We try to be pragmatic at our house and in our business - whatever works well, whatever makes sense, that's what we try to do. I've not met Letz Farmer, the author of this book, but I'll bet she's a pragmatist also. Lots of practical, "that makes sense", ideas are included in this ball-and-stick method. For example, capital letters are taught first to minimize reversals that can occur in lower case letters (I thought Mark would never get "b" and "d" straight). Capital letters are taught according to "stroke families"; letters with only vertical and horizontal strokes are taught first; letters with slanted strokes are taught next; finally, letters which have a circular component are taught last, because these are the hardest. The first lower case letters taught are the ones that look exactly like their capital counterparts; next, the ones that look similar to their capital counterparts; and last, the ones that look nothing like their capital counterparts. Practice pages contain three lines for each letter; letters on the first line are thick and fully shaded, and show directional arrows for the starting point and direction of strokes; letters on the second line are thick outlines that allow for some "wiggle" as the child attempts to write his letter inside the outline; the third line is blank and allows the child to make his letters freeform. The book has a fold-flat plastic binding so that the student is not fighting a hump in the page as he attempts to print his letters. Each pair of pages is laid out so that the top of the pair is at the left-hand side as you open the book; when in its upright position, either right-handers or left-handers can use the book without disadvantage.
Several other niceties are incorporated. A short story and cute illustrations help the child to remember each letter. The bottom of each practice page contains the alphabet, but missing some letters so the child can write them in the appropriate place. Phonics practice and (here's a first) sign language is incorporated if you want to use these along the way. Plus, Bible verses are used as part of each exercise.
Where did Mrs. Farmer come up with all these good ideas? She credits her "child expert", daughter Laura. Nice job, Laura!
These materials span grade levels and include both instruction and practice.
over 5 years ago