Boreaal Publishers thinks it's high time for a new approach to handwriting instruction. The need for one is high; in the United States and other Western countries, handwriting quality is deteriorating. Boreaal says that LetterSchool, the educational game it just released, can provide better instruction than parents or teachers.
In LetterSchool children between 4 and 6 learn all about letters and numbers: writing, counting, phonics and more. It is a universal application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The makers have invested heavily into high-quality graphics, effects and animations at a level not easily found in educational apps for this age group. LetterSchool is using an entirely custom-built, full-featured OpenGL-based 3D game engine. Young children work magic as they write letters and numbers with sparkling candy, squealing tires, cuddly animals, whistling trains and humming lawn mowers. The wide variety of games captures the child's attention and keeps young players practicing their letters and numbers, over and over again. At home, at school, in the car and everywhere else, children can learn at a comfortable level and at their own pace.
In the app, young children practice each letter or number in four steps combining different learning approaches. They first play every letter and number in the silver level, then play them again in the gold level with greater challenge. To put their acquired skills to the test, players write their very own letters in the final free-form writing game. This extensive practice in two distinct levels ensures children's letter knowledge takes permanent root. LetterSchool makes exclusive use of visual information to demonstrate the letters: American studies indicate that visual clues are easier for a young child's brain to process than verbal instructions. And visual interaction is exactly where mobile devices are very well suited for.
At home, parents rarely know how they can best help their children learn to write. At school, overfull curricula leave little room for handwriting lessons. Moreover, those lessons often make less than optimal use of the available time. There are several reasons for this. Many schools consider handwriting skills a lesser subject. In studies, many teachers indicate that they received poor handwriting instruction themselves. The quality of LetterSchool's instruction is constant and independent of the person, place and time. These are a few reasons why LetterSchool provides better handwriting instruction than parents and teachers.
About the creators: Boreaal Publishers and PiMZ.com formed a select team of specialists for the LetterSchool project. The contributors have decades of combined experience in education, publishing, software development and computer graphics.