Horizons 1st Grade Penmanship (Crew Review)

As Elijah started Kindergarten this year, I realized there was one thing I really needed to work with him on: penmanship.  As with most subjects, he taught himself how to form letters, and consequently he had developed a few bad habits.  So I was thrilled with the chance to review the Horizons 1st Grade Penmanship Set from Alpha Omega Publications.

About this Horizons Penmanship Set

The set we received consisted of two softcover books: a student workbook with 160 lessons on perforated pages and a teacher’s guide with lesson plans for each day as well as reproducible pages for extra practice if needed.


This program is ideal for children in either Kindergarten or first grade just learning to write (or in Elijah’s case, learning how to write properly.)  It starts the year with early writing skills like forming circles, lines, and curves to help practice the fine motor skills students will need when forming letters.  Then slowly it moves through the letters and numbers, grouping those that are formed in similar ways and incorporating them into short words.

In the eighth week, the student begins copying simple Bible verses.  They practice the words throughout the week and then the last lesson for the week has an artistic page for them to copy the verse carefully and color in the picture or design to make a nice gift for someone with whom they want to share it.

Our Experience

This set was exactly what I was looking for in a handwriting program this year!  It has helped provide some structured time for us to sit down and work on correct letter formation and so much more.  Elijah loves it and often wants to finish multiple pages in a single day.

P1050761xI wanted to start with the very basics to make sure Elijah knew things like where to start writing, exactly how to form letters, and how to use the lines to help him make the letters correctly.  Yet I knew he would get bored spending too much time on those things.  The program moves pretty quickly through this stage, though we did skip through the first few weeks of lessons selectively so I could have him focus on undoing some of the bad habits he had developed.  However, after about 4 weeks we were on lesson 30, and that seemed to be a comfortable fit, so from here on out we’ll continue using the book as intended, with one page for each day.

I really appreciate the perforated pages.  At first I intended to keep the workbook together, but I found that the book wasn’t laying completely flat, which made it difficult for Elijah to control his pencil close to the spine where the page tended to move.  Once we started tearing the pages out, he had a much easier time.  (The pages are double-sided except for the fifth one each week, so you never have to hang onto Friday’s paper over the weekend, which was great.)

We’re just getting ready to head into the weeks that start using Bible verses, and I know Elijah is going to enjoy those, especially creating beautiful pages to give to friends and family with his weekly verses.  I love that he’ll get to use his new writing skills to learn and spread the Word of God!

Sample pages from the Horizons 1st Grade Penmanship Set are available, as well as the Scope & Sequence for all the Horizons products available from Alpha Omega Publications.  Other members of the Crew have written about some of those materials, so be sure to check out their reviews by clicking on the banner below!

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