Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting: A Review

04 January 2010

Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting: A Review

Included in my package received was:
1. Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting (BFH) fluent Handwriting Manual (with CD-ROM)
2. FIX IT…WRITE (Improve your Handwriting)
3. BFH Beginner’s Handwriting (Trace and Copy Sheets 11” X 17”) and Teacher’s Manual Guide.


Many programs teach print-script (manuscript) first. Conventional cursive is taught in later grades. The sequence and direction of strokes that one learns first becomes habit, but habit must be undone and retrained for the different "cursive" forms. Frequently the change causes confusion, frustration and reluctance to write.

Instruction of only conventional cursive is a better course, but letter formations are more complex than the BFH alphabet. Conventional cursive demands no pen lifts within words, difficult unless one writes with whole arm movement; the ring and little fingers riding along the desk or paper. This posture was seldom enforced beyond the 19th century, nor is it now.

This statement is absolutely true. Up until the second grade, my child wrote in manuscript form. Then in third grade (this year) we, as a family, switched from public to homeschooling with my 3rd grader never trying out cursive writing.

With our curriculum/program of choice, the only struggle he has had was with switching from manuscript writing to traditional cursive formation. Yes, children literally have to start over with penmanship. Some earlier than others, but all the same they learn a different handwriting ‘language.’ To tell the truth, his cursive writing did not look so good and neither did my 6th grader's cursive handwriting. But through time, they both have mastered it (cursive).

But, now that I see BFH and going through the manual; I can see why this is an exciting handwriting method. I can see how much Barchowsky Handwriting Method can help children transfer from manuscript to cursive writing with ease. It’s sort of like a merge of both traditional methods.

I am excited about using this method for my younger two children. My pre-schooler is learning Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting and his first method for penmanship/handwriting. My two older ones say that BFH has a much easier feel to it when practicing, but again they have been hounded with cursive writing this year.

As seen here, he is outlining the sheet with his finger.

Here he is practicing his lines.

I love the large (11” X 17”) beginner’s sheets for fun activities and learning their writing skills. Most sheets have a combination of similar letters for ultimate practice and recognition of the letters. He is definitely having so much fun! Best thing is that they (sheets) can be used over and over again.

The Improve your handwriting. You Can! FIX IT...Write is a great tool to have to ‘update’ your handwriting. I feel that this day and age, with technology ruling most of our lives, our penmanship skills are deteriorating--and fast. I mean, have you seen some children's handwriting..or better yet our own?? Not until we became a home school family did I realize how awful ALL our handwriting was.

Mind you some people really work hard and have beautiful handwriting; we (our family) did not put much effort into it until now. It’s a priority that I am able to read their handwriting and I always stress that handwriting is important now and later in their adult lives. Handwriting is the most personal vehicle for communication (other than talking) I believe. I love getting letters from family and friends, and especially if they are handwritten! Although, it’s an added BONUS if we can understand when we read them!

The FIX IT…WRITE helps to improve your handwriting in as little as 15 days…repetition (extra practices) are included. FIX IT...WRITE is printed on card-stock and has three hole-punches for easy installment for a notebook (not included).

The Fluent Handwriting Manual & CD-ROM is in a spiral-bound booklet. BFH manual is well-organized which includes; table of contents, introduction, how to use information, plus eight sections:

*posture, pen hold & paper position
*exercise patterns, related letters, & practice words
*reference for lowercase alphabet
*reference for capital alphabet
*reference for numerals
*joining letters
*missteps & myths
*practice words & sentences

And lastly, a glossary and two CD-ROMs
1. BFH fluent handwriting (For Windows)
2. BFH fluent handwriting (For Macintosh)
(help demos, ideas, lessons, and instructions)

On the back of the manual a doctor took this course and wrote, “I am probably the only doctor in my hospital that writes legible charts for my patients.” that is an accomplishment—I should say. Hoping that a few middle-schoolers and doctors read this review! ;) No offense–to either...

Links to all these products above are located here.

Beginner’s Handwriting by Nan Jay Barchowsky

BFH Manual & CD-ROM is located here.


Additional material:

Videos on for Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting

and finally,

Order Form online for Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting.

BFH Fluent Handwriting Manual with CD-ROM $65.95
Beginners' Handwriting with Teacher's Guide $29.95
Beginners' Handwriting without Teacher's Guide $20.00
(purchased as extra)
Barchowsky Exemplar Fonts $25.00
Fix It... Write $19.95

Disclaimer: I am not paid to do the product reviews, so my review is exactly how I feel about the educational product and how my family used it.

To view other reviews on this product or other educational products, please visit here.


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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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