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I'm down a handwriting rabbit hole for no real reason.  I've always loved handwriting, and when I was a kid would practice writing in different ways.  I didn't even really realize there were names for different styles of cursive until I was in my 20s!

 

So, just as a conversation about a somewhat esoteric subject, what are your favorite handwriting styles?  I know that lots of people like Spencerian, but I've always been a fan of Palmer.  Tonight I think my favorite is the style they teach in France.  You can see a sample here: http://luc.devroye.org/EmmanuelBeffara-FrenchCursive-2004b.png (it's just an image I pulled off of a Google Image search).

 

For longhand, I think that Barchowsky italics are so elegant.  http://www.bfhhandwriting.com.  I bought the preschool set for my kids, but then chickened out and we just do Zaner Bloser now.  

 

So, what do you think is pretty?  Even if it's impractical.

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Choice of handwriting style is a very personal preference.

 

I like the look of Barchowsky, but I think it looks better online than when written. i.e. the font is pretty but the hand is difficult to replicate.

My compromise was to teach Getty-Dubay Italics; it is legible, looks good, is easy to learn and easy to transition to cursive.

 

I wrote in a British-style cursive I learnt in school. Mine is somewhat similar to this Lateinische Ausganggscrift (except the lowercase 'f' and 'z' and some uppercase letters). I like that hand, too, but when writing fast (in high school papers) it becomes messy. Now I prefer Italic for work, although I still write in cursive in my Latin notebook.

 

ETA: Among the American styles, I prefer New American Cursive. I don't like Palmer or Spencerian.

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Just thought I'd mention this book which I recently saw at Barnes and Noble.

 

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey

 

"Steeped in the Palmer Method of Handwriting she learned in Catholic school, Kitty Burns Florey is a self-confessed “penmanship nut†who loves the act of taking pen to paper. So when she discovered that schools today forego handwriting drills in favor of teaching something called keyboarding, it gave her pause: “There is a widespread belief that, in a digital world, forming letters on paper with a pen is pointless and obsolete,†she says, “and anyone who thinks otherwise is right up there with folks who still have fallout shelters in their backyards.â€

Florey tackles the importance of writing by hand and its place in our increasingly electronic society in this fascinating exploration of the history of handwriting. Weaving together the evolution of writing implements and scripts, pen-collecting societies, the golden age of American penmanship, the growth in popularity of handwriting analysis, and the many aficionados who still prefer scribbling on paper to tapping on keys, she asks the question: Is writing by hand really no longer necessary in today’s busy world?"

 

 

While I haven't read it, I did enjoy the author's other book

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Choice of handwriting style is a very personal preference.

 

I like the look of Barchowsky, but I think it looks better online than when written. i.e. the font is pretty but the hand is difficult to replicate.

My compromise was to teach Getty-Dubay Italics; it is legible, looks good, is easy to learn and easy to transition to cursive.

 

I wrote in a British-style cursive I learnt in school. Mine is somewhat similar to this Lateinische Ausganggscrift (except the lowercase 'f' and 'z' and some uppercase letters). I like that hand, too, but when writing fast (in high school papers) it becomes messy. Now I prefer Italic for work, although I still write in cursive in my Latin notebook.

 

ETA: Among the American styles, I prefer New American Cursive. I don't like Palmer or Spencerian.

 

Ooh, that lowercase x is really cool.  I don't think I've ever seen one like that.

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Just thought I'd mention this book which I recently saw at Barnes and Noble.

 

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey

 

"Steeped in the Palmer Method of Handwriting she learned in Catholic school, Kitty Burns Florey is a self-confessed “penmanship nut†who loves the act of taking pen to paper. So when she discovered that schools today forego handwriting drills in favor of teaching something called keyboarding, it gave her pause: “There is a widespread belief that, in a digital world, forming letters on paper with a pen is pointless and obsolete,†she says, “and anyone who thinks otherwise is right up there with folks who still have fallout shelters in their backyards.â€

 

Florey tackles the importance of writing by hand and its place in our increasingly electronic society in this fascinating exploration of the history of handwriting. Weaving together the evolution of writing implements and scripts, pen-collecting societies, the golden age of American penmanship, the growth in popularity of handwriting analysis, and the many aficionados who still prefer scribbling on paper to tapping on keys, she asks the question: Is writing by hand really no longer necessary in today’s busy world?"

 

 

While I haven't read it, I did enjoy the author's other book

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

I actually have the Sister Bernadette book, though I haven't read it yet.  The handwriting one looks interesting, too.  I'm so interested in the idea of "penmanship" as something that you formally study.  We learned handwriting in 1st grade, and cursive in 3rd, and I don't think spent more than a few months on either.  And after that, so long as the teacher could read it, nobody cared.  I remember being in high school and marveling over the handwriting of a boy who had grown up in Russia and attended schools in France... it was literally the first time it ever occurred to me that a boy COULD have nice handwriting.  It had truly, never ever, occurred to me that boys writing in chicken scratch wasn't just the way of the world.  Meanwhile, he said he was solo happy to be in a school system where they didn't spend hours a day practicing handwriting, LOL.  IMO there's gotta be some happy medium.

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I have read this book. (Wish my library had the diagramming one, too.)

 

Towards the end of the book, Kitty Burns Florey goes on to interview Kate Gladstone, a handwriting coach and Italic proponent. Florey takes a handwriting lesson from Gladstone; there are before-after photos in the book. She lauds Italic as a great compromise between beauty and legibility, and suggests that children taught Italic will be most likely go on using it for the rest of their lives.

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(It does drive me a little crazy that the "p"s don't close in the French one.)

I agree. Some of the cursive writing workbooks I did in my schooldays had this kind of 'p'. I simply wrote the close form when copying those sentences.

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I wrote in a British-style cursive I learnt in school. Mine is somewhat similar to this Lateinische Ausganggscrift (except the lowercase 'f' and 'z' and some uppercase letters). I like that hand, too, but when writing fast (in high school papers) it becomes messy. Now I prefer Italic for work, although I still write in cursive in my Latin notebook.

 

 

I love this capitals in this one.

 

My favorite to see is Palmer since it reminds me of my grandmother, but my favorite to teach is Zaner-Bloser. I think cursive should slant, so that narrows the choices quite a bit. 

 

I miss being able to recognize my friends' personal handwriting styles. Cursive seems like it's becoming so rare that when I get to see it, it almost looks like art.

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Spencerian is beautiful but difficult to read. The one I would prefer for my kids (but that caused meltdowns in an otherwise compliant student) is Peterson Directed. Zaner-Bloser Traditional and Frank Schaffer Traditional are pretty as well.

 

The French and German fonts linked are beautiful but I'm not aware of any English-language instructional materials for them.

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ooo the French one is nice!

 

we use/like Spencerian

I've incorporated Spencerian capitals into my own handwriting. I get compliments all the time. Recently, I wrote a check at our local gas station, and the cashier exclaimed, "Oh!, So YOU'RE the lady with the GORGEOUS handwriting!

 

I don't use a calligraphy pen or even a fountain pen. It flourishes enough for me with a rollerball style pen.

 

ETA:

Didn't find Spencerian in the link, so I'll add my own: http://www.johnnealbooks.com/fullsize/400/34

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Spencerian is beautiful but difficult to read. The one I would prefer for my kids (but that caused meltdowns in an otherwise compliant student) is Peterson Directed. Zaner-Bloser Traditional and Frank Schaffer Traditional are pretty as well.

 

The French and German fonts linked are beautiful but I'm not aware of any English-language instructional materials for them.

I bought a French schoolbook to teach my kids French cursive. They each picked out their own fountain pens and we are having fun learning. 

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Sigh... I want that book!!!

Is it weird to have them learn two styles?

 

Maybe I should buy it for myself?! I think I just might do that.

At first I was just going to teach myself. I love lettering and my writing has taken a nosedive lately. So, I bought some cool French-ruled paper, a fountain pen, and started printing things off the internet. My youngest son (2nd grade), especially, loved the idea, and started learning with me. The other two boys, probably lured by the idea of a fountain pen, decided to join in, so I bought that book. 

 

Up until now, the older two boys (7th and 5th grades) have learned HWOT cursive. I think I'm in the minority that actually like it. Recently, though, I switched my reluctant cursive-writing 5th grader to a more traditional script. But, I think I might have my youngest son and eventually my daughter learn New American Cursive. But I'm not sure. I think they all will also learn French script well enough to use it. Given that they probably will all develop their own style, and that I see it as an art-form and not just a means of writing, I don't mind them learning a few different ways.

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At first I was just going to teach myself. I love lettering and my writing has taken a nosedive lately. So, I bought some cool French-ruled paper, a fountain pen, and started printing things off the internet. My youngest son (2nd grade), especially, loved the idea, and started learning with me. The other two boys, probably lured by the idea of a fountain pen, decided to join in, so I bought that book. 

 

Up until now, the older two boys (7th and 5th grades) have learned HWOT cursive. I think I'm in the minority that actually like it. Recently, though, I switched my reluctant cursive-writing 5th grader to a more traditional script. But, I think I might have my youngest son and eventually my daughter learn New American Cursive. But I'm not sure. I think they all will also learn French script well enough to use it. Given that they probably will all develop their own style, and that I see it as an art-form and not just a means of writing, I don't mind them learning a few different ways.

To the bolded, I think this is what's missing in a lot of handwriting conversations. Is it just me, or do you teach them what ever style you think is best, and they go on to develop their own unique style anyway?? My 15yo has definitely done that. She grew up on Zaner Bloser, and has been doing Spencerian for around 2 years. The other day we were reading through some of the Theory book and she said something about how her cursive will never look like true Spencerian. I'm fine with that. Is it legible, can you scribble it out fairly quickly, is it pleasing to your eye? Good enough! I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm pretty strict about doing all the reading, all the books, and all the strokes correctly. Master it and then find your own comfort zone for daily writing. I always tell the girls that one day they might be able to pick up some work doing wedding invitations.  :lol: It's a valuable skill. Okay, not to everyone, it's a dying art, I know. 

 

I also see it as an art form, and hope that Spencerian will lead to an interest in Arabic calligraphy, Chinese brush painting, who knows! They've learned a lot about pens from trips to Paradise Pens (our local pen shop), and from trying different fountain and calligraphy pens. They have an appreciation and many opinions :) on fine pens. And inks!! Lots of thoughts on that too! 

 

ETA: Thanks for the links!

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Love this thread!  I'm planning to start teaching DS6 cursive this summer, and I'm really torn as to which style to use.  I think I learned Zaner-Bloser but ultimately derived most of my capitals from Copperplate because they're just prettier.  Do I teach my kids the basics and let them develop their own style or do I just teach them my "prettified" version? 

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I also see it as an art form, and hope that Spencerian will lead to an interest in Arabic calligraphy, 

 

Gah!!! You've just reminded me how annoyed I was not to be able to attend the seven week, multi-faith Arabic calligraphy workshop series at the mosque in town! Dd would have ***loved*** it! Why does all the good stuff happen an hour and a half away? !!

 

:cursing: :crying:  :lol:

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