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Review of Rhythm of Handwriting from Logic of English

I have a confession. I had never heard of Logic of English before this review. As I explored the company, I learned that they offer a complete reading, writing, and spelling curriculum for younger students and for older students. They also offer independent handwriting instruction books and some learning supplements and apps that go along with their curriculum.

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I have another confession. I have really been a slacker in teaching formal handwriting to my children. I have memories of sitting in class and crying, literally, over a handwriting test involving copying sentences perfectly. I have memories of an elementary aged student who had all As except in handwriting where she had that one lone B that prevented her from getting an all As honor roll. Seriously. So I've been pretty traumatized where handwriting was concerned. As a result I haven't worked on it nearly enough with any of my children. Kathryne, my oldest, has fortunately picked up cursive on her own and has pretty cursive writing. The others- not so much.

So, when I knew that I was going to receive the cursive edition of Rhythm of Handwriting from Logic of English, I decided that I was going to use it with one of my little girls. I'd pretty much chalked Charles's handwriting up as lost, sadly.

I received the printed version of the Rhythm of Handwriting student book. This book, in it's printed form, sells for $18. There is also a PDF version for $15. This book is intended for ages 7+ but also includes instructions for how to use it for younger students.

 photo RhythmOfHandwritingCursive_400_zpsc9971869.jpgI eagerly began looking through the book and getting an understanding of how it worked. I loved that it included a cursive handwriting chart! And then, as I looked, I had a realization. This book would be perfect for Charles- my 12 year old with horrible handwriting! I've never pushed him to learn cursive. But I've often thought cursive may actually be easier for him- which would result in neater writing. Cursive usually is less strain on the hand, and he often complains that writing makes his hand hurt.

The book is also structured very reasonably. Instead of teaching the letters in alphabetical order or by groups of sounds- as I've seen some phonics based programs do- it teaches the letters by grouping together letters of like strokes. The letters on the included chart are also grouped by stroke. In the front of the book is a recommended schedule based on the age of the child and previous exposure to cursive handwriting.

The book was not at all too childish or young for Charles. For ages 7 and up the first suggestion is to learn two letters each day and practice them. We followed that schedule.

Each day two letters were introduced. The formation is explained and the student is given large lines on which to practice the strokes using a finger. Then there is a practice page for the letter which contains eight lines with the lines increasing in size from top to bottom. This gives an option for line size so that lines can be chosen which result in the most legible handwriting. Younger children often need bigger lines because of their motor control. But I do have a child that has always written neater on smaller lines. The book provides the four options in line size.

After all of the letters from a particular group of similar strokes are introduced, there are practice pages that review all the letters learned so far and have words to copy using all of the letters.

After all of the lower case letters are introduced in this way, all of the upper case letters are introduced in the same way grouped by strokes and spaced by the reviews.

I have high praise for Rhythm of Handwriting because Charles worked well with it. He has greatly disliked any handwriting practice up until this point. I'm not sure he would say this is his favorite subject, but this book has been a really good fit for him.

The way the letters are introduced makes sense. He is learning letters by what strokes they have. The size of the lines is a good fit. He does well with the smaller lines provided. The way the letters are taught showing the strokes in a numbered manner and having a place to practice the strokes with a finger first makes the letter easy to learn. There is a reasonable amount of writing each day. Practicing two letters on several lines isn't so much that it seems tedious. Even the review sections don't have so much writing that it is difficult. The amount of writing is a good balance of enough to practice but not enough to be burdensome.

This curriculum is a good example of how we sometimes have an idea of how something will work in our homeschool. But when we actually start using it, it turns out to be much more than we ever expected. Rhythm of Handwriting has been an unexpected treasure. I'm not sure Charles will love handwriting when he finishes. But his cursive handwriting is looking really good. And he is finding out that neat handwriting doesn't have to be tedious.

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Review Crew members reviewed this and other curricula from Logic of English. Click below to see what other reviewers thought.


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