Z2 always wants to "do school". He generally wants to do anything Z1 does because that's his big brother! Z2 is only three and so there's not much to his schooling. Initially I was just doing play-dough and playing flash-card games with him but one day at work, I noticed a book in the garbage. I took it out because it looked relatively new--and it was. It was a pre-school Handwriting without Tears book and only a few pages had been done. I do the Handwriting without Tears program at work and I really like it. It's a consistent, methodological, multi-sensory approach to handwriting developed by an occupational therapist. My students are work really enjoy it, it's easy to do, and it's really effective.
So when I found the book half used, I took it and decided to use it for Z2. Why not implement the program at home? Not only is it good for helping Z2 develop his motor skills/writing, it's a wonderful review of letters and their sounds. So this is what I've been using to "do school" with Z2 and it's working out well. I don't do all the HWT steps. I have the slate board for Wet-Dry-Try (but I didn't buy the sponges--I just cut up my own and I didn't buy the chalk). I also roll out letters with the dough (Z2 finds this very challenging). I purchased the flip crayons which is what we use to write in the preschool workbook. They are just brilliant. I must say, Z2's grip is right on point (tripod grip is ideal for writing) and he enjoys doing his "work".
I use the HWT program in conjunction with the Brainquest Preschool workbook. I don't love this workbook but it's colorful and fun and Z2 likes having his own book. I purchased it at Costco for about $7 so I'm not too mad. I also broke out the Hooked on Phonics tapes but Z2 is a different child and does not seem willing to abide all the repetition.
I also use HWT for Z1. He's using the first grade workbook now and we really don't do anything except practice in the workbook. We were using the blackboard with double lines and all the steps but he's really comfortable writing now and knows how to form his letters. His handwriting is very nice and so I have no reservations recommending the HWT programs both for younger and older students. We may use the HWT program for cursive but I can't say I'm crazy the HWT cursive style although the one pro to it is that it's very readable.
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