activity throughout the day is vital to stimulating the brain and provide more focus. Fundanoodle provides a very easy way to incorporate gross motor skills with this program with the gross motor cards. These were soooo fun. I honestly didn't know how they would go over. They seemed so simple, but this was one of her favorite things! She simply rolled the dice to choose which card we would do, flip it over, then follow the directions, which was always moving the same way as a specific animal.
Don't these shots just say it all? Grace loved roaring like lion and hopping like a kangaroo. Just as expected, her focus and attention was increased when we got down to the core of the program.
First Grace built the letter we were working on. I chose to have her do the same letter every day for a week because of her age. I'll explain why below. I would hand her the pieces needed for the letter and let her do the best she could...which was pretty good as you can see! For some letters I had to help her align them a bit, but she got the idea from the start and this was something I really liked. Having her tangibly form letters with these basic shapes seemed to cement them in her mind.
I really like that the straight-lined letters are taught first. Some handwriting programs teach the curved letters first. Some teach them in ABC order. Others teach consonants and then vowels. To me, this makes the most sense.
You can see there are several rows for the students to practice on. Because of her age (not quite 4) I felt it would be best for Grace to work on one line each day. The first three rows are in boxes which really helped her form her letters better. Again, I've seen other curriculum use this method, but not with as much clarity as is used in this book. I also like that the last two lines are traditional practice paper for her to use. This was much harder for her, but she gave it her best and really did quite well. This is the first time she's really used handwriting paper even though she's been writing letters for a while.
Another really fun aspect is each letter has its own special sticker for her to place on each page when she is done. She loved these I like the reward. It was something to work towards which was very simple.
This program is good...so, so good. I hadn't disliked any of the other handwriting curricula I've used with my girls, but I hadn't yet found one I loved. Now I have!
Read about this and the many other wonderful products from Fundanoodle from my Crewmates!