Friday, October 25, 2013

Handwriting Without Tears - Wet-Dry-Try Suite

Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try Suite for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase is an app based on the HWT methodology. This app is great to use in conjunction with the curriculum to teach children proper letter and number formation.

If you would like to download Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try ($6.99, iPad Only), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using the link below:

In-app purchases for additional students ($3.99-$11.99)
Links to Handwriting Without Tears website for tutorials and more information.

Handwriting has been a major struggle in my house for the last year. My son, who has Aspergers and fine motor delays, battled me and his preschool teachers on every assignment. This year he started kindergarten and his new school uses the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. I was so amazed by his progress that I purchased the Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try app for him to practice at home.

The app offers ABC order and HWT Order (Handwriting Without Tears Order). The HWT option teaches the children to learn letters using their proven developmental teaching order. Letters are broken up into groups -- such as Frog Jump Capitals, Starting Corner Capitals, and Center Starting Capitals. Users advance from one letter to the next slightly more advanced letter. For example, the first letter is F, then the F is built upon to learn the letter E. The letter C is followed by O and then Q.

Each letter is practiced 3 times per level. Mastering the letter by first "wetting it" with a wet rag, then "drying it" with a cloth, and finally "trying it" with chalk earns the child a star. When using the HWT Order, the child will unlock the next letter when they earn the first star on the current letter. The ABC order allows children to select any letter at any time, while also earning stars. Each star level increases difficulty. Earning all 3 stars unlocks a letter card.

There is some customization available. Each user has the option of two different levels of stroke tolerance, as well as disabling voice instruction, music and sound effects. Parents and teachers can also access the child's progress cards and sign up for a free one year trial of Live Insights. Live Insights lets you view progress in real-time with a comprehensive suite of web-based scoring and reporting.

Purchasing the app allows a profile/license for one child, additional license are available through in-app purchasing. Having two children, I do not like that I have to buy an additional license if I want them both to use it. My daughter is a little older, but still has problems with handwriting. I wanted her to practice, but was hard pressed to pay an additional $3.99 for her to have her own profile. She will sometimes play on the letters which he has mastered, since it wont throw off his statistics and progress.

I would also like this app better if it offered different sizing. Each letter and number take up the full size of the iPad screen. As kids improve, it would be nice to have letters closer to the size they would write on a piece of paper.

Overall this is a great app for an amazing methodology of learning handwriting. If your child is struggling with learning proper letter formation, this is a great curriculum to explore. If you or your child is already learning using the Handwriting Without Tears methodology, this app is a perfect supplement.

The Handwriting Without Tears website has a vast collection of information for parents and teachers. I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the methodology in order to maximize the benefits of the app.

From iTunes:

Make handwriting practice fun! With our Wet-Dry-Try Suite App, children learn and practice correct formation habits for writing capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters. The app simulates our Slate Chalkboard and Blackboard with Double Lines and helps children learn handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. The result truly is handwriting without tears! 

- A proven multisensory approach teaches children to write letters and numbers with correct habits and without reversals. 
- Children can practice letters in any order they choose, or follow the HWT Order, which presents the letters in the proven Handwriting Without Tears® developmental teaching order. 
- A personal coach helps children with friendly audio cues to learn formation steps and fix mistakes. 
- Each letter has three levels of difficulty that build skills progressively. Master a level and win a star. Earn three stars and win a letter card. Collect them all to win the grand prize! 
- The two options for sensitivity allow parents and educators to adjust the writing tolerance depending on each student’s needs. 
- The smiley face and Slate Chalkboard frame promotes good handwriting and reading habits for capitals and numbers. 
- The double lines, modeled after our Blackboard with Double Lines, make it easy to understand where lowercase letters start and end.


Rachel H. loves apps that reinforce skills and learning styles used at school. She also loves coffee, sleeping in, and sunny days if we're making a list.

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