Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in
exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I
compensated in any other way.
I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems like writing, and penmanship in general, are very difficult to teach to boys. They just aren’t interested! I struggle to get them to write at all, let alone legibly. Therefore, I was somewhat interested in using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook from Everyday Education, LLC. The premise sounded great—a simple method for teaching beautiful handwriting, and good reading. I thought I would use it to supplement the Language Arts program we’re using with the boys, and get a start on teaching Little Miss to read and write with it.
When I received the ebook, I was quite interested in reading the introductory pages. The history of our current type of cursive handwriting was fascinating, and I like the premise of this book, which is to simplify writing so that everyone can have beautiful handwriting. I believe the book would work to teach a child to read, as well, assuming the child had no learning disabilities and the mother had enough time to spend with them doing the lessons. For me, unfortunately, it didn’t work well.
I did not end up using this course as a supplement for my boys. This book teaches Italic writing, which is beautiful and simple, but they had already learned the normal cursive. Therefore, I felt like it would be too confusing for them to try to relearn everything. I did use it for Little Miss, to work on letter formation. She loved doing several pages of the letters, and did very well at learning the sounds. Each letter is given a picture of a word that begins with that sound—like A is apple, E is elephant, I is igloo, etc. We didn’t get beyond writing letters, though. The program doesn’t start putting letters together into words until all the letters have been learned. Then, it introduces short vowel words, consonant blends, compound words and plural words. It then moves on to vowel-R words and vowel teams. Each of these lessons has a list of words to learn to read, and then several sentences using the words. Each of the sentences is printed with blank lines under the words for practice writing. This is one of the strengths I see in this book, that the child is expected to write directly below the example, which makes it easy to follow the model.
After thoroughly learning the shapes of the letters, children are introduced to joining them. With the Italic system, most of the letters are actually not joined, as in most cursive systems. I found that quite interesting.
In summary, this book was not a good fit for our family at this time, both because I have already taught my boys to write cursive with a different system and because of the dyslexia that runs in our family. In the introduction, this book states that everyone will be able to read well by going through this system, but I know from experience that some people will not be able to—at least not with someone like me teaching them. I tried systems like this with my older boys and utterly failed, although I’m sure some people would have done well with it. This book would work well to teach most children to read and write, however, and if I didn’t already have a course on hand to use with Little Miss I would give this one a try. Take a look at it and see what you think!
Fifty families have been using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting over the past month and a half; see what they have to say about it by clicking the image below!