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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject

Handwriting Instruction for Homeschoolers

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

Resources for writing-readiness, pre-writing activities, teaching printing,
and cursive to right and left handers.

Before you start a formal handwriting program work with your child to
help develop fine motor skills, hand strength and finger dexterity.  

Some possible activities might include -- using
large plastic tweezers
to sort small items; try to do daily
hand exercises or play games that
use the fingers; play with playdoh and modeling clay; and be on the
look-out for
push-button toys, squeezy things,  poppers,  
shooters,  and stretchy toys that might appeal to your child.

See the resources below for more great ideas :-)  

The Basics

Pre-Writing Skills for Children under Five --  games and activities
designed by an occupational therapist to strengthen writing muscles and
improve dexterity

Fine Motor Exercises to Improve Skills for Handwriting

Pencil Grasp Guidance by AGAPE Learning Center - photos with
descriptions show several good ("Functional") options for properly
holding pencil, plus shows common "Immature" grasps that need

Ready Set Write! by DeLana Honaker -- a brochure for an OT workshop
that has many useful charts, such as developmental milestones in writing,
sensory-motor components of handwriting, typical handwriting speed by
grade, goals for handwriting therapy, developmental aspects that affect
handwriting success, and much more

Teaching Left-Handers to Write - tips from the Handedness Research

Left Hand Writing Skills by Robinswood Press -- skills workbooks and

The Left Hand -- left-handed products galore, including writing helps,
lefty spiral notebooks, and a lefty mouse

Handwriting Research Review: Six Questions Educators Should
Ask Before Choosing a Handwriting Program -- an article reviewing
the merits of verticle vs slanted letter formation handwriting programs
(from the Zaner-Bloser website)

Maybe you could let your child choose what style they prefer to learn?  
Here are some
Handwriting Samples from Draw Your World so you can
compare the look of different styles.

Scored Writing Samples -- for grades 3, 5, 6, and 8 -- four types of
writing are analyzed for various elements and scored from low quality to
high quality, with explanations and comments, useful as a sample of
typical work at different grade levels.

Handwriting Programs and Resources

Handwriting Without Tears -- a complete handwriting program
designed by an Occupational Therapist, uses a simple, no-frills, vertical,
writing style (especially good for those who struggle with writing),  
includes multi-sensory activities for letter identification and formation,
basic printing, and cursive

Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting -- a complete handwriting program
based on italic letter forms, letters include beginning and ending curves -
to make the transition to cursive easier, there is only one alphabet -
cursive results from joining the printed letters, includes pre-writing
activities that encourage gross and fine motor development

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting --  a complete handwriting program that
teaches traditional, vertical, circle-and-stick letter formation, also offers
calligraphy workbooks

D'Nealian Handwriting --  a complete handwriting program that teaches
a slanted (italic-style) printing that reportedly eases the transition to
cursive instruction

Better Letters--a downloadable iPod Touch or iPhone application
created by Kate Gladstone ("the Handwriting Repairwoman") to help
people improve their handwriting, "...inspired by the instructional
handwriting font work of UK handwriting specialist Christopher Jarman.
The app provides instructional lectures, both audio and written, along
with practice fonts providing choices of writing style, guidelines, and
directional arrows..."
ABC Cursive Writing also available

Alphabet Pages by Jan Brett -- wonderful free printouts, make a book
or hang up as reminders of how letters are shaped

Kidzone Cursive Worksheets -- free online printouts to guide kids in
learning cursive

Blank Writing Paper  -- print out blank lined paper for practicing
Stage Write Raised Line Paper--writing paper with tactile/visual cues

StartWrite Handwriting Software from Draw Your World -- this
software makes it easy to create your own copywork, workbook pages
and handwriting practice sheets, comes with fonts that match most of
those used for handwriting instruction in the US, UK, and Australia, also
can print out blank lined paper and grey or dashed letters for tracing

"Copywork -- The Art of Writing" -- advice and strategy from the
Parker Family, includes links to online Christian and Classic resources

Fun With Handwriting:

See 'n Write -- a keyboard that will draw letters one stroke at a time for
kids to copy (you choose manuscript, cursive, upper or lower case), also
has a guessing game where it traces a letter (but doesn't draw it)  Try
their online demo

Handwriting by George by Cindy Shearer --  practice cursive by
copying from George's childhood journal

Draw Write Now -- workbooks that combine step-by-step drawing
lessons with writing practice, the workbooks are themed so they can also
be used with unit studies, software for creating your own drawing/writing
workbook pages available, too

Keep it Fun with Doodles and Funky Hand-drawn Fonts by Jacci
Howard Bear -- try some different fonts and styles of writing :-)

The Happy Scribe Copybooks -- short phrases for students to copy,
come in dozens of fun topics, including horses, cats, video games,
military things, Lord of the Rings, Bible verses, Irish Proverbs, etc

English Handwriting from 1500 to 1700 -- a free online course by
Cambridge University

What Is Handwriting Analysis? -- info and resources

Linotype Font Inspirations -- explore the world of down-loadable fonts,
can add an element of fun to compositions

StartWrite Handwriting Software from Draw Your World -- this
software makes it easy to create your own copywork, workbook pages,
and handwriting practice sheets, comes with fonts that match most of
those used for handwriting instruction in the US, UK, and Australia, also
can print out blank lined paper and grey or dashed letters for tracing

Trouble With Handwriting:

Might your child have Dysgraphia?

The Handwriting is on the Wall by Margaret Webb Pressler -- is it
really necessary to learn to write by hand?

Handwriting Problem Solutions -- advice, suggestions, and
consultations -- get professional help with handwriting problems

Typing and Keyboarding Resources:

Dance Mat Typing -- a free online tutorial from the BBC, fun and clever,
host goat narrates with a Scottish accent
Type-E-Chi -- free online keyboardng program from e-Learning for Kids,
has an alien/space theme, collect medals to become a Type-E-Chi master
Mario Teaches Typing 2 -- set up like the Nintendo Mario games, a
free demo can be downloaded
Super Kids Software Reviews: Typing Programs -- a nice resource
for choosing a program
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language arts