Garrett hates reading and Garrett hates writing. These are things been focused on specifically as we get full force into our third grade year. When we were given the opportunity to review Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting a elementary curriculum from Everyday Education, LLC, I figured it was something worth trying. After all, if I can combine both reading and writing into one, it might be less stressful on Garrett. For this review, we were given an ebook digital copy of the book to use with both kids.
About Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting
Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting is the work of Caroline Joy Adams. Janice Campbell, a homeschooling mother, had in the past used the book in an earlier edition years before to teach her own children to read and write. However, when she tried to purchase a second copy of the book to use with her second child, she found that the book was out of print. Through her own labor of love, she worked hard to bring Caroline Joy Adams original book (along with some of her own copywork sheets) by updating and re-releasing Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting to a new generation of homeschooling families.
Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting can be used with a young child who is just learning to read and write, older students who are struggling with either, and even adults who would just like to improve on their handwriting skills.
The beauty of the book is in it's simplicity. Students are introduced to the "phonic method" where emphasis is placed upon blending letter sounds together to form words. Then students are given a page of silly sentences to read and then to copy which both re-iterates the reading portion of the lesson as well as allows practice for handwriting. Over the course of 60 lessons, students progress through the lessons, they also progress from using basic straight lettering often used by younger students, to slanted letters and on to joining letters as used in cursive style writings. Also included in addition to the 60 lessons are various copywork sheets to use for handwriting practice.
How We Used It
I've been using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting with both Garrett and Ashleigh for the last few weeks and we have managed to make it through to lesson 12. The first lesson took a bit longer than others as it concentrates on teaching students to properly form the 26 letters of the alphabet. Starting with lesson 2, students are introduced to a particular letter sound or phonetic blend, such as Short A or ST. Each of these lessons start by giving the student a list of words which uses the targeted phonetic sound.
For each lesson, I would simply print out the two pages that correspond with the days lesson. The first page of words we would read aloud , concentrating on proper pronunciation. so that they could understand and master the targeted blend. Earlier lessons focus more on basic CVC words such as "cat" and "hat" but they soon progressed to harder words such as "dwarf", "twin" and "wisely". Once the first page was read, we would move on to the second page where together we would read the silly sentences provided that used many of the words covered in the lesson along with words previously covered. After the kids read this page, they would then work independently to write the sentences to the best of their abilities.
I would love to say that Garrett's handwriting has improved leaps and bounds using this program. There has been some improvement, especially in legibility, but there are still times that his writing leaves a lot to be desired. That is to no fault of the book, however, and I think has more to do with the fact he's a 10 year old boy who rushes through writing just to get it over with. However, I have seen a major improvement in his reading abilities just in the 12 lessons that we have completed so far. I have seen far less of him simply trying to guess the word and instead he concentrates on actually reading the words and pronouncing them properly.
Ashleigh is far ahead of Garrett in her reading abilities and she finds the reading to be quite easy but I have no doubt that she has benefited from the review of the phonics. I have noticed a mark difference in her writing as she tries to properly form her letters exactly as they are shown in the book. Her writing has become much more legible compared to the scribbled hen scratch she originally started with.
We have really enjoyed using this curriculum. Since Garrett does struggle so much with reading and the fact he absolutely loathes writing, we have used MANY other reading curriculum that are on the market and while we have had some degrees of improvement, I can honestly say that using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting has probably had the most impact with Garrett. Where we use to have fights and tears anytime it was time to read, Garrett now quickly grabs his Forbrain and his pencil and is all smiles when it's time to do these lessons. This book has been a game changer for us in our homeschooling day and I can understand why Janice Campbell wanted so badly to once again make this resource available for homeschooling parents everywhere.
For more information on Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting and Everyday Education, please visit their website or one of their various social media pages.
Members of the crew were given the opportunity to review three different ebooks from Everyday Education, LLC. These books range in grade level and topics so be sure to click the banner below to read about the different products that were offered to us from Everyday Education, LLC.