Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Handwriting program

Well, after me personally loving Peterson Directed Handwriting - I came to realize that we needed a change.  Delta has been learning Cursive since Year 1 (starting with Cursive First, then adding in Pencil Pete, then changing to Peterson) - and whenever he needed to write anything other than copywork - he used a print that he was never taught.  On top of it, I had been working with Echo on doing the cursive for Peterson for months and months - and was unable to get a legible letter from her.

So I started the research again.

Well, looking at Penny Gardner's  book Italics: Beautiful Handwriting for children... the handwriting looked familiar.  I remembered years and years ago, when I was about 10 - my mom had some book on calligraphy - but in it was how to write beautifully in your everyday writing.  I realized that the "font" was very similar.  I had taught myself that writing back then - and so my handwriting is a mish-mash of the cursive taught in school, and the italics I learned all those years ago.

I looked at the samples in the book, and the videos available from Penny Gardner's website- and liked the simple approach to teaching.  It is very inexpensive, so we are giving it a try.  The kids seem to like video lessons, so I'm letting Penny teach my children.  We have done 3 lessons, and I'm happy to say that Echo is making beautiful, legible letters.  Delta is happy with it too.  I like that we can later add the joins to do an italic-cursive writing.  We will have to see if this translates to better everyday writing.

I also found various other resources for italic handwriting.  The other main resource the letters are formed slightly differently (and looks a bit nicer in my opinion...)  but I'm happy with Penny Gardner's version.  One great thing I found was a font (for the print version) - and a program that adds in the joins (for the cursive version.) - this will let me make my own copywork when desired.

So, here are the resources:   - the other main resource.  Has things like desk strips, basic lessons, warm up's.  Also the font/program.  I can't link to the sub-pages, so explore it yourself.  The font is under "The Italic Project", "Teaching Aids", "Software" - then look at each page under there to download, and get instructions on how to use it.  - Penny Gardner's ebook to teach italics. This site also has links for the videos.


  1. When a handwriting program fails your child, it's important to tell the company that makes the program — and to keep track of the company's responses. This gives you, your child — anyone who asks you about the program — a good view of the company's integrity.

    As. A handwriting instruction consultant (who definitely favors Italic) I'd like to refer you to my own web-site, which provides additional resources: — further, im personally and professionally interested in the writing of those who use a style they were never taught (e.g., your child whofloundered with Peterson creating and using a kind of print that Peterson doesn't teach) and/or those who mix more thn one style (e.g., your own writing combining italic and cursive)

  2. Thank you for the comment.

    I did phone the Peterson Directed Handwriting company this spring, and they did give me some suggestions (and they did not require me to buy anything). They were quite willing to discuss the matter. They did also suggest possibly trying their printing program with both kids. I'm not sure what feedback I could give - I like their ideas and I know it works for a lot of kids... it just wasn't working for ours.

    I will checkout your site, thanks. I am willing to discuss my handwriting, and my son's own print...