My four year old had been wanting to learn to write more than just B (the first letter in his name) and this review of Rhythm & Writing with the Get Write Crew came at just the right time. Rhythm & Writing has created a cute program of videos, stories, and practice to help young children learn to write. I was excited to find out that it was created by an occupational therapist who knew and understood the importance of fine motor skills in handwriting.
When we first got the package in my son had an opportunity to take a ‘pre-test’ where he copied words to get an idea of what he already knew. This would be especially beneficial for a child that had learned some of his letters and just needed to work on trouble spots. I was excited to be able to have it to compare his progress. If your child already had mastery of some of the letters you could skip through those and only focus on the ones that needed work. Since my son only really knew the letter B, we decided to start at the beginning and work our way through the book. The book covers both the upper and lower case of each letter, but not at the same time.
There is a song/rap for each set of letters to help you remember how to form them. If I’m being honest, I was not a huge fan of the raps but my son LOVED them. He wanted to watch the videos over and over again and I think they helped him learn to write. Their effectiveness made up for the fact that I didn’t enjoy listening to them. The videos feature the same characters as the story in the book: “Big Country” Guitar, “Hip Hop” Lyricist, “Mo Rock” Drums, and “Jazzy Faith” Keyboard and Vocals. You can even listen to a sample on the website.
The rhymes that help them remember how to write the letter are simple but effective. For example, letter V was down stop, up stop. Capital H is long line down jump out, long line down and across. Those combined with the songs and the practice made it easy to master the letters.
One of my favorite parts of this program is that they sent a transparency with the workbook so that a child could practice as many times as needed to gain mastery. As a four year old my son is still working on those fine motor skills needed for writing letters and requires quite a bit of practice. If he had done the workbook page without the transparency he would have been unable to keep working on it until he had it mastered. Once you feel they have mastery, you can remove the transparency and allow them to write on the actual page.
My son also enjoyed that there was a picture he could color on each page. The pictures add visual interest for the student but also give them a little extra fine motor skills practice.
We moved slowly through the program, averaging a letter or two a week because of my son’s age and developing motor skills. If I tried to do too much, he would get frustrated and not do his best work. I had to remember that it takes a lot of focus and work for young hands to form the letters. If you were working with an older student or one who was just missing some of the letters the program could be done at a faster speed.
Overall, I think Rhythm & Writing with the Get Write Crew is a creative and effective way to teach handwriting skills. The videos and story make it fun, the transparency and catchy rhymes allow for plenty of practice and make proper formation easier. We plan to continue using this with my son until he reaches mastery of all of the letters. Make sure you click below to check out the experiences of the other Crew members.
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