I know it comes as a surprise to many of you, however, handwriting is not and never has been an exciting time at my house. For years, I tried to find the perfect handwriting program for my boys. There are so many options to choose from, trust me, we tried most of them! We tried the cartoon-y and colorful programs, we tried just doing copy work from our reading, we tried the expensive boxed curriculum programs, but just did not have any success in the area of penmanship. I finally decided what we needed was a basic, get-it-done, handwriting program. No frills, no colorful pictures, just do it and be done with it! As I have told my boys, some things are just not going to be fun, so you might as well just do them!
A friend of mine told me about Pentime a few years ago and it was just what we needed. It is a basic handwriting course with no frills or extra activities, just daily penmanship practice. My boys have responded well to it. It is just something they know has to be done each day and they always do it first thing every morning without fuss (most days).
What is included with Pentime:
- Pentime offers workbooks for 1st through 8th grade.
- It is very easy on your homeschool budget at just $5.50 per book and that is all you need for an entire year’s worth of handwriting practice. Level 1 is divided into two books, however many people choose to begin handwriting practice in Kindergarten.
- The grade 1 books focus on letter formation using wide lines; it gradually introduces words and sentences (in Grade 1, Book2). Grade 2 is a transition year, beginning with manuscript and gradually introducing cursive. By grade 3, they are writing cursive. Each year after gives the students much-needed, daily penmanship practice.
What we like about Pentime:
- It is black and white, just get your handwriting done, practice.
- The program uses Bible verses, as well as Biblically sound life lessons and stories.
- There are black and white characters in the younger books. One of my sons loves these, he will color or do the small dot-to-dot activity on the page. My other sons just ignore them and only do their handwriting practice.
- The program is designed to be used independently, with little help from parents. Now, into the Book 2 of Grade 1, my first grader does this program without much guidance at all.
If you are looking for a basic, no frills penmanship program, this is a great one to try. My boys have done really well since we switched to Pentime. No more tears or frustration over handwriting for us.
If you have a child struggling to learn cursive, I highly recommend the Level 2 book. If I have to pick one thing I love about Pentime, it is the Level 2 transition book. It transitions the students from manuscript to cursive in a very gentle way. Two of my boys learned cursive this way and it was so simple for them.
~ Written by Heidi S.