My youngest son is finally old enough to start working on handwriting, and I’ve been trying to decide what curriculum to use to help teach this to him. We were recently sent a new review item from Rhythm & Writing, which provides a unique and colorful approach to teaching and practicing handwriting with the Rhythm & Writing with the Get Write Crew program. This uses a combination of a workbook, along with supplemental videos to cover handwriting lessons and practice.
We were sent a workbook, which is spiral-bound. The pages are filled with colorful lines to practice handwriting on, cute stories including the Get Write Crew and some illustrations that are just begging to be colored, and the little chant that tells students how to make their letters properly. This is the same little ditty that the videos use over and over again, so just hearing it read could help jog the student’s memory from watching the video earlier.
Before you get started with your child, there is a pre-assessment in the workbook for them to complete. This is to help identify any letters that they need extra help on. I knew my son would need help on ALL of them since he’s just starting out, so we just began right at the beginning of the lessons.
There is also an assessment at the end of the book so you can see how far your little one has come once they finish the book! It would also help you to identify any problem letters that you might want to spend some extra time on, especially using the videos!
My son absolutely LOVES music, so I knew that we would be utilizing the videos that the program includes. There are found on the Rhythm & Writing website through a subscription and stream from there.
Several times per week, we logged in and watched the videos from the Get Write Crew. I like that they group together similarly-formed letters into the same video. It is the logical way to practice writing for young learners.
After the video had been watched once or twice, I would play the video while I let my son color the coloring pages or illustrations. He loves to color, so that made the workbook seem much more approachable for him. He’s not used to doing a lot of workbooks, so it was great to have something familiar to him included.
The videos themselves include a lot of positive messages, as you can see from the screenshot below. Ethan really did like being told what a good job he was doing as he was practicing his letters!
In the video, they show the exact movements that students should be making while marking on their paper with their pencils. In fact, the lines in the video are exactly like the ones in the workbook, as shown below.
They chant and sing the correct letter formation while showing it on the screen, all to a catchy little beat. My son got a few of the songs stuck in his head, which meant that it was something he stored in his sweet little brain for when it was time to form letters again!
After listening to and watching the videos and coloring a little, it was time to practice. We used the blank transparency that we were sent and some dry erase markers to practice the letters. My son is still having some difficulty with his fine motor skills and control while holding writing utensils, so the transparency was what we used the most.
Once he was pretty good at doing the letter with the dry erase markers, we moved to the workbook. This is where my only complaint lies. I wish that the line spacing was much larger, as the sort of small dotted lines were just too small for him. If they were twice as big, they would have been perfect for him. He is only 4. That said, the line size would be perfect when he is closer to kindergarten-age, maybe in the middle or end of the year, based on my experience with my other boys and their fine motor development with handwriting.
This program was created by an occupational therapist, which I think adds so much to the design and how it all works together to teach children.
While I was using this with my young son who is just beginning his print handwriting journey, this would be amazing for kindergarten or first grade students, or any older child or special needs learner that needs a little extra help.
The videos are motivating and colorful. The music is quite catchy and includes explicit instructions on letter formation, so there is no mistake. The lines in the video look just like those in the workbook, which is so helpful for more visual learners. Students go from watching, to practicing, to tracing, to practicing more precisely in the workbook, to mastering the letters! Best of all, you can use the program in a kind of a la carte way by using just the parts of the program that your child needs help with, if you wish and do not need to work on all of the letters.
Be sure to see how other families used and progressed with the Rhythm & Writing program by clicking on the banner below: