Monday, December 19, 2011

Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting App Review

I have two little girls who like LOVE the iPad at The Moffatt Girls house!  They are always clamoring to get their hands on this device, but we try to limit their use to a reasonable amount of time.  I think the iPad offers an excellent opportunity to reinforce learning in a FUN way and sometimes offer sanity during a long drive in the car!  That being said, we LOVE education apps and we were extremely excited to be a part of the app review team for the TOS Crew.

We were recently given the opportunity to review Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting: Letters Make Words.

What is it?
Letters Make Words is a handwriting app that teaches children the Barchowsky style of writing that reinforces rhythm and patterns.  This app is recommended for children between the age of 4 years old and early elementary.  

How Does it Work?
When first beginning the app, you are given the option to listen to an overview or choose a letter.  Each letter has a unit for instruction and you can pick letters you want to practice.  A female voice guides you to trace the letter with the correct motions.

What did we think?
I was really excited to review the app because I wanted Audrey to work on letter formation.  However, we found the app to be somewhat inconsistent.  For example, when Audrey traced the letter, the color was suppose to change indicating that she traced it correctly, but many times the app did not pick up that she had traced it correctly.  In addition, the guiding voice (teacher) did not move as quickly as Audrey and she did a lot of waiting for the voice to finish so she could continue.  

After practicing letters and words that begin with a specific letter, children were asked to write a sentence using the new words on paper.  However, if Audrey has the iPad in her hands, she is not prone to putting it down, especially to write on paper.  Perhaps other children would be more willing to use this feature of the app.

This app would probably be more suitable for children who are ready to move into cursive writing rather than younger children who need to still master basic printing.  I must say that the flow and movement from letter to letter did seem to make it easier to transition into cursive.  This is a feature that makes me want to revisit the app when we are ready for that phase of our writing.  

You can learn more about Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting {HERE}.

How much does it cost?
You can download this app at the itunes store for an introductory price of $2.99 {HERE}.  

You can also see what my other TOS Crew members thought of my app {HERE}.

Disclaimer:  I received this app free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not influenced by the free product.

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