Write on Handwriting: Conquering Cursive is an iPad only app and part of the range of handwriting tools available from Write On Handwriting LLC. It is the second app in the series; we have previously reviewed Write on Handwriting: Powerful Printing. As well as the iPad app there are also computer programs and paper workbooks based on the same method available from their website. The Write on Handwriting method is a research-based method that was developed by educators, you can read more about it in our Developers Interview, and on the Write-On Handwriting Website. The app contains no in-app purchases, adverts, or external links.
The app follows a very similar format to the Powerful Printing app but this time focuses on teaching the strokes for cursive writing rather than printing. There is a lot of debate in educational circles at the moment about teaching cursive, as many children learn to type and use computers at an early age so some schools are no longer teaching cursive. There are reasons why I still think it is important to learn cursive – for many students it is much faster to write in cursive than printing -I noticed a huge improvement in how quickly my son could do his written work once he mastered cursive and there are some areas of your life where you still need to be able to write – typing is not always an option.
When working in the app the student can chose to work on upper case letters, lower case letters or numbers. They can pick individual letters if they have particular ones they need extra practice on; or work in alphabetical order but my recommendation is to work on the letters in the groupings provided. The letters are grouped according to initial stroke and working on them in these groups makes it easier to memorize the stroke sequence and is better for muscle memory.
For lower case letters the groupings are: cad, goq, ijtp, elf, hkb, nm, rs, uvwvy, and xz.
For upper case letters the groupings are: CAEO, TFD, UVWY, PRBK, HNM, LJ, XZ Q, and GSL.
Letters are grouped: 1456, 237 and 890.
There are 2 modes: Practice and Learning.
The app starts in learning mode for each new letter or number, but this can be manually over-ridden. The Learning Mode utilizes a multi-sensory approach- audio instructions accompany a video of the letter being drawn. Then the student draws the letter – a star marks the starting point and arrows show the direction of the strokes, if a letter has more than one stroke the arrows appear only for the stroke the student is currently working on. If the student goes outside the lines, they have to restart the current stroke. At the completion of each letter they get positive audio and visual reinforcement with cheers and shooting stars.
In Learning Mode the student practices each letter in the group once, then they can choose to practice that group, or learn another group. In Practice mode they practice each letter three times before moving on to the next one in the group. A star marks the starting point, but the arrows only appear if the student is having difficulty.
I think learning cursive (or “joined up handwriting” as we call it in England), is an important skill even in todays computer-age and I think it is sad that some children are no longer being taught it in school. Whether they learn it in school or not, I think it is important that all children get the opportunity to learn this skill.
There are a few things I would like to see added to the program in future updates. I would really like the option for the child to work on words as well as letters – it is an important next step in cursive writing, of course the child can practice this on paper but it would be nice to have it in the app also. I would also like to see multiple student accounts, so families who have more than one child working on this skill can keep separate accounts for them, and I would like the ability to change the tolerance levels- adding a beginner level -making the app more forgiving for students with fine motor difficulties.
Things that I really like about the Write on Handwriting method are that it utilizes a multi-sensory approach, and that the letters are grouped according to similar stroke patterns. Motor memory is really important in making complex motor plans, such as those used in handwriting, automatic. My daughter has Apraxia and Dyspraxia, which affect her motor planning ability, so motor memory is something we are very aware of, as she has to work on this more than most children to acquire new skills. Always using the same stroke pattern, using a multi-sensory approach and doing lots of repetitions the same way help to build motor memory and thus the handwriting strokes become automatic rather than something the child needs to think about.
If you would like to download this app please use this link: Write On Handwriting: Conquering Cursive Letters & Numbers – Write-On Handwriting LLC
Write On Handwriting: Cursive
by Write-On Handwriting LLC
Price: $2.99 USD
Conquering Cursive is a developmentally sound app supported by research and years of educational experience. The Write-On Handwriting app fully engages students through multi-sensory instruction of letter.
Special Offer: If you buy or win this app or Powerful Printing, you can receive practice page pdf’s. Simply email: email@example.com and tell her which app you purchased or won
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).