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The BestEver Phonics Packet for Teacher Letter Sounds My Writing Journal The BestEver Workbook for Teaching Beginners to Write, Level 1 The BestEver Workbook for Writing Manuscript Letters on Lines Review by Laura O’Neill

The BestEver Workbook for Writing Manuscript Letters on Lines, Level 2 The BestEver Cursive Writing Workbook, Level 3
Author: Bonnie Emerson
Published by 4 Kids Publications
(209) 996-8291
Modesto, California 95350
bonniejemerson@consultant.com
http://www.besteverwrite.com/

BestEver Handwriting consists of several components that will take your child from the beginning stages to fluid, cursive handwriting with the ever present Mr. Writewell helping guide the student. The BestEver Phonics Packet for Teacher Letter Sounds ($19.99, designed for all ages) focuses on teaching letter sounds with the use of a CD, poster sized chart of the letters and an individual color chart which can be copied for multiple children. The BestEver Workbook for Teaching Beginners to Write, Level 1 ($19.99, ages 5 and up) walks the child through learning how to print using developmentally appropriate learning skills. The BestEver Workbook for Writing Manuscript Letters on Lines, Level 2 ($19.99, ages 6 and up) continues the journey begun in level 1 with a focus on learning to write on the line including proper spacing between letters. The BestEver Cursive Writing Workbook, Level 3 ($19.99, ages 8 and up) teaches the student to write in cursive along with developing the ability to read cursive writing. My Writing Journal ($9.99, ages 6 and up) is designed to extend writing practice for levels 1 and 2 with both blank and lined space with Mr. Writewell at the start of each line. All workbooks are spiral bound to allow for pages to lie flat for writing. 

The homeschool parent can begin with the BestEver Phonics Packet for Teacher Letter Sounds with their preschool aged child and continue reinforcement through early elementary. The BestEver writing workbooks are designed to be consumed as the student works through the pages. The BestEver Workbook for Teaching Beginners to Write, Level 1 starts with the student learning to trace different types of lines with an emphasis on fine motor control. By the end of the book, the student has learned to both lower and upper case manuscript letter formation.  The BestEver Workbook for Writing Manuscript Letters on Lines, Level 2 moves into the use of letters in words and sentences. The BestEver Cursive Writing Workbook, Level 3 allows an older student to master cursive writing. My Writing Journal is considered supplemental and allows the student to have paper with lines identical to those used in the manuscript writing workbooks.

In our house, we focused primarily upon the phonics packet and level 1 books. My youngest son, who turned 5 this month and is still considered preschool age by most school districts, worked with me for short bursts of time. The phonics packet was easier for him to work through as he has been gaining familiarity of letters over the past year. He enjoys mimicking sounds which is something this program with CD encourages. However, he was not in love with the product and only did short bursts of usage.

The level 1 workbook is something that he was excited to do as he wants to learn how to write his name to then acquire a library card. However, I soon found that being on the younger side has its limitations as his fine motor skills are still developing. The beauty of this program, though, is that you can go as slow or fast as you’d like. Instead of doing a page per day, we did a line of practice each day so he might gain the fluid motion needed for writing. I am confident that before his official kindergarten year is complete he will be into book 2 of this program.

I asked my 9th grader to look at the cursive workbook as his handwriting is atrocious. For an older student, the use of Mr. Writewell to ‘teach’ the student how to master handwriting is something that turned him off.  However, I did like the progression taken for teaching the formation of letters including the early inclusion of writing short words to emphasize making connections between the letters.

Overall, this is a nice resource for a parent looking at a self-contained handwriting program. Considering the cost to print pages at home, the workbooks are decently priced and I like the idea of bound pages for extra practice. BestEver Handwriting promotes the idea that working on a page per day (for up to 20 minutes) will help your child develop writing skills that will last a lifetime and I definitely agree.

Product Review by Laura O’Neill, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2014

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