Language and Literature,  Product Reviews,  Writing

StartWrite: The Handwriting Worksheet Wizard Review

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. All opinions are my own. StartWrite title

Over the last year I’ve had a creative bug tickling my inspiration. With my push to do even more with our homeschooling, I wanted to start creating worksheets for the random topics we covered. I use various photo editing programs to create worksheets, and while other people are pretty dang fantastic with them, I found my design skills to be a bit lacking.

Once I discovered StartWrite I was hooked. Not only can I create my own worksheets for just about anything, they also have several premade worksheets to give me ideas!  Up above in the title picture you can see several different types of worksheets. Some for handwriting practice, some teaching science facts. What’s even better? No matter what handwriting style you’re focusing on, they’ve got you covered.

As soon as I received my copy of StartWrite the worksheet possibilities started flowing through my mind. I was thinking how this would be a great program to create journal prompts for beginning writers and advanced writers both, allowing to write in a starting word or phrase and even leaving a black spot above for drawings or clip art. It’s a great way to create a journal for homeschool kids to write about projects they’ve done. You can use it to create investigation worksheets for science projects. Why not create some math word problems? If you’ve seen it in another workbook somewhere, there is a good chance you can create it here.

Here’s a little bit of an example of what StartWrite can do for you. Please note, the dotted line frames around each section won’t show up on your finished worksheet. I promise.  StartWrite examplesWhat you’re seeing up there is a nice little sampler of StartWrite features. The program comes with a complete, detailed how to manual explaining all of the buttons and they also have video tutorials of some of the features. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

        • The top row gives an example of how you can adjust the dotted lines from darker to lighter.
        • The next row shows how the writing arrows can be manipulated by word, line and even the color of the arrows to help them stand out.
        • The third line demonstrates the denseness of the dotted tracing lines.
        • I create the little sentence section to demonstrate just three popular fonts, although there are many more to choose.
        • Finally the last line gives you a little taste of some of the fun features StartWrite has to offer, such as outlines, highlighting and starting dots.

I made this worksheet in less than 5 minutes using StartWrite. Charlie loved that it was customized to her lake study. Charlie editedIn the above picture you’ll notice an image on the worksheet. StartWrite has a huge bank of both color and black and white images you can use in your worksheet creations. If you don’t like the images they have, or can’t find the one you want you can always upload images you have stored on your computer. The text and art boxes in the StartWrite program can be moved around throughout the worksheet where ever you want. This makes worksheet creation a snap.

After a couple of weeks playing with StartWrite, the only thing I didn’t like was the pop up boxes for the different functions. When I was just starting out, sometimes I’d click on the wrong button and the pop up requires you to take action, either selecting ok or cancel. This is a minor issue and most likely only a personal preference of my own. My fix for it, if I were the product designer, would be to let it be a bit more forgiving and allow you to move the box to the side and continue working while it is up.  I can also see how this fix could get confusing, which is why I say this is more personal preference than anything.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or a quick worksheet to print off for the kids head over to the pre-made worksheets on the StartWrite program or even a list of 52 different worksheet themes in pdf format that you can download.

If you’d like to try out StartWrite before purchase they have a free trial version so you can make sure it’s right for you. The first time you open it you’ll have access to all of the features and functions, so make sure you try out everything and really take a good tour of the product before you close it. After that first time, there will be limited functionality until you purchase the product.

Here’s the best part of this whole post. Not that all of this wasn’t awesome enough. StartWrite is offering a free download of the full StartWrite program to one of my readers! Head over to the giveaway to enter for your chance to win! (Giveaway will run 12:00am 6/15/14 through  11:59pm 6/30/14)

What’s the first worksheet you would design with StartWrite? Tell me in the comments.

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