When I was contacted about reviewing the StartWrite 6 handwriting worksheet wizard software I was immediately interested. My four year old is learning to write and I often make copies of the worksheets he brings home from school so that he has extra practice. Additionally my seven year old struggles with his handwriting and we spend a lot of time practicing to help him write more neatly.
The idea behind StartWrite is perfect for parents who want to help their children practice handwriting at home. The software is an easy to use wizard that allows you to quickly create handwriting worksheets that can be customized in a variety of ways to suit your child’s needs. The options are really expansive and allow you to create sheets that are not only useful, but colorful and fun as well.
We began using StartWrite to help my four year old practice letter writing, and have now moved on to printing worksheets with images and words, so that he can begin identifying and writing sight words.
For my seven year old we print out sheets with his weekly spelling words, or blank sheets so that he can write letters or stories using the guidlines to keep his writing neat. Over the last few weeks we have seen huge improvements in his handwriting, and his teacher has even written home about how much he’s improved in class!
Some of my favorite features:
- Fonts – You can choose from a number of fonts such as Manuscript, Cursive, Spanish and Math. This creates so many possibilities for learning.
- Letter Styles – Dots, like you see in the photos, lines, starting dots, colored lines and letter outlines create a number of different visual learning tools, so you can find what works best for your child.
- Colorful Borders & Clip Art – It is easy to make the sheets engaging for even young learners with the included clip art and colorful borders.
- Guide Line Options – allow you to choose the style and color of guidelines.
- Landscape or Portrait Mode – allows you to choose the style of worksheet.
- Grid Mode – allows you to use a grid to line up text boxes and clip art neatly, but doesn’t print on the finished worksheet!
- Save Lessons – Lessons I create for my oldest son now can be saved to revisit later, or use for younger son.
- Included Lessons – can be printed or downloaded from the website, so you can have a lesson ready even when you don’t have time to make your own.
- Prints on regular printer paper – No special paper or sizes, so you can get the software and begin creating right away.
It’s easy to customize worksheets around holidays too, making it fun over school breaks because we can tie the worksheets into other activities.
Although the layout of the software feels a little 1990’s, it is easy to get the hang of everything and begin customizing worksheets and the various options give the program the ability to grow with your child as they improve.
Overall, I love the program. It has helped my four year old learn to write, and has helped my six year old improve his writing enough that even his teacher has seen the difference. I look forward to continuing to use it with the boys and think it is well worth the price.