Disclosure: I received a free copy of How to Tutor by Samuel L. Blumenfeld from Alpha-Phonics. I was not required to write a review at all, and I was certainly not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. I share this product because it has been helpful to my family, and I hope it will benefit yours!
Fine Motor Skills and Cursive: Our Journey with How to Tutor
My daughter’s handwriting has been a struggle since the beginning because of some fine motor delays. I heard and read over and over that cursive writing would be easier for her and would also help with reversals because of the “flow” of cursive writing. I thought it was worth a shot. We had struggled with manuscript writing for a few years by this point, and even with occupational therapy, we weren’t making as much progress as I would’ve liked. We began using the How to Tutor lessons for teaching cursive writing. I liked the plan because it was a slow and steady plan for learning cursive, with each lesson taking two weeks and the entire course taking two years.
It didn’t work. It wasn’t the program that was the problem. It was that my daughter just wasn’t ready. She was in second half of third grade at the time, but it didn’t work. I put it away and waited.
In fourth grade, after we got everything else going, I brought out How to Tutor and tried again. It’s amazing how much difference a few months makes in a child’s maturity and development! This time she did very well using the How to Tutor cursive program, and she made real progress in her handwriting. The slow introduction of letters and combinations of letters along with two weeks of practice really was the right decision for my daughter. She needed to develop the muscle memory from the two weeks of practice so she didn’t easily forget what she had learned. (I had tried something else before this that moved very quickly, and she couldn’t easily retain the information.)
How to Tutor also has kids writing words within a few weeks, so they feel accomplished rather quickly. For example, they might begin by learning to write lowercase a, followed by lessons in lowercase n and maybe lowercase d. Before long, they’re learning the lowercase letter n and are practicing that while combining the letters they know into the practice of small words like an, ad, and and. It’s brilliant.
We’re in year two of How to Tutor now, and my daughter’s cursive writing is coming along great! Her cursive writing is much more legible than her manuscript writing is now, and it’s improving every day. And now that she knows how to write cursive, she’s learning to read it too – and that’s a terrific life skill to have!
I’m very thankful for the How to Tutor cursive writing program. If you have a child who’s struggling with handwriting in general or needs help with cursive in particular, it would be worth checking it out to see if you think it might help your child too!