The foundation of writing is penmanship, or handwriting, in which the student learns to write the alphabet and eventually can write words and sentences in a pleasing, legible handwriting style. Most handwriting programs begin with a simple form of lettering called manuscript. Usually by fourth grade, a modification of manuscript writing is introduced called cursive. In cursive writing, letters are slightly slanted, ascenders and descenders become loops instead of straight lines, and the letters within a word are joined together, so there is no lifting of the pen or pencil between letters as in manuscript writing. Cursive is intended to be faster and easier to write than manuscript. Traditional handwriting alphabets have distinctly different manuscript and cursive scripts, but some of the more modern handwriting instruction uses scripts that are similar, so students have a smoother transition from manuscript to cursive writing. For example, DeNealian handwriting uses a “pre-cursive,” in which the manuscript letters are similar to the letters that will be used for cursive. Italic handwriting uses the same basic letter shapes for both manuscript and cursive, with cursive being formed by adding “joiners” to the manuscript letters.
A child can learn to write legibly with a minimum of frustration if his fine motor skills are sufficiently developed and if he practices until writing becomes automatic. Many boys have poorly developed fine motor skills well into fifth grade and find it very difficult to shape letters properly. This is one reason men tend to have poorer handwriting than women. Because of their late‑blooming fine motor skills, boys also may have difficulty becoming “automatic” in their writing. In order to move on to independent writing assignments, a child must have mastered writing to the point that he or she no longer has to think about how to form the letters.
Once students have mastered handwriting, they are ready for more extensive writing assignments.
Best handwriting resources
Manuscript handwriting was not introduced into schools until the 1920s. Prior to that time all students learned only one way of writing: cursive. After manuscript was introduced, the legibility of American handwriting sharply declined because children have a hard time learning one system of writing for manuscript, then switching to an almost completely different set of letters for cursive. Not only are the letters different, but cursive forces the joining of all letters, even though the strokes may be unnatural. Out of the frustration of trying to master two different writing systems, many people never develop attractive cursive or they just make up their own style.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0876780990″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51c-GomGiFL._SL110_.jpg” width=”80″]When we discovered the Italic Handwriting Series, we knew we had found the handwriting method that assists the natural movements of the hand and produces legibility with speed. With the Italic Handwriting Series, the child learns only one simple way of writing the alphabet that is both manuscript and cursive, the cursive being created by adding joiners between those letters that are natural to join.
The program consists of an unjoined set of letters in grades one and two. Near the end of second grade or beginning of the third, the child adds entrance and exit strokes (serifs) and joins. There is no transition period except for the addition of the joins. However, when children learn conventional cursive, they are confronted with virtually 26 new letter forms to master and the addition of awkward joins promotes frustration for the learner as well as illegibility.
The Italic Handwriting Series consists of seven grade-level consumable workbooks (K – 6) and an Instruction Manual. The workbooks and teacher’s manual are each approximately 55 pages and are written in Italic to provide constant modeling. If you want to teach Italic handwriting to an older child, start with the book that has letters slightly larger than the letters your child now writes (measure the height between lines on his/her handwriting paper). Cursive Italic is introduced at the end of Book C and Books D, E, F, and G teach both basic Italic and cursive. We also offer alphabet desk strips that can be attached to the student’s desk as a reference for handwriting practice.
Italic Handwriting Series Book A
Italic Handwriting Series Book B
Italic Handwriting Series Book C
Italic Handwriting Series Book D
Italic Handwriting Series Book E
Italic Handwriting Series Book F
Italic Handwriting Series Book G
Italic Handwriting Series: Instruction Manual
Write Now: The Complete Program For Better Handwriting. By the authors of the Italic Handwriting Series, this book is a complete self-teaching program for middle schoolers through adults who want to develop an elegant and legible Italic hand. Written in workbook form, it is easy to follow, teaching the letter forms step by step. The book covers basic and cursive Italic handwriting, then introduces edged-pen calligraphy (Chancery Cursive) for those who want to become more artistic in their writing. Interspersed throughout the lessons are handwriting tips and explanations of our writing heritage.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B005P3LO5M” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31uokJ-VrQL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Handwriting Without Tears. Although we prefer the Italic Handwriting Series, we realize that most public schools teach the traditional block letters in K – 2nd grade and then cursive in 3rd or 4th. That is the progression this handwriting course takes. What’s different about this series is that it was developed by an occupational-therapist-designed program so that even children with visual, perceptual, fine-motor and other processing problems learn to write neatly and legibly. This style is developmentally based, works for children of all abilities, is easy to teach and is multi-sensory. Handwriting Without Tears is also “lefty” friendly and includes easy-to-learn steps for readiness, printing and cursive with both teacher and students manuals. Give your kids the chance to be successful writers.
Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book – Grade 1
Handwriting Without Tears First Grade Teacher’s Guide
Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power – Grade 2
Handwriting Without Tears Second Grade Teacher’s Guide
Handwriting Without Tears – Grade 3 Cursive Handwriting
Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success Grade 3
Handwriting Without Tears Third Grade Teacher’s Guide
Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success Grade 4
Handwriting Without Tears – Grade 5
Handwriting Without Tears, Wide, Double-Lined Paper, 100 Sheets
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”088062096X” locale=”us” height=”140″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61HPsTUUIZL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Spencerian Penmanship (Theory Book plus five copybooks). Do you remember the amazingly beautiful handwriting in old documents such as The Declaration of Independence? Well, that was Spencerian penmanship. In the mid-1800’s, the Spencerian form of penmanship became a standard in schools across the nation and elegant handwriting was much prized. These books, 5 copybooks and a theory book, may be used to introduce cursive writing to second or third graders or to improve the handwriting of older students or adults.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0936785381″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ucevoB1LL._SL110_.jpg” width=”84″]A Reason for Handwriting. This is a handwriting course popular with homeschoolers that teaches the traditional manuscript and cursive forms of handwriting through a workbook approach with a Christian theme. Every weekly lesson in A Reason For Handwriting® is built around one carefully-selected Scripture verse. Verses are chosen not only for proper letter combinations, but also inspirational content. And when children spend the week working on a specific verse, that Scripture becomes locked in their memories for a lifetime!
A Reason for Handwriting: Manuscript A
A Reason for Handwriting Manuscript B
A Reason for Handwriting Cursive C
A Reason for Handwriting Cursive D
A Reason For Handwriting: Cursive E
A Reason For Handwriting, Cursive F