To many children, learning how to write letters and numbers seems to come naturally. Unfortunately, my youngest is not one of them. Apart from his resistance to do any form of writing, he also has visual perceptual issues which further contribute to the difficulties. I had an occupational therapist in to help and with a few tricks of the trade, my boy finally GOT IT! It was just amazing! The strategies she used were actually quite simple but effective.
So when I saw that StartDOT Handwriting uses similar approaches, I just knew that it will help to make the process of learning to write a whole lot smoother and stress-free for many young learners. I list below the wonderful features found in this app.
Kinesthetic Learning Order
Here, learners learn to write groups of letters that have the same beginning stroke instead of learning them in alphabetical order. Highlighting the similarities in movement helps children to remember the formation better and it also helps them to distinguish between similar letters like b and d. I should also mention that this approach corresponds to the developmental stages of line formations in young children – straight first, circular next, then diagonal.
Learners who just need to fine-tune the handwriting of specific letters (instead of following the default sequence of the Kinesthetic Learning Order) can switch to the Alphabetic Learning Order. It would be great if this preference can be saved as part of the user’s profile without having to change it in the Settings each time. Perhaps this will happen in the next update but meanwhile, parents/teachers can create unlimited users each with progress tracking!
Learners learn the formation of each letter by remembering a short story associated with the letter stroke(s). The stories use animals, persons, objects and actions that are familiar to young children and are chosen to correspond to the space on the handwriting lines – Sky, Grass and Dirt. For example, the instruction for the lowercase g is – start at the dot, go up to the cloud, pick an apple, put it in the basket, keep going up to the dot, now go digging in the dirt and under the worm. This is particularly helpful for students who have difficulty with letter placement on handwriting papers.
Learners get clear teaching instructions as well as demonstrations and supportive cues are taken off in stages to help learners progress from letter tracing to independent writing. There are also lots of opportunities to practice handwriting on and off the iPad with free worksheet downloads for transfer of skills to writing on paper. To add some color and fun, learners can even choose from 7 colors to do their writing on the iPad.
To remember how 52 (uppercase and lowercase) letters and 10 numerals are written can be a daunting task for young children but cute stories help to make the connection faster and they retain the information longer. StartDOT Handwriting stands out because it understands how young children learn and it adds fun to an otherwise repetitive (boring) activity. It is designed to let learners of all abilities to experience greater success at different stages of handwriting development. I highly recommend it!
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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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.