For the handwriting options below, read over the descriptions, then pick a brand. You likely need only one brand for your family.
Don't be overwhelmed. Any one of the brands below is a good option that has helped thousands of students develop excellent handwriting. (And if you ask a group of homeschooling moms which is the best, you'll probably find some advocates and some detractors for each, which isn't necessarily helpful for making a confident purchase.)
So read the descriptions. Which appeals to you the most? Choose that. And if, at some point, you decide it doesn't work well for your family, pick another one.
This program uses daily practice drills focused on verses from Scripture, as presented in the Living Bible paraphrase.
It follows the traditional “ball-and-stick” style of print, along with standard cursive. Fancy border sheets help motivate young writers to think of the public nature of their work and improve their skills for a beautiful presentation.
Caveat: Students may find that different letter formations for cursive (vs. manuscript) are initially confusing.
Click here to view A Reason for Handwriting programs.
This Portland University program has won its share of accolades. We added it to the product line when one of our sons, whose handwriting was atrocious, began making noticeable strides from the first day.
Its cursive characters are almost identical to its print characters, so the transition from print to cursive is easy. The attractive text is similar to calligraphy. (A student won a national writing contest with this style.)
Caveat: Because schools don’t use the nonstandard italic method, some children may not initially recognize copy written in a more traditional cursive.
Click here to view Getty-Dubay programs.
According to its occupational therapist developer, this is the only developmentally-based program on the market, which means it pays particular attention to the needs of children who are learning to write. It offers basic exercises in figure-ground discrimination and top-to-bottom, left-to-right sequencing.
With letter formation, it begins with capitals because unlike lowercase letters (p, q, b and d, for example), uppercase letters are easy to distinguish. Kids don’t mix them up. You’ll note that cursive letters are formed in an upright rather than slanted position.
The program is helpful if your child has significant learning challenges and physical limitations. Parents also say it’s easy to use with left-handed writers.
Click here to view Handwriting Without Tears programs.
Beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through anything from Fourth to Sixth grade, we encourage you to instruct your children in the skills of handwriting through one of three prize-winning programs: the Scripture-oriented, traditional handwriting program called A Reason for Handwriting; the comprehensive, self-assessing Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting program; or the innovative, developmentally-oriented Handwriting Without Tears.
Students receive further handwriting practice — and they ought to be graded on and credited for the handwriting work they do — in their Language Arts Dictation and Creative Expression assignments.
Dr. Beechick argues that once handwriting basics are mastered, usually by 3rd grade, then students should practice handwriting in the process of writing. Sonlight Language Arts programs follow her advice. We offer separate handwriting materials and post optional schedules, so you have these tools when your students need them.
| Samples of the|
Three Handwriting Styles
| Handwriting Without Tears|| A Reason for Handwriting|| Getty-Dubay|
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| Samples of the|
Two Writing Papers
| 2-Line Paper: (Handwriting Without Tears)|| 3-Line Paper: (A Reason for Handwriting & Getty-Dubay|
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How should you choose?
We have heard no real complaints about A Reason for Handwriting. Many people have told us they had good success with Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting. So why did we add Handwriting Without Tears?
Primarily because we have never before heard the kind of positive passion about a program that we have heard from users of Handwriting Without Tears.
Our thought: if you've been using one of the other two programs successfully, you should stick with it. Otherwise — if you have been using another program but not had success, or if you haven't started yet — we think you might want to seriously consider using Handwriting Without Tears.
Take advantage of our optional handwriting schedules if you want a little more structure in your handwriting assignments.