If there were ever a language arts curriculum that could be described as multi-purpose, it would be Everyday Education, LLC‘s Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting. I have just had the great pleasure of reviewing this program in its digital version for the Homeschool Review Crew. With it, I’ve been able to progress on a goal I’ve had for years; learning and perhaps more importantly, being able to successfully write in calligraphy italic!
Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting is a program which can be used to teach children to read and to write. It’s available in printed form, as an ebook, or in a combined form of print and ebook. In 60 days, you can teach your children to read using this program! And, as your children are learning to read with this resource, you’ll also be teaching them to write beautifully. Because it’s based on phonics, even children as young as 4 or 5 can learn to read with their parents. Or, if your older child needs some extra help with reading, Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting can strengthen his ability to utilize phonics and read more effectively. This program can also not only teach children to write for the first time, but to learn to write more legibly or beautifully. Or, as in my own case, it’s great for adults who wish to improve their handwriting by learning italic calligraphy.
The writing program starts with single italic letters written in a vertical format; then, progresses to writing in a slanted format; and lastly, to writing with the letters connected to one another. If you’d like to see an actual lesson, you can download a PDF of lesson 31 from Everyday Education, LLC’s web page Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting. Just click on that link and scroll down until you see the red download link, and you can see, download, and practice it for yourself.
We are years past our times of learning to read in our homeschool. However, when I discovered that Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting could also be used as a calligraphy learning program, I was thrilled!
Since we received a digital version of this program, I saved it to my computer and printed the first 59 pages (of 218) to start with, which I placed in a folder. The handwriting program begins with italic handwriting written vertically, and starts with the vowels. Because children are able to learn best when they look at what they’re writing, author Caroline Joy Adams provides examples of each letter at the top of each page, along with lines for handwriting practice. This isn’t only helpful for children, though; it really enabled me to be able to form the italic letters!
I worked on one page at a time. I used either a gel pen or a fine point Sharpie to practice my letters. First, I’d trace the example letters in both upper case and lower case. Then, I repeated those letters on the lines below. Next, I’d continue to practice the letters on a separate blank sheet of handwriting paper (included in the ebook). In addition to the first learning pages, which have generally two letters and several practice lines on each one, there are reference pages with the entire alphabet. Later on there are pages with printed words to copy and practice, and sentences as well. There are just a lot of practice pages for every level of the program.
This is the second time that I have tried calligraphy. I bought a book years ago and tried to follow its directions. But, I really never felt that I “got” its instruction well enough to feel that I was writing the letters beautifully or correctly.
This time—it has been completely different. Caroline Joy Adams’ program is extremely simple and easy-to-follow…with almost immediate results!
I found the writing font fairly easy to master. The most difficult letter was the letter A, which was the first one I attempted. I don’t think it was difficult because the letter was challenging, but because it was teaching me the new method of writing and the new font. Unlike normal writing, when I (as a right-hander) slant the paper to the left, I wrote on the paper as it was placed vertically on my writing surface (so that it was straight up and down, not slanted).
I haven’t mastered the entire alphabet yet. I still require practice to shape the letters the same way each time I write them. (I have, after all, been printing differently for many years!) But once I have, the curriculum provides pages with actual letters and sentences, so that I may continue to improve and write more naturally. Eventually, I’ll be able to progress to writing slanted letters, and then to connected italic letters (which will look more like cursive).
Although I haven’t always been a fan of printables in the past, I loved having Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting in digital form. That way, I was always able to print additional practice pages when I needed a little more help on a letter.
I have found the entire process so enjoyable. I love the font, I enjoy writing the letters, and I love that, as I continue to practice, I’ll gain the ability to write beautifully in calligraphy! It’s also fun to have something to practice on during homeschool while my son works on his handwriting.
You may purchase Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting from Everyday Education, LLC. It’s very reasonably priced at $29. I recommend it most definitely for anyone who’s interested in learning beautiful handwriting! Other Crew members reviewed other curricula from Everyday Education, LLC, and you can read about their experiences by clicking on the banner below. You may also visit Everyday Education, LLC at their social media sites:
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