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Need Handwriting Program Suggestions - Keep wavering back and forth


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This really shouldn't be that difficult of a decision but I keep going back and forth. We've spent so much money on curriculum this year and I'm okay with that because a lot of the products are long term investments.

 

However, I just can not seem to make my mind up on a handwriting program. Part of me wonders if it is really even necessary? My daughter is 5 and has good fine motor skills and always has. She can form and copy letters just fine however her letter formation is inconsistent and she forms many of her letters starting at the bottom and sometimes reverses a few letters (b, d, p) and a couple numbers (5, 3, 9).

 

We have the teachers manuals for Handwriting Without Tears (HWOT) that someone passed down to us but not the workbooks. By browsing through the teacher manuals it appears to be a big deal to nix the bad habits now.

 

However, I also like the idea of the Zaner-Bloser style and I think I'd prefer to use that.

 

By looking around on some of the freebie threads there seems to be a vast amount of free resources online for printing your own worksheets, copywork, etc but none of them show which way you are supposed to form the letters that I can find.

 

Does anyone know of HWOT or Z-B style handwriting that has printable sheets with directions for printing the letters "correctly"?

 

Or considering she doesn't have any real issue with writing should I just stick with the free printable worksheets and trust that it will all work out.

 

This really seems like such a silly thing seeing as it is only $22 after shipping for the K and 1st grade student HWOT workbooks but I just would really enjoy not spending another $20 if I can get away with it.

 

Wow, what a long winded way to ask a simple question.

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We've been using HWT for years, but in the beginning, I really debated about which resources to use. Ultimately, I think most children will develop their own handwriting style anyway, but I agree that nixing bad habits early is a lot easier than trying to work on them later.

 

You could probably do handwriting by just using free resources, but for me, the convenience of having the workbook is worth the money.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Tiffany

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We really like HWT. We buy it from a store locally as well, so we save on the shipping, which is nice.

 

There are lots of online resources - and you could probably make your own relatively easily using those. The HWT font is only in their books, but Z-B's is everywhere. As for letter formation, you probably know that - it's pretty intuitive (for grown-ups!). HWT's idea that you "start your letters at the top!" probably translates pretty well to Z-B.

 

If it were me, I would just put down the money because of the ease of having those workbooks. Or, if you wanted to use Z-B, you might could save on shipping and get something slightly cheaper at an educational supply store since the Z-B materials are more widely available.

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You could purchase StartWrite, and you could print out handwriting sheets in any font you decide on, including a manuscript (which looks like ZB) or HWOT. You can also add arrows to show direction, or dots to show where to begin the letter. You can download a free trial here, which is fully functional until you close it the first time, and after that some letters and options are disabled. If you're able to leave it open for a few days, that should help you decide if you want to buy it or not.

 

With my oldest, I simply purchased a ream of handwriting paper and made copywork sheets for him. I also bought an inexpensive poster that showed how to form the letters. I used a light colored marker to make traceable letters and sat with him to show him how to form the letters correctly.

 

You also could always just purchase an inexpensive handwriting workbook from anywhere (teacher store, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc).

 

I do think it's important to correct her bad habits, but you don't need a teacher's guide or fancy program to do that. With anything you do, the most important thing is to sit next to her and gently correct her until she gets the correct formation down.

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I've been going through this debate myself recently. I have used HWT in the past, but I just don't want to stick with that. We are using McRuffy, which has handwriting sheets. In comparing McRuffy with other handwriting styles, I've found that it's very similar to D'Nealian. So, I'm going to go with that. I've found a few D'Nealian workbooks and this site to make my own worksheets (this site doesn't call it D'Nealian, but it's also very similar to McRuffy/D'Nealian):

http://www.worksheetworks.com/english/writing/handwriting/handwriting-cursive-copy.html

 

Here's a handwriting comparison chart (I like that it included McRuffy at the bottom...most don't include McRuffy):

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=314397&sp=1016&event=1016RNF%7C1073374%7C1016

 

And another one (mouse over "show alphabet sample" for samples to pop up):

http://familyphonics.com/handwriting/table.htm

 

If you want to go with Z-B, here are a few links that might be helpful:

 

Free Z-B worksheet generator:

http://zaner-bloser.com/educator/products/handwriting/index.aspx?id=4298

 

Another one (Z-B & D'N):

http://www.writingwizard.longcountdown.com/handwriting_practice_worksheet_maker.html

 

A Z-B self-instruction manual (so you can learn how to teach the letter formations). Rainbow and CBD say it's no longer available...you might have to search Amazon or eBay:

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Zaner-Bloser+Self-Instruction+in+Handwriting/006849/1281245190-996827

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Thansk for all of the suggestions. I think I will look at our local store to see what they have. I forgot I also have two reams of the HWOT paper that the same friend gave us. Essentially we're just missing the workbooks.

 

Yes, the workbooks are only $7.25 ea but the $6 shipping would be nice to avoid.

 

You'd think letter formation would be intuitive but I didn't realize until looking at the HWOT manual that *I* form many of my letters "wrong". My handwriting looks fine and I'm fast enough and my hand doesn't hurt so that is what mostly lead me to wondering if a program was really necessary.

 

Anyway, I'll pop by our educational store and take a look today. I don't mind trying one out for $7.25 and then going from there. It would probably save time and effort from all the ink and printing.

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Hi,

 

Just wanted to pop in and say that we love HWOT...my son, who has used it from the beginning, has the best handwriting of my 3 children.

 

HWOT now has a FREE "Letter and Number Formation Charts" resource on their website that shows HOW to form each and every letter and number -- in print and in cursive.

 

Here's the link:

 

http://www.hwtears.com/bts/formationcharts

 

I would think you could use your TM, these charts and the paper you already own and skip buying the workbook. ;)

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I think you can use the HWT paper with any handwriting style.

 

It might seem like choosing a handwriting style is a silly thing to be so worried about....but there are so many choices I had been going back and forth trying to decide on Italic, ARFH, HWT, etc. I really needed a :chillpill:. Boy, it ended up being such a load off my mind once I finally made the decision.

 

Hope you find something good at the store today.

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I've been going through this debate myself recently. I have used HWT in the past, but I just don't want to stick with that. We are using McRuffy, which has handwriting sheets. In comparing McRuffy with other handwriting styles, I've found that it's very similar to D'Nealian. So, I'm going to go with that. I've found a few D'Nealian workbooks and this site to make my own worksheets (this site doesn't call it D'Nealian, but it's also very similar to McRuffy/D'Nealian):

http://www.worksheetworks.com/english/writing/handwriting/handwriting-cursive-copy.html

 

Here's a handwriting comparison chart (I like that it included McRuffy at the bottom...most don't include McRuffy):

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=314397&sp=1016&event=1016RNF%7C1073374%7C1016

 

And another one (mouse over "show alphabet sample" for samples to pop up):

http://familyphonics.com/handwriting/table.htm

 

If you want to go with Z-B, here are a few links that might be helpful:

 

Free Z-B worksheet generator:

http://zaner-bloser.com/educator/products/handwriting/index.aspx?id=4298

 

Another one (Z-B & D'N):

http://www.writingwizard.longcountdown.com/handwriting_practice_worksheet_maker.html

 

A Z-B self-instruction manual (so you can learn how to teach the letter formations). Rainbow and CBD say it's no longer available...you might have to search Amazon or eBay:

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Zaner-Bloser+Self-Instruction+in+Handwriting/006849/1281245190-996827

 

 

Oh! Thank you! The McGruffy font that you were talking about has the alphabet chart that shows the direction the letters go in! ( a couple of the other fonts did to). I right clicked it, saved it as an image and then printed it full size. Now, I'll just laminate it and we can keep it at the table with us. Perfect! Now, I don't even need to leave the house. We'll give this a go and if it doesn't work well I'll buy some workbooks.

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I have used the freebies from Donna Young. I did HW from K-3rd grade Curriculum base. Then, for 4th I started to grade my dc HW in his assigments, and complemented with the freebies if in need of them :) I continue to do the same for 5th grade.

BTW:Handwriting w/o Tears looks like a great book.I found out about it a bit too late.

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I have a differing opinion, so I thought you might find it helpful. FWIW -

 

First, the kids I used HWOT with still struggle with letter height. I think it is because the HWOT paper has no upper line. When I was using HWOT, I loved it. I thought it was the cat's meow. Later I looked back and realized that those kids still struggle with this. Also, I don't prefer the look of the lettering.

 

So, we switched to Getty Dubay italic and regular paper with the dashed line and we love the resulting style! We've been using it for years. My oldest still do it. We are on book F. I really want them to continue with good handwriting, and it is so quick to do, so we still practice.

 

All of that to say, I did learn a lot from the HWOT teacher guide and I would suggest that you refer to it, even if you don't use that method.

 

Also, HWOT is super for kids with real fine motor skill issues! I'm not knocking it in totality, just preferred a different style when it wasn't needed.

 

The helping hand and the finger space are 2 things I gleaned from it that we stuck with. Also, we still sing, "Where do you start your letters? At the TOP!" with our little one!

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A Z-B self-instruction manual (so you can learn how to teach the letter formations). Rainbow and CBD say it's no longer available...you might have to search Amazon or eBay:

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Zaner-Bloser+Self-Instruction+in+Handwriting/006849/1281245190-996827

 

I use that from the white board until they are writing words well, than transition to sheets printed online from the ZB website.

 

You can still buy the manual from ZB directly.

 

It has been the only thing that has worked well here.

 

http://shop.zaner-bloser.com/p-905-self-instruction-in-handwriting.aspx

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One thing I found is that my daughter doesn't take direction very well when it's just coming from me, but if the workbook says you have to do things a particular way, she's much more willing.

 

So using workbooks helps us. We started with Getty-Dubay, which I like, but switched to what was integrated with her German curriculum when I realized how much writing that required.

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I have a differing opinion, so I thought you might find it helpful. FWIW -

 

First, the kids I used HWOT with still struggle with letter height. I think it is because the HWOT paper has no upper line. When I was using HWOT, I loved it. I thought it was the cat's meow. Later I looked back and realized that those kids still struggle with this. Also, I don't prefer the look of the lettering.

 

So, we switched to Getty Dubay italic and regular paper with the dashed line and we love the resulting style! We've been using it for years. My oldest still do it. We are on book F. I really want them to continue with good handwriting, and it is so quick to do, so we still practice.

 

All of that to say, I did learn a lot from the HWOT teacher guide and I would suggest that you refer to it, even if you don't use that method.

 

Also, HWOT is super for kids with real fine motor skill issues! I'm not knocking it in totality, just preferred a different style when it wasn't needed.

 

The helping hand and the finger space are 2 things I gleaned from it that we stuck with. Also, we still sing, "Where do you start your letters? At the TOP!" with our little one!

 

 

Thank you. I was wondering about this and at first it was what really turned me off the HWOT. I don't like the way it looks and the lines seem really off from most other writing programs.

 

I have heard so many people in real life, really suggest the Getty Dubay italics. Where do you normally purchase that from or are you able to get that from online.

 

I didn't realize that this wonderful resource was in the free homeschooling resources that someone put together and I love the copywork books. The penmanship book seems like it would be an easy enough workbook. Here is a link:

 

http://www.albright-news.com/blog/homeschooling/copywork/

 

For those of you that print things off from online how do you save money on ink? Is there a special place to go to print things cheaply?

Edited by ReidFamily
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I bought a handwriting program (HWT) because I also form my own letters incorrectly and didn't want to pass that along, even though my handwriting looks nice.

 

Is your daughter right- or left-handed? My oldest son is right-handed -- still waiting to see about the others -- but I am left-handed and I cannot tell you how much easier the HWT way of writing is for a lefty than the way I learned. It's a little too late for me to get into new habits with manuscript writing, but I am actually planning to go through the HWT cursive program with him when we get to that point.

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I bought a handwriting program (HWT) because I also form my own letters incorrectly and didn't want to pass that along, even though my handwriting looks nice.

 

Is your daughter right- or left-handed? My oldest son is right-handed -- still waiting to see about the others -- but I am left-handed and I cannot tell you how much easier the HWT way of writing is for a lefty than the way I learned. It's a little too late for me to get into new habits with manuscript writing, but I am actually planning to go through the HWT cursive program with him when we get to that point.

 

I am right handed. I mostly do a continuous stroke pattern when I write which is part of the reason. I guess one that I noticed right away is that I start my capital A's from the bottom just as I would a triangle. I also start my M's and N's from the bottom. I guess those are the only capital's I do that way. All of the lowercase I do the standard way but I don't lift my pencil for most of those like they teach with HWOT. I assume that naturally goes away as they progress more with handwriting.

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I don't know how I missed these further responses. Have I been gone?? I don't know.....:lol:. Anyway.......

 

 

Oh! Thank you! The McGruffy font that you were talking about has the alphabet chart that shows the direction the letters go in! ( a couple of the other fonts did to). I right clicked it, saved it as an image and then printed it full size. Now, I'll just laminate it and we can keep it at the table with us. Perfect! Now, I don't even need to leave the house. We'll give this a go and if it doesn't work well I'll buy some workbooks.

 

Funny you should mention this because I did the exact same thing. I saved the McRuffy image and printed them out. Now we can have one for the wall and one for the desk. Works great!

 

Here are some D'Nealian alphabet worksheets. You can choose which worksheet you want to print. There are a few different options including a Bible alphabet.

 

http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp12a.htm

 

Thank you for this link. I just received a D'Nealian workbook in the mail today and it looks like a really good cursive to use (I'll start with their manuscript, I think). And again....we are using McRuffy but the D'Nealian matches it. I'm glad there are these extra worksheets I can print off.

 

Thank you. I was wondering about this and at first it was what really turned me off the HWOT. I don't like the way it looks and the lines seem really off from most other writing programs.

 

I have heard so many people in real life, really suggest the Getty Dubay italics. Where do you normally purchase that from or are you able to get that from online.

 

I didn't realize that this wonderful resource was in the free homeschooling resources that someone put together and I love the copywork books. The penmanship book seems like it would be an easy enough workbook. Here is a link:

 

http://www.albright-news.com/blog/homeschooling/copywork/

 

For those of you that print things off from online how do you save money on ink? Is there a special place to go to print things cheaply?

 

This looks like great stuff to print off too......I haven't gotten to look to closely to see what style it is.

 

I'm not sure about where to go to print things cheaply, I know people here do that (kinkos??). I got the idea here to print at home using the Fast Draft or Quick Print on your printer. This works really well for us and seems to save on ink.

 

I'll try to answer you about Italic, even though you really directed that question to someone else. This would be the series that most people use:

 

http://rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?sid=1288033485-1192765&subject=9&category=2049

 

I actually was going to go with Italic, but then decided on the McRuffy/D'Nealian (since that is the program my daughter is using). I have Italic A and B that I will be selling.

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I hope this is okay to post, but I wrote a free e-book that helps parents to choose a handwriting style. It talks about all the major styles and considerations in a wide variety of areas.

 

You can download it here, no strings attached at all...

http://bogartfamilyresources.com/products/free-downloads/

 

HTH any dealing with this issue. I really went through this with my own children, and wanted to save parents from having to reinvent the wheel with their own countless hours of research!

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