Wednesday, December 21, 2011

TOS Crew Review : Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting App - Letters Make Words

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I love my iPad2, not only is it a great resource for me personally but, we use it consistently in our homeschooling {looking up a period of time in history, using an app to locate a constellation in the night sky, finding out what bird is making a particular sound - to name just a few ways we are able to use it}. Now, I can add practicing handwriting to our list of uses. Recently we were given the chance to review a brand new app for the iPad called Letters Make Words from Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting.

This was the perfect app to use with my 7 year old, 1st grader. Ava Mae loves using my iPad but, is not a big fan of handwriting sheets. So, when I first asked her to try out Letters Make Words she was a little reluctant but, she immediately fell in love with the app. She even enjoyed the new style of writing she was learning {Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting}. She told me it looked a little like cursive - which she wanted to learn first before printing anyway.

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Here is a little about how the app works, directly from their website:

"Learn and teach handwriting with phonics, an app designed by a Handwriting Specialist and an Early Childhood Specialist. The purpose of Letters Make Words is to help beginning writers develop good handwriting habits for all academic and adult needs, and to learn basic phonemes.

The first screens offer suggestions of how to use Letters Make Words. Then letters are presented. The user can select any letter. Each one comprises a complete unit of instruction for that letter, a warmup pattern, the letter and a word to trace and to sound out. When a letter has a different sound depending on its usage in words, choose from either of two words. The next screen has three words to sound out with a silly sentence for the child to write on paper."
The voice on the app is very easy to listen to and with my daughter she needed no instruction on how to use the app at all. I watched as she opened it for the first time, chose a letter, and dove into her first lesson.

Ava Mae's written work that went along with the app seems to be improving the more and more we use it. I think a great addition to the current app would be a way for the children to use their finger to print on the screen itself and be scored on how well they did but, this was the only area I could see some improvement being beneficial. Overall, we have really enjoyed using Letters Make Words.

The app is being offered on iTunes at a special introductory price of $2.99. It is intended to use for ages 4+.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of the Letters Make Words app
? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a free download of the app Letters Make Words, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the app.

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