Most educators agree that handwriting is still foundational to many subjects, even with the advent of the computer. The HMH handwriting series is a versatile program, providing two approaches identical in structure and progression (down to the exact page), with regular practice and evaluation (every 6-8 lessons). For the first three levels, you can select from one of two options. A Ball & Stick method follows a more traditional approach, teaching handwriting by its individual parts. A second option, the continuous stroke method (modern style) uses a manuscript where letters have curved strokes at the end of each letter. This approach can provide a smoother transition to cursive.
Beginning with Kindergarten (the Starter Level) teaches strokes - top/bottom, over/under/through, left to right, curved and line strokes. Workbook pages teach letter recognition, numbers 0-10, number words in English and Spanish, the question mark and period, and letters by stroke groups. The book is divided into groups of lessons and there is review and evaluation at the end of each group. There are 94 horizontal pages, lessons are only one page each, and children begin writing words and phrases at the lesson 25 evaluation. Students practice writing short sentences beginning with lesson 46. 71 lesson, 94 pgs.
Level A begins with review of both lower- and upper-case letters, strokes, spacing, and smoothness. Lessons 15-19 review numbers, just the digits - not the words. Lesson 20 and forward practice handwriting with letter formation, words, phrases, and sentences. 82 lessons, 94 pgs.
Cursive letters are introduced in lesson 37 of Level B. Children begin by matching and comparing manuscript and cursive letters and words; cursive connector strokes in lessons 43-45; begin writing letters in cursive in lesson 48; practice cursive words in lesson 50; phrases begin with lesson 60; and complete sentences in lesson 74. 102 lessons with additional practice, 126 pgs.
The Starter, A and B levels in either option use a horizontal orientation, while levels C and D are vertical (94 pgs.). No teacher editions are necessary; all instruction is included in the student material.
These materials are graded specifically and include both instruction and practice.