Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting By Nan Jay Barchowsky Learn to write with simple, efficient letterforms that flow from print-script to a true cursive with NO. Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting is cutting-edge! One complete program for all ages! Economical! It s a one-time purchase. There are no consumable workbooks. Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting. 67 likes. Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting is an innovative program to joyfully learn and teach to all ages.

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I do not like to write by hand. Firstly, the methods that were taught when I was in second grade did not work well for me, or any other left-hander in that school. Basically, if I did it their way, I consistently went home with ink on the heal of my hand, a smeared paper, and a poor mark.

Secondly, my teacher said aloud to me when we started this painful business: I therefore spent my college years printing so that I could decipher my own notes. Since the advent of reasonably priced laptops and my diagnosis with RA, I write only to sign my name. Those people who are handwritten letter snobs never get anything in the mail from me.

Two of the Squirrelings are left-handed. One of them actually does most other things with her right hand, but writes with her left. Thirteen years of Treehouse talk.

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The closet conundrum ProjectFallPart Two: Today, January 23rd, is National Handwriting Day. Do you enjoy writing by hand? We have been reviewing three products from Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting.

But let’s go back for a minute handwritig a turn-of-the-last-century couple named Bridges. Robert Bridges was a poet laureate. Mary Monica Waterhouse Bridges otherwise known as M. You can read some of her notes and see images from her book on the Ambleside Online website.

Charlotte Mason appreciated what “Mrs.

Bridges” was trying to do in both simplifying and beautifying the handwriting that children were being taught: I waited patiently, though not without some urgency, for the production of this new kind of ‘copy-book. At last the lady, Mrs Robert Bridges, has succeeded in her tedious and cluent undertaking, and this book for teachers will enable them to teach their pupils a style of writing which is pleasant to acquire because it is beautiful to behold.

It is surprising uandwriting quickly young children, even those already confirmed in ‘ugly’ writing, take to this ‘new handwriting.

Although I know there are many styles and systems of handwriting out there, and that several of them have worked well for CM homeschoolers, this is the first one that has appealed to me enough to want to take it on with one of my children, and the first one I’ve seen that seems to have both the sense of “beauty” that Charlotte Mason wanted, along with an acceptably contemporary style.


That may sound funny considering that the Uandwriting style is less “loopy” than even my school-taught cursive, but a simpler style can have its own gracefulness. And who’s to say that every letter in a word has to be hooked up to every other letter?

The Barchowsky method suggests a break after every four or five letters, to increase legibility. There are a lot of handwriting ideas that I’ve taken for granted ever since fluennt own school days, but they’re not necessarily the only way to do things.

Years ago, The Apprentice tried out an italic system of printing; her handwriting still shows the scuff marks of that battle. Since then the Squirrelings’ copywork has been rendered in their version of Mama Squirrel’s best “painstaking and legible” fifth-grade-style cursive.

For actual handwriting instruction, we’ve used a very standard workbook series and some online freebies.

Still, our results have been something short of “beautiful,” especially outside of handwriting lessons. But it was time to try again. I have to say that Barchowsky isn’t an open-the-book-and-teach program. And what makes it especially difficult to start a whole new handwriting system is that most of us already write some other form of cursive–so when you’re first checking out the program, you’re having to retrain your own brain as well as hhandwriting out handwtiting your student is going to do.

At first it seems that there are no set lessons–it’s designed that way so that it can be useful to students of all ages and be used at your own pace, which makes it flexible but a bit confusing at first. The teacher has to do some homework ahead of time; but there are ways to get started without too much pain–see below. We received all three Barchowsky products, and at first I wasn’t sure what to do with the BIG package of wipe-off practice sheets.

They’re coated so you can use them with a wipe-off marker. My youngest is in the third grade, after all. But one of last year’s Review Crew mentioned that she had used them with an eight-year-old, so I decided to give them a try along with the main program. We use the suggested little chants things like “down, bounce up, down, bounce up” to get the feel of the handwritinng, and we’re just working through them, one per lesson.

We’re a bit beyond the suggested cornmeal and shaving cream activities, but they’d be helpful with younger ones. This manual is the key to the whole program–especially the CD-Rom included in the back of the book one each for Windows and Mac.

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The theory of the program is all in the manual; but the worksheets–a great variety of them, some of them customizable–are on the CD-Rom, and we’ve been combining those with the large Beginners sheets. There are also brief videos of hhandwriting hands–both right and left handed–writing, holding pencils, etc. Flkent book itself contains lots of ideas and examples for continuing handwriting practice, which will probably make more sense once you’ve gotten started.


You can also order a download of the font itself, which would allow you to make your own worksheets. So although you’d have to buy both the Beginners and the main package to get this combination, I think it’s a good option if you have a mid-elementary-age child AND you need a kickstart to begin teaching with the program. Younger children would probably be fine with just the big sheets–you do get a helpful little teacher’s guide with them, and I’ve been using that more than I have the main book.


We also received the “adult” or “remedial” package, Fix It Write. The Apprentice had been asking me if I could find her something that would help her write her high school notes faster and clearer, and this sounded like a good possibility.

Between end-of-semester exams and everything else lately, she hasn’t had much time to do more than look through the package; I think I’m going to have to write a separate review for that one. She did comment that she also would have liked to see more reproducible pages instead of instructions to draw lines so-far-apart on paper and then practice patterns on those. I told her that there were probably some sheets she could print out from the CD-Rom that would make it easier–but again, this is going to have to wait until chemistry and physics are done.

The price of all this: One comment–I don’t understand the reasoning behind that. If our sheets were worn out after one child and I wanted to buy another set a couple of years down the road, why couldn’t I buy just the sheets?

I’m happy we got to try this–this seems to be the year of improving our spelling, improving our handwriting. I wish Crayons would have had the chance to start it a couple of years ago, but since she is still only partway through learning the “regular” cursive letters, I don’t think she’ll have a problem trying to relearn some of them–and in fact, the hard ones are the ones that Barchowsky simplifies like lower-case S.

I’m not sure how I feel about the price–it sounds high, but it’s probably comparable to other complete programs out there. These products were received free for purposes of review. No other payment was made. The opinions expressed in this fluennt are our own. Newer Post Older Post Barchowksy.

Last modified: July 31, 2020