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What About A Guide for

Homeschooling
Penmanship? Parents

• How to Choose
• Penmanship Styles
• Finding Copywork
• 36 Pages Free Copywork!
What About Penmanship?
A Guide for Homeschooling Parents
Written by Jennifer Bogart.

Published in Canada by:


Bogart Family Resources
http://bogartfamilyresources.com
jennifer@bogartfamilyresources.com

Copyright ©2010 by Jennifer Bogart


ISBN #: 978-0-9865685-6-5
E-Book Edition

Sample copywork selections compiled from open domain titles:


The Holy Bible: Authorized King James Version, 1789
Cover art: “A Calling” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1896
Clip Art: Used under license from Clipart.com

ZB, DN, GDI, HWT, AB, and CF fonts designed by Educational Fontware,
used by permission.
Zaner-Bloser is a copyright of Zaner-Bloser, Inc.
D’Nealian is a registered trademark of Scott, Foresman, Co.
Getty Dubay Italic is a trademark of B. Getty and I. Dubay.
Handwriting Without Tears is a copyright of Jan Z. Olson, OJR.
A Beka is a registered trademark of Pensacola Christian College.
Cursive First is copyright by Elizabeth FitzGerald,

This file may be freely shared, reproduced, emailed, transmitted, and


reposted as long as it is shared in its entirety and without modification.
Families may make as many copies as desired of single pages for their
personal use.

Reselling this title is prohibited.


What About Penmanship? Bogart Family Resources

Table of Contents
Our Story and This Book...................................... 6
Why Teach Penmanship? ..................................... 9
How to Choose ................................................... 14
Common Penmanship Styles.............................. 23
Traditional Styles......................................... 24
Modern Styles.............................................. 29
Italic Styles .................................................. 33
Handwriting Without Tears ......................... 38
Cursive Options ........................................... 43
Other Styles ................................................. 50
A Reminder.................................................. 52
I’ve Chosen, Now What? .................................. 53
How Copywork Fits In ....................................... 55
Finding Copywork.............................................. 57
Our Copywork .................................................... 63
Copywork Levels Chart...................................... 64
Copywork Samples............................................. 65
ZB 1-A ......................................................... 66
ZB 2-A ......................................................... 68
ZB 3-A ......................................................... 70

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What About Penmanship? Bogart Family Resources

Table of Contents Cont.


ZB 1-B ......................................................... 72
ZB 2-B ......................................................... 73
ZB C............................................................. 75
DN 1-A ........................................................ 76
DN 2-A ........................................................ 78
DN 3-A ........................................................ 80
DN 1-B......................................................... 82
DN 2-B......................................................... 83
DN C............................................................ 85
GDI 1-A ....................................................... 87
GDI 2-A ....................................................... 89
GDI 3-A ....................................................... 91
GDI 1-B ....................................................... 92
GDI 2-B ....................................................... 93
GDI C........................................................... 94
HWT 1-A ..................................................... 95
HWT 2-A ..................................................... 97
HWT 3-A ..................................................... 98
HWT 1-B ................................................... 100
HWT 2-B ................................................... 101
HWT C....................................................... 102
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What About Penmanship? Bogart Family Resources

Table of Contents Cont.


Penmanship Resources ..................................... 103
About Us........................................................... 107
Free Copywork!................................................ 108

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What About Penmanship? Bogart Family Resources

Our Story and This Book


When I first started homeschooling it soon became clear that I knew nothing
about how to teach a child the basic skills of penmanship – printing and
handwriting, otherwise known as manuscript and cursive. Perhaps you find
yourself in a similar situation, you may be an experienced educator looking to
meet the needs of a child with distinctive writing needs, or you’d like to
expand your horizons and learn what else is available for writing instruction.

From my ongoing online conversations with homeschoolers, I have


determined that many parents are unaware of their options, the differences
between them, and how to sort through all the choices to find the best match
for their family.

When it became obvious that our oldest daughter and first homeschooled child
was ready to start taking her first steps towards learning how to print (she was
around four at the time), I started casting my nets about in an effort to
determine how to teach her.

Without any general guidelines or list of points to consider in hand, I more or


less randomly chose a penmanship style, purchased our first workbook, and
handed it to my daughter.

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Bear with me here; I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes I’ve felt like
my lack of knowledge when it comes to homeschooling has had me tossed
about with every wind of curricula.

That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and


carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
[and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Ephesians 4:14

Unfortunately, this penmanship style was one that I was unfamiliar with, and
as my understanding of varying penmanship methods and philosophies grew,
we eventually chose a more traditional style that we are now happily using.
I’m currently praying about a hands-on option for my four-year-old who is
eager to print.

Many parents are able to choose a penmanship style that coordinates with a
prepared, all-in-one curriculum that includes ready-to-go penmanship
materials, or a style their child learned in public school. Some eclectic
homeschoolers (such as myself), or those whose children are struggling with
their current penmanship style can find themselves awash in personal
opinions, pet styles, and a wide array of choices that can be difficult to
understand when it is time to make penmanship style decisions.

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Should we teach cursive first? Italics? A new-fangled modern style? Are


traditional ball-and-stick styles really that bad? What’s the difference
anyway?

In writing this guide, my goal is to help parents new to homeschooling – or


those reevaluating their methods – gain an overview of the importance of
penmanship, the most important points to consider when choosing a style,
available options, how to incorporate penmanship practice into your
homeschool, and more.

Had I been able to study a concise guide such as this, I would have avoided
much stumbling around the internet and second-guesses, while quickly
obtaining a fairly comprehensive body of knowledge that I could then use to
make an informed choice for my family.

My hope is that you can gain from my trials and errors, research, and study to
make an informed choice about penmanship for
your homeschool. Don’t worry – I won’t be
condemning or unreservedly recommending any
specific penmanship style, but I hope to help you
evaluate the major players and clarify your
family’s penmanship goals.

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Why Teach Penmanship?


When we examine the history of civilization, it quickly becomes apparent that
advanced forms of civilization are clearly tied to a culture’s ability to develop
reading and writing. This form of communication is unique to mankind, and
is one of God’s good gifts to us. Being made in His image, our desire to
create with, and record through the written word is in line with His character –
He is a God of books.

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and
the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance
was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that
thought upon his name.
Malachi 3:16

Not only has He revealed Himself to us through a book that He has


inspirationally authored, but He also continues to record the words of those
who speak of Him in his book of remembrance, and records the names of
those who belong to Him in His book of life.

When we survey various literate and illiterate cultures around the world and in
different times, we can also see that those people who have developed written
communication have advanced technologically far beyond hunting/gathering
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and agrarian societies. By being able to capture existing knowledge and


discoveries on the page to pass down to future thinkers, new generations are
able to build upon existing knowledge and add to it.

In societies where literacy has been a rarely held commodity – possessed only
by those wealthy enough to obtain an education – the skills of reading and
writing have often led to respected and highly-valued positions in that culture.
In ancient Egypt, for example, the scribes were highly regarded and enjoyed
good social standing. Even in our own culture, adults who are unable to read
and write face drastically reduced career opportunities and will not be able to
share their thoughts with the world around them due to a limited ability to
communicate.

Distinctly more important is the role that


scribes have had in preserving the Word of
God – faithfully passing it down through the
generations by hand. During the European
Reformation, those who were able to read and
write in several languages were instrumental
in delivering an English speaking Bible to the
world so that all English readers could have
access to God’s Word.

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However, learning to print and write is not a simple task. To understand only
a portion of the challenges our children face when learning these new, fine
motor skills, try printing with your non-dominant hand (left hand if you
normally write with your right hand, and vice versa).

As adults with much more manual dexterity than


young learners we still experience frustration
when transferring this familiar skill to an
unfamiliar hand. Imagine how much more
difficult this task is – the forming of abstract
symbols void of any inherent meaning apart from
the phonetic meanings we’ve assigned to them to
form written language!

Still, many parents are surprised when their children have difficulties
mastering the skills of printing and handwriting, leading some to abandon
their penmanship studies and replace them with the study of keyboarding – a
vital skill in today’s technologically advanced world.

Though most of us now compose more blog posts, emails, and text messages
than we do handwritten letters and essays, the forming of Latin characters by
hand is still a vitally important skill that every child should be equipped with.

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Though many of us rely upon electronic organizers to keep our lists and notes
on, we still use our penmanship skills to:

• Quickly address envelopes


• Write checks
• Write thank you notes, invitations, and birthday cards
• Write special, handwritten correspondence
• Leave last-minute notes and instructions for others
• Communicate when technical breakdowns rob us of keyboarding devices
• Fill out government forms
• Complete work-related paperwork, forms etc.
• Fill out common household forms (schedules, shopping lists,
homeschooling accountability charts etc.)
• Take telephone messages
• Edit and proofread the printed work of others
• Write examples and diagrams on a white or chalk board
• Write notes on a friend’s cast

This is only a very small list; clearly being able to form words on the page by
hand is a vitally important skill. To be without basic penmanship skills is to
be unable to communicate through the written word in the event that a high-
tech communications device is unavailable. Adults who cannot communicate

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through the written word by hand are rendered functionally illiterate (in part)
when a typewriter, keyboard, or keypad is not at their disposal.

Clearly then, failing to equip our children with the ability to write and moving
directly to keyboarding is an act of putting the horse before the cart. Do teach
your children to keyboard, but before you do so, teach them the fundamental
basics of forming the written language – the skills that will be with them for
the remainder of their lives – whether or not their laptop is available.

Succumbing to the trials of teaching a struggling student to learn to


communicate fluently on paper may seem like a simpler solution for everyone
– less conflict and less struggle.
Though continuing to move forward
with your penmanship studies may
seem difficult at times, your children
will appreciate the perseverance and
patience you invested in their lives
to equip them as fully literate adults.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one
receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthians 9:24

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How To Choose
Now that we’ve established that teaching penmanship skills to our children is
vitally important, let’s move on to developing a plan for choosing a
penmanship style for your children. Before working on your list of criteria
that a penmanship style must meet to work for your children, take the matter
to prayer. It can be far too easy to charge ahead according to our own limited
understanding. (I’ve been there and done that too many times!) Ask the Lord
to reveal any particular needs your child may need help addressing and what
His purposes are for your child’s penmanship instruction.

Keeping His guidance in mind, when developing your ‘shopping list’ of


features to look for in a penmanship style there are several major categories to
explore and consider. I will briefly explore some of the important points
before providing a worksheet for you to use to think through and prioritize the
features that are important to you in a penmanship style. They are not listed in
priority order, as each family will place varying degrees of emphasis upon
each of these evaluation categories.

In the “Common Penmanship Styles” section each major penmanship style


will be explored in light of these major categories along with visual examples
of each.

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1. Familiarity

When selecting a penmanship style for your homeschool, consider which


teaching methods and styles of letter formation you will be comfortable
using and correcting.

If you are not personally familiar with the strokes necessary to form the
letters in a favored penmanship style, are you willing to learn the basics
alongside your children so that you can correct their work? Some parents
cannot realistically commit to learning a new style of penmanship, and in
this case it may be best to teach a more familiar style.

2. Appearance

For some parents the appearance of their children’s writing is of utmost


importance to them. Personal taste varies widely in this area, but as a
general guideline, obtain samples of both the manuscript and cursive
versions of the prospective penmanship style (see the “Common
Penmanship Styles” section for samples of the main styles) and evaluate
their attractiveness. Most families will stay within the same penmanship
style family for both printing and handwriting instruction, so take both into
consideration.

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3. Teaching Methods

For students who have exhibited difficulties with writing, or who have
special needs, teaching methodology may be a vitally important deciding
factor. While some penmanship styles are traditionally taught through
straightforward mimicry (tracing letters, then practicing underneath
independently), others involve more active method of instruction. Some
use large body motions to create fluency, while others use special hands-on
materials and specialized tools to help students understand the formation of
letters.

4. Parental Involvement

Depending upon the teaching methods employed, varying degrees of


parental involvement will be required for each penmanship style. Many
styles require little parental involvement beyond checking work for errors
(those utilizing a workbook as the main source of instruction). Others will
require hands-on instruction by a parent in order to model, teach, and
correct the training of body movements that form the shapes of each letter.

Some styles may also have more of a learning curve, requiring the parent to
spend more time studying and absorbing the materials and technique before
being able to teach the style to a child.

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5. Fine Motor Skills

Consider the fine motor skills of your child. Are his or her fine movements
– those necessary to create letter shapes and forms – well developed, or are
they still forming?

Many penmanship styles move from large letter sizes to smaller letter sizes
as fine motor skills develop. Some may even provide instructional
materials that provide preparatory exercises for young children about to
enter a course of printing instruction in order to ensure that the requisite
body skills are in place.

Others move directly to a smaller letter size or provide little in the way of
motor skills development, which may be preferable if your child has firmly
established fine motor skills.

6. Letter Reversals

Some penmanship styles have been developed to minimize or eliminate


common letter reversals (“p” for “q”, “b” for “d”, and vice versa) by
giving each letter a distinctive shape and stroke direction that cannot be
reversed. Most children are prone to a certain degree of letter reversal
while they are learning a more traditional penmanship style, but for those

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with persistent difficulties in this area, a style that minimizes reversals may
be helpful.

7. Cursive

The majority of parents choose to begin penmanship instruction with


printing (manuscript), followed by a course of instruction in handwriting
(cursive). Others choose to begin penmanship instruction with cursive and
allow children to learn manuscript at a later date (often through trial and
error.)

Though this choice is largely one of personal preference, it can be divisive.


An overview of the most common options for teaching cursive first is
provided in our section on common penmanship styles.

Possible Benefits:

• Reduction in letter reversals (b/d, p/q, m/w etc.)


• Avoids transition to cursive and any potential confusion the child
may experience
• Historically cursive was taught first, even to young children

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Possible Disadvantages:

• Fewer supplementary and support materials are available for a


cursive first approach
• Some cursive programs introduce a narrow line size at an early age
– some children may not have the fine motor skills to write at that
size
• Some children may experience confusion when learning to identify
two distinct letter styles at the same time – manuscript for reading,
cursive for writing

This list is by no means exhaustive, you may wish to research this issue
further and seek counsel from others.

8. Supplement Availability

Some penmanship styles have been adopted more widely both by parents
and by supplementary and support material authors. Choosing certain
penmanship styles may afford you access to a wider, or smaller, range of
materials outside of those officially used for instructional purposes. If you
choose a less popular style you may need to commit to making these
materials yourself (practice pages, copywork books, lapbooking
components etc.)

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Now that we’ve gone through the main considerations for you as a
homeschooling parent to keep in mind while selecting a penmanship style,
print the chart on the next page and fill it with your thoughts and preferences.
You can refer to it as you read the “Common Penmanship Styles” section to
help you focus in on the penmanship styles that will best fit your family’s
needs. If you have several children, please print out one form for each child
and pray through his or her particular situation as you fill out each individual
form.

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MAIN CONSIDERATIONS MY THOUGHTS


Familiarity
- Which styles am I already familiar with?
- Am I willing and able to invest the time and
mental energy required to learn a new style?

Appearance
- Which styles do I find visually appealing?
- Does my child find the style attractive?
- Is the style easy for others to read?
- Are both manuscript and cursive styles
appealing?

Teaching Methods
- Does my child need a kinesthetic (large
motions), or sensation based teaching method?
- Do I want to use traditional tracing and
workbook methods?
- Which methods work best for my child?

Parental Involvement
- How much time do I have available to learn a
new style?
- How much time do I have to provide hands-on
instruction to my child?

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MAIN CONSIDERATIONS PG. 2 MY THOUGHTS PG. 2


Fine Motor Skills
- Is my child prepared to begin penmanship
instruction, or does he need preparatory
exercises?
- What size can I realistically expect my child to
successfully write at (initially) based on his fine
motor skills?

Letter Reversals
- How important is avoiding reversals to me?
- Am I willing to patiently correct until proper
letter formation of these confusing letters is
established?
- Has my child been diagnosed with reading
difficulties such as dyslexia that a style designed
to avoid reversals may help with?

Cursive
- Is it important for my child to learn manuscript
or cursive first ?
- Have I thoroughly researched this topic in order
to make an informed decision?
- How will using cursive or manuscript first effect
the following areas: letter reversals, fine motor
skills, and supplement availability?

Supplement Availability:
- Is my desired style available widely in
supplementary/support resources?
- If not, am I willing to search out, or create these
resources myself?

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Common Penmanship Styles


Now that we have a baseline established for what you’re looking for in the
eight main areas of consideration, let’s carefully examine each of the main
penmanship styles in light of these eight areas.

We’ll be examining: traditional styles, modern styles, italic styles,


Handwriting Without Tears, cursive options, and other styles.

It’s so easy to make hasty decisions that may be wrong for our children, so
let’s take some time here. While it’s relatively simple to switch out
knowledge-based curricula like science or history, changing a skill that
requires much practice is far more daunting. Taking the time to thoroughly
research the main options will help you make a good choice.

Thankfully, God is with us! Rest assured that if He has called you to
homeschooling, He’ll be with you every step of the way. He knows your
child better than anyone else, and you can rest in His gentle guidance.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all
[men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:5

There’s a lot of information here, so hold on!

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Traditional Styles

What many people consider a traditional style of printing and handwriting is


likely a variation of the Zaner-Bloser (ZB) penmanship style; some may also
use a ball-and-stick style, which is even simpler than Zaner-Bloser. The
official style commonly used by educators in schools is known as Zaner-
Bloser, but many similar (but not exact) styles have been developed that are
most often sold under the “Traditional” label. If you spot a workbook or
instructional manual that says “Traditional Printing,” “Traditional
Handwriting,” “Traditional Manuscript,” or “Traditional Cursive,” chances
are good that the title is based on a Zaner-Bloser style

Hands-down, a traditional penmanship style is the most widely used by


homeschoolers. Both familiar and widely available, this style (or a slight
variation of it) is used in most generic workbooks and penmanship instruction
resources. This style can generally be considered the default choice of most
educators.

Familiarity

Many of today’s homeschooling parents were taught to write using a


traditional, Zaner-Bloser inspired penmanship style. If you learned a
traditional, loopy style of cursive with dramatic curls and loops before starting

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your capital letters you may be surprised at the simplicity of today’s Zaner-
Bloser style fonts. Updated for modern students, there have been some
modifications made (such as removing extraneous loops and curls), but the
basic formation of the letters remains familiar to most parents.

If you were taught using a traditional penmanship style, it will be easy to


correct your child’s work. You may need to quickly read through their
materials as a refresher, but chances are, everything will be smooth sailing.

Appearance

Traditional printing and handwriting is widely recognized by the general


population, and as such is considered easy to read by most.

This is an example of a traditional, Zaner-Bloser


manuscript style.

TÇòáô†ßë áô†ßë ÄÖûë ÑïÖ¨ÅÄÖùáƒÇúÑïë üäñë Äë áêƧÅÄÅîáôáêáôÉüéûÅÄÇúë, ÒˆÄÖûÑïƧë -


BÇúÉü±ßÑïƧë ìáŸÆ§†ßáôÖ˜åïë †ßáêÖ¥ªúÑïë.

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Teaching Methods

Traditional penmanship styles are generally taught using traditional methods:


tracing, workbooks, and primarily visual techniques are used to teach letter
formation. However, this style can be adapted to use all-purpose, hands-on
techniques such as walking letters on the floor, large arm movements in air-
tracing, tracing letters in sand, and so on.

Parental Involvement

When taught using traditional methods, this style can require little parental
involvement. Some initial instruction paired with a practice workbook may be
all that is required. As with all penmanship styles, periodically checking letter
formation is important to ensure your student is properly developing his skills.

Parents preferring to incorporate hands-on instruction, or students requiring it


should plan to spend additional time working together one-on-one.

Fine Motor Skills

Of all the penmanship styles we will be discussing, the Zaner-Bloser style


starts with the largest letter sizes of them all (starting at 1 1/8” line spacing for
K students before moving to 5/8” for Grade 1, ½” for Grade 2 and 3 before

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students tackle standard narrow spacing of 5/16”.) As a result, children can


slowly develop their fine motor skills, moving from large to small letters.

This is a traditional Zaner-Bloser style


1/2" line.||||||||||||||||||||||
Some parents may be concerned that traditional courses of instruction keep
the letters large for too long, and that at the very largest sizes, printing is more
of a drawing activity than it is a fluent, writing one.

Letter Reversals

Traditional penmanship styles are notorious for fostering letter reversals.


Teaching letter formation based on fluid motions and left to right movement
together with a traditional style somewhat remedy this, but generally
speaking, children require practice and repetition to avoid the very common
b/d, p/q etc. reversals.

Cursive

Generally speaking, parents using a Zaner-Bloser style teach manuscript at a


large letter size that slowly decreases before introducing cursive at a small
letter size. Most programs that teach cursive first use a fairly traditional-

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looking penmanship style as well (see the subsection on “Cursive Options” for
further details.) Manuscript and cursive can be taught independently of each
other, one is not needed to teach the other.

Supplement Availability

Of all the penmanship styles we’ll be discussing, you’ll be most successful in


finding supplementary and support materials in the traditional penmanship
style. Still the most widely used style by far, the vast majority of workbooks,
lapbooks, copywork resources, practice books, and so on, are authored for
users of a traditional penmanship style.

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Modern Styles

In the ‘70s Donald Thurber developed a new style of penmanship designed to


eliminate some of the problems commonly experienced with traditional
penmanship styles. His new method of penmanship – D’Nealian (DN) is also
commonly known as “Modern.” If you spot a workbook or instructional
manual that says “Modern Printing,” “Modern Handwriting,” “Modern
Manuscript,” or “Modern Cursive,” chances are good that the title is based on
a D’Nealian style.

Though it hasn’t overtaken traditional penmanship styles in popularity,


modern styles are growing in users. Many school systems have now adopted
the modern style, and this style is almost as widely available as traditional
penmanship styles.

Familiarity

With D’Nealian being developed in the late ‘70s and not being widely
accepted at the outset, few homeschooling parents today will have been taught
using this penmanship style. Some parents may be familiar with it.

If you were not taught using a modern style it will take some time, practice,
and reinforcement for you to be able to correct and teach this style.

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Appearance

Designed to ease students from manuscript into cursive, modern style


manuscript is more slanted than the traditional style. While the cursive is
readily familiar, the manuscript can take some time to acclimate to.

This is an example of a modern, D’Nealian


manuscript style.

This is an Üxample oì a moåern, D’Nealian ÑursiÌí


ãtyle.

Teaching Methods

Modern penmanship styles are generally taught using traditional methods:


tracing, workbooks, and primarily visual techniques are used to teach letter
formation. However, with some effort this style can be adapted to use all-
purpose, hands-on techniques such as walking letters on the floor, large arm
movements in air-tracing, tracing letters in sand, and so on.

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Parental Involvement

When taught using traditional methods, this style can require little parental
involvement. Some initial instruction paired with a practice workbook may be
all that is required. As with all penmanship styles, periodically checking letter
formation is important to ensure your student is properly developing his skills.

Parents preferring to incorporate hands-on instruction, or students requiring it


should plan to spend additional time working together one-on-one.

Fine Motor Skills

One of the areas Donald Thurber wanted to address with his new system of
penmanship was the very large letter size of the beginning Zaner-Bloser
levels. As a result, D’Nealian starts with a smaller letter size (5/8” in K, ½” in
Grade 1, 2, and 3 before transitioning to standard narrow rules of 5/16”.)
Thurber wanted to avoid the ‘drawing’ aspects of very large letters, so he
started smaller, but still allows children to slowly develop their fine motor
skills, moving from large to small letters.

This is a modern D’Nealian style


1/2” line.||||||||||||||||||||||||||

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Letter Reversals

Another key area Thurber wanted to address was common letter reversals.
D’Nealian is designed to reduce confusion with commonly reversed letters.

Cursive

Modern style cursive is directly linked to initially learning modern style


manuscript. As a result, it is always recommended to teach the manuscript
first, followed by the cursive. Thurber designed D’Nealian to make the
transition to cursive in the later grades simpler, 87% of the lower case letters
are the same in both manuscript and cursive. The addition of curving tails to
the lower case letters facilitates this transition, but some children find them
difficult to make.

Supplement Availability

While the popularity of the modern style of penmanship is growing, it is still


difficult to find supplementary resources in some categories. Most workbooks
and practice books, can be found in modern versions, but finding lapbooks
and copywork resources in this style can be difficult.

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Italic Styles

Italic script is a style of writing that was originally developed in Italy (hence
the name italic.) Long popular with calligraphers, a modern version of italic
designed for educational use was designed in the ‘70s by Barbara Getty and
Inga Dubay. Getty-Dubay Italic (GDI) is the most well known of a handful of
modern italic methods, Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting and Penny Gardner’s
Charlotte Mason-inspired italics book are other options. Italic style
penmanship comes highly recommended for students with legibility problems.

The main features of this style of penmanship are the virtual elimination of the
transition between manuscript and cursive – indeed, these traditional terms
have been replaced with the steps of basic, combined, and cursive.

Familiarity

With Getty-Dubay Italic being developed in the mid ‘70s and having a very
slow adoption rate, few homeschooling parents today will have been taught
using this penmanship style.

While other penmanship styles may have some similarities to one another,
italic is noticeably different in a number of areas. Adult materials are
available for those who wish to teach themselves the Getty-Dubay style,

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considerable study may be required for those wishing to use this style with
their child.

Appearance

Designed to virtually eliminate the transition between manuscript and cursive,


the italic style is more slanted than the traditional style. The finished product
at the cursive level is somewhat akin to a connected form of manuscript.
Italic is considered a semi-cursive, continuous stroke style. Many find it
attractive, as it resembles calligraphy.

This is an example of a Getty-Dubay Italic


basic style.

This is an example of a Getty-Dubay Italic


combined style.

Tà§â†s â†s ÄßéÀ ¸ÑÍòÚÄßç§êøåÿÑà of ÄÀ G¸ÑøîÙîÙy-Dï§Åæħy IîÚħå§âõc


ÇøïßíÆìøâ‚ñÜÑà ìøîÙyåÿÑÃ.

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Teaching Methods

Italic penmanship styles are generally taught using traditional methods:


tracing, workbooks, and primarily visual techniques are used to teach letter
formation. Because of the nature of the precisely curved lines in italic, it may
be more difficult to adapt this style to a kinesthetic learning style. Parents
who themselves become very familiar with this style may be able to use all-
purpose, hands-on techniques such as walking letters on the floor, large arm
movements in air-tracing, tracing letters in sand, and so on with some
creativity.

Parental Involvement

When taught using traditional methods, this style can require little parental
involvement. Some initial instruction paired with a practice workbook may be
all that is required. The Getty-Dubay Italic series of writing instruction
workbooks is incredibly detailed and comprehensive, progressing in small
increments, and slowly building towards cursive. As with all penmanship
styles, periodically checking letter formation is important to ensure your
student is properly developing his skills.

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Fine Motor Skills

The Getty-Dubay instructional program very gradually reduces the size of the
italic characters, and often backtracks to review the last previous size.
Measured in lower-case body height (as opposed to total height), beginning
students start with an 14 mm body height and gradually reduce to 11, 9, 6, 5,
and 4 mm as their studies progress.

Italic style lines have a base line, a body height line (approximately ¾ of the
total height), and a capital line.

This is a Getty-Dubay Italic 4 mm line.||||||

Letter Reversals

Some parents have found that italic style penmanship greatly reduces common
letter reversals; other parents have found that some styles of italic are easily
reversed when a child is dyslexic. You may wish to do further research into
this area for yourself, as opinions vary. Asking around on homeschooling
forums, local support groups, and yahoo groups is a great way to get first-
hand experiences from experienced parents.

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Cursive

Because there are virtually no changes between the basic forms of italic and
the cursive forms (apart from the joins taught in the combined levels), there is
no separate teaching of cursive. Italic programs build upon themselves from
the formation of basic letters, through the adding of joins, and onto the
connected characters. Older students wanting to transition to italic studies will
need to start at the beginning in order to build up to cursive writing.

Supplement Availability

Though growing in usage amongst homeschoolers, it is still very difficult to


find supplementary and support materials developed with italic style students
in mind. As previously mentioned, the Getty-Dubay series itself is very
comprehensive, but outside of that almost no workbooks, practice books,
lapbooks, and copywork resources are
available. You may wish to develop
your own resources, search out the few
commercially available titles, or teach
your student to adjust to working with
models that vary from the style they
have been taught.

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Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) is a full, multi-sensory program of


penmanship instruction that was developed by occupational therapist Jan
Olson in the late ‘70s in response to her son’s difficulties with traditional
penmanship styles.

Spanning from preschool writing readiness to Grade 5, the fun hands-on


teaching techniques and simple penmanship style have won over many parents
of students who struggle with traditional instruction.

Familiarity

Though Handwriting Without Tears does differ in shape (narrow and tall)
from traditional penmanship styles, it’s strokes and letters are clearly
recognizable

With Handwriting Without Tears being developed in the ‘70s few


homeschooling parents today have been taught using this penmanship style
and will need to familiarize themselves with the unique development of this
style’s letters and the hands-on techniques used to teach it.

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Appearance

Tall and somewhat blocky in appearance with joins that do not appear as
flowing as that of other penmanship styles; Handwriting Without Tears is
designed for functionality rather than aesthetics.

This is an example of a Handwriting Without Tears


manuscript style.

TÛáæà¬íÈ Ûà¬íÈ ÄøçÈ ÎÑøóªÄøåæèºãÏÑÈ éÂÖÈ ÄÈ HÄøçªÉæñŸëæàæìæàøçªÜ¸


WÛàæìæáÍéÁîæìÈ TÎѪÄæë¬íÈ Çæîæë¬íæàøïÌÑÈ õíæìæò‚ãÏÑÈ.

Teaching Methods

Handwriting Without Tears is initially taught through kinesthetic methods.


After letter shapes are learned, students move onto workbook practice.
Tracing is not used as an instructional technique (which research supports.)
This penmanship style is taught using a truly fun multi-sensory method
including: music, door tracing, imaginary writing, stories about the letters,
wooden blocks, wet sponge on blackboard imitation, making dough models,
and more.

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This emphasis on large body movements is what makes this program ideal for
hands-on learners, students who struggle with traditional instruction methods
and those with learning difficulties.

Parental Involvement

Designed to teach in short segments of 10 – 15 minutes each day, Handwriting


Without Tears doesn’t require a large daily time investment. What it does
require is for parents to learn and then guide their child through the many
hands-on methods used to teach this style and to help them through their
workbooks. This very comprehensive program includes full lesson plans and
does require an investment of time to learn and teach.

Fine Motor Skills

The Handwriting Without Tears program focuses strongly upon


developmental readiness and guides children from the preschool ages into
printing and then on into cursive. Many large body movements are used with
their unique instructional methodology (door tracing, imaginary letters,
wooden blocks, and many more) that are later translated into the fine motor
movements of printing.

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Children practice their letters using uniquely designed two-line paper. The
bottom line serves as the base, and the middle line determines letter height.
There is no top line. Children begin printing on wide lines (5/16”), move to
regular lines (3/16”) and write cursive on narrow lines (2/16”.)

This is a Handwriting Without Tears||||


narrow 2/16” line.|||||||||||||||||
Letter Reversals

Some educators have noted that Handwriting Without Tears helps to reduce
letter reversals. Rather than this reduction being attributed to the shape of the
letters themselves, the unique instruction methods and order of letter
introduction in the program are most likely responsible for this achievement.

Cursive

Handwriting Without Tears recommends teaching manuscript to young


children, followed by cursive for older students. The transition from
manuscript to cursive is simple, because this vertical style changes little from
print to cursive.

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Children who have struggled with traditional manuscript instruction but are
ready to learn cursive can use the program’s Grade 3 materials to start fresh
with cursive, they do not need to begin at ground level. Like traditional
styles, manuscript and cursive can be taught independently of each other.

Supplement Availability

The Handwriting Without Tears instructional program is very comprehensive,


but few supplementary and support resources have been developed for this
penmanship style outside of the instructional texts. Very few outside sources
for workbooks, practice books, lapbooks, and copywork resources are
available. You may wish to develop your own resources, search out the few
commercially available titles, or teach your student to adjust to working with
models that vary from the style they have been taught.

Other

Spanish, French, and Hebrew instructional materials are also available from
Handwriting Without Tears.

If you are interested in this method I recommend you visit their website, it’s
the most comprehensive and explanatory website I’ve seen for any of the
major penmanship styles. http://hwtears.com

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ÃáŸÆ§†ßáôÖ˜åïë ©OáƒáêáôÉüéû†ßë
For parents who’d like to start their children with a penmanship style that
teaches cursive from the beginning of the child’s instruction, there are several
good choices. If you’re interested in starting with cursive, the following
section will give a brief overview of several main options for teaching cursive
first.

Letter reversals are not an issue in cursive generally speaking, so that section
will not be covered for these options. The cursive section of consideration
will also be omitted for obvious reasons.

A õÍÑøäæÄæ úƒîƒëˆíƒàÀïŒÑæ
A Beka is a complete Christian curriculum that offers a choice of manuscript
and cursive penmanship instruction in the early grades, starting with K4 and
K5 and progressing through the elementary years.

Parents who wish to teach cursive first often choose to use only A Beka’s
writing materials in their homeschooling program if they are not using the rest
of A Beka’s curricula. Parents wishing to use Abeka’s daily lesson plans will
find them bundled with the curriculum guide for Phonics, Reading, and
Writing.

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Familiarity

While A Beka is often considered a unique penmanship style of its own, a


brief perusal of their sample pages quickly indicates that their style of
penmanship is very traditionally inspired, and should be familiar to most
parents who have been taught using Zaner-Bloser techniques. It should not
take long for most adults to become familiar with this style.

Appearance

A Beka’s cursive program uses a fairly traditional penmanship style.

ØÈáƒàˆíæ ƒàˆíæ ÄÀçæ ¬ÑÀóæÄÀåƒèøã¬Ñæ é‰Öæ A õÍÑøäæÄæ’ˆíæ ǃîƒëˆíƒàÀïŒÑæ ˆíƒìƒò€ã¬Ñæ.

Teaching Methods

A Beka teaches using the traditional methods of tracing, workbooks, and


primarily visual techniques are used to teach letter formation. Cursive is
trickier to teach using large body motions, as there are many curves, joins, and
a more flowing style – a creative parent may be able to adapt this technique if
they invest the time and energy to do so.

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Parental Involvement

As a traditional curriculum for schools, A Beka’s program is designed to teach


through a short period of teacher demonstration and instruction, followed by
independent work by the student in a workbook.

Fine Motor Skills

A Beka uses a very traditional approach to cursive instruction; the letter size
starts large and gradually decreases as children refine their fine motor skills.

A õÍÑøäæÄæ ǃîƒëˆíƒàÀïŒÑæ ƒàˆíæ ƒìæăîæÜ€áƒìæ éÁçæ |||||


ˆíƒìæÄÀçæÉæăëæÉæ øãƒàÀç¬Ñˆíæ.|||||||||||||||||
Supplement Availability

While very few outside sources for workbooks, practice books, lapbooks, and
copywork resources are available specifically for the A Beka style of cursive,
it’s traditional influences are such that your child may be able to easily adapt
to using copywork designed for students using traditional cursive models.
You may have difficulties finding cursive models in the larger character sizes
that A Beka uses for young children, as most cursive resources are designed
for older students in Grades 2/3 who are using smaller lines.

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Other

Abeka’s writing materials are correlated with A Beka’s progression of phonics


instruction.

é˙§˙ßÂôÖ™ëï˚ Fáô˙§˙ßÂÊ˝
Designed to accompany Wanda Sanseri’s Spell to Write and Read materials,
some parents have chosen to use Cursive First by Elizabeth FitzGerald as a
stand-alone penmanship instruction resource. The Cursive First program is
non-consumable and therefore, very affordable.

Familiarity

While Cursive First is often considered a unique penmanship style of its own,
a brief perusal of its sample pages quickly indicates that this style of
penmanship is very traditionally inspired, and should be familiar to most
parents who have been taught using Zaner-Bloser techniques. It should not
take long for most adults to become familiar with this style.

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Appearance

Cursive First uses a fairly traditional penmanship style.

T÷òÚô˙ß˚ áô˙ß˚ ÆÄÖû˝ ‹ïÖ¨ÅÄÖùÚ†˜úÑï˚ Æüäñ˚ áÊÉòÑï˚ é˙§˙ßÂôÖ™ëï˚ Fáô˙§˙ßÂÊ˝ èßÂÊÖ¥ªúÑï˚.

Teaching Methods

Cursive First is a very simple program, with only one teacher’s manual, and
one size of practice sheets. The method includes tracing for initial learning,
but encourages parents to quickly wean their children to straight forward
copying of letter forms by hand.

Parental Involvement

Designed to use as a tool alongside of teaching phonograms for reading and


spelling, the lessons of Cursive First would normally be presented alongside
some phonics instruction. It can be used independently though, through
teacher instruction followed by independent practice pages.

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Fine Motor Skills

Children who struggle with fine motor


skills may find Cursive First a difficult
program. The practice pages are offered
in a single size – a narrow 7/16” to
make it appropriate for both younger
and older students.

T÷òÚô˙ß˚ áô˙ß˚ ÆÄ˝ 7/16”||


é˙§˙ßÂôÖ™ëï˚ Fáô˙§˙ßÂÊ˝ ŒúÚôÖûÑï˚.|
Supplement Availability

I’ve never seen a supplement designed exclusively for the Cursive First
writing style but its traditional influences are such that your child may be able
to easily adapt to using copywork designed for students using traditional
cursive models. If you start a younger child with this narrow line spacing,
they will be able to use the typical narrow line spacing found in traditional
cursive resources typically used for Grade 3 students.

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TƧÅÄÅîáôáêáôÉüéûÅÄÇúë ©ÃáŸÆ§†ßáôÖ˜åïë

The last cursive option for beginning writers that I will discuss is the use of a
traditional cursive penmanship style at a younger age. In a standard course of
traditional penmanship manuscript is taught initially, followed by cursive
instruction in Grade 2 or 3.

These materials could be used with younger students with appropriate levels
of fine motor skills. Cursive instruction usually begins with a ½” line in the
Zaner-Bloser style, and letterforms are taught from scratch as there are few
correlations between manuscript and cursive letters.

TÇòáô†ßë áô†ßë Äë 1/2” |||


ÒˆÄÖûÑïƧë-BÇúÉü±ßÑïÆ§ë †ßáêÖ¥ªúÑïë |
ÇúáôÖûÑïë.||||||||||||||
For more information on the traditional style of penmanship, teaching
methods etc. please read the “Traditional Styles” sub-section.

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Other Styles
I’d like to briefly discuss a few of the other, lesser-known penmanship styles
that homeschooling parents may want to consider for their child.

Like the A Beka style, some other penmanship styles are taught as part of an
all-inclusive curriculum. While A Beka uses a traditional penmanship style,
Bob Jones University uses a modern (D’Nealian) penmanship style. Both are
Christian school-based programs of instruction, but where A Beka teaches
print then cursive, Bob Jones teaches a modern style pre-cursive, then cursive.
Both can be used independently of their complete curricula and are taught
using traditional methods and large to small line progressions.

A Reason for Handwriting is a stand-alone Christian program that uses a


traditional penmanship style. Their colorful, fun workbooks teach using the
traditional methods of tracing practice, large to small line sizing, and includes
simple paraphrases of scripture as their practice passages. Parents who would
rather use actual scripture quotations may wish to use another program and
supplement with prepared copywork that uses actual scripture.

The Peterson Method has been in use for over 100 years and is based upon
developing rhythmic, fluent handwriting. Their approach focuses upon using
large body movements to internalize stroke direction, rhythmic chanting while
practicing written strokes, along with posture, grip, paper positioning, and

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directionality awareness. The Peterson Method could be considered


traditional, in that it teaches manuscript and cursive, but there are a number of
differences.

Peterson teaches manuscript, followed by slant manuscript, and then cursive.


Their approach to teaching cursive joins is also unique. They do not use
tracing as one of their instructional methods, and present excellent research to
make their case for this decision. Though their materials take some digging
into to fully understand, and lessons are not clearly laid out for easy use in
their books, I highly recommend any parent using a traditional penmanship
style to investigate the research they present. You may wish to incorporate
some of the Peterson Method into your arsenal of instructional techniques.

The last program I’d like to touch upon is Penny Gardner’s Italics, Beautiful
Handwriting for Children. This non-consumable 100-page teaching manual is
designed for use in Grade 2 (Gardner promotes informal lessons until then),
uses a single size of lines with a no tracing, visual imitation form of
instruction.

Because there are no workbooks involved, parents will need to provide more
of the instruction. This manual is written for Charlotte Mason style educators
and includes an emphasis on copywork, but all parents may find it a cost-
effective technique for teaching italics if their child doesn’t require large lines
or hands-on techniques.

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A Reminder
If you can read all of this without feeling overwhelmed or doubting your
current penmanship style – bravo! So much information can feel like a bit of
an overload, so be gentle with yourself. You may not need this level of detail
but it is here for you to refer to if you do.

When making your final decision remember to compare your child’s needs as
recorded on your worksheet with the information provided in the “Common
Penmanship Styles” section, but above all, remember to pray.

No one knows and cares for your child in the same way that God does. What
may seem the most ‘logical’ choice may not line up with the plans that God
wants to achieve in your child’s life. Seek Him – He won’t lead you wrong.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall
not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of
your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more
value than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31

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I’ve Chosen, Now What?


Hopefully, with the Lord’s leading you’ve now come to a decision of a
penmanship style for your child. If you haven’t, I encourage you to seek out
parents who have also used this style, and who have a child with some of the
same needs and preferences as your own. Finding an experienced
homeschooling parent that you can ask specific questions of is a great boon.

This advisor need not be one from your homeschooling support group, ask
around on any homeschooling forums or yahoo groups that you may be a part
of that are populated by homeschoolers. Try facebook or twitter, someone
might just be reading who has the details you need!

Sometimes we can neglect one of the greatest sources of wisdom that God has
given us – our spouse! Make sure you bring your husband (or wife) into this
decision, if he has no idea what you’re talking about, hand him this book or
have him read the general considerations and the pages that make up the
details of your short-list if you don’t want to overwhelm him! Make sure you
show him the finished product, having your husband on board and supportive
is an encouragement you don’t want to miss out on!

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Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of


counsellors they are established.
Proverbs 15:22

When you are fully settled on a course of penmanship instruction, determine


where your child will need to begin their studies. For children who are just
beginning to learn to print or write, this should be a fairly straightforward
decision. Simply start at the beginning!

However, if you are switching penmanship styles because a previous method


of instruction has not worked for your child, you’ll need to determine where to
enter the program of your choice. Some penmanship styles require beginning
at the earliest levels even if your child has instruction in a previous style.
Others have places where your child can ‘jump in’, often at the introduction to
cursive.

Look through the overview for


your style again; if you can’t
determine where to place your
child contact the curricula
supplier – they should be more
than happy to help!

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How Copywork Fits In


“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he
shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the
priests the Levites:” - Deuteronomy 17:18

The roots of copywork are found woven throughout the


history of humankind. Students from ancient Mesopotamia,
Egypt, and Greece have all learned to write by practicing a
form of copywork.

Perhaps most notable however are God’s own words of


instruction found in Deuteronomy 17:18. His instruction to
the kings of Israel to write out a copy of the Law to keep by
them at all times is a profound and unmistakable example of copying the
Word of God in order to meditate upon it and drive it deeply into our souls. In
more recent history, well-known authors, politicians, and other prominent
figures have recorded the words of others to more fully embrace them as their
own.

Today copywork is widely practiced by educators holding to the Charlotte


Mason, classical, and many other educational philosophies. Carefully copying
high-quality literature excerpts, poetry, and hymns along with the Word of

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God in their own hand rapidly develops children’s printing and handwriting
skills. Our six-year-old has been doing copywork for only a year (as of this
writing) but her progress has been wonderful!

Not only is copywork an excellent way to refine penmanship skills (basic


penmanship instruction is still required), but by copying the works of
excellent, engaging authors, children intuitively learn proper grammar, expand
their vocabularies, recognize proper spelling, and learn punctuation.

The combination of the fine motor movements involved in holding the pencil
with the visual text is a wonderful solution for kinesthetic and visual learners.
Auditory learners can read the text aloud, or have their parent do so to
enhance their learning experience.

Of benefit for all ages, copywork maintains its effectiveness throughout life’s
many stages. From pre/beginning readers through high-school students and
on into the adult years, copying admirable ideas, values, writing styles,
sentence structures, and so on, can lead to a fulfilling romance with the
English language.

Copywork is deceptively simple, but its benefits are nearly immeasurable.


Affordable and easy to implement, regular copywork practice should form one
of the main pillars of any penmanship or language arts course of study.

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Finding Copywork
There are several approaches to sourcing copywork for your child. Some
parents prefer to make it themselves, choosing passages that are meaningful to
their family, or allowing children to select their own passages. Parents may
either write these passages by hand, purchase educational fonts, or purchase a
program specifically to create copywork such as StartWrite -
http://www.startwrite.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=1137

This option is very economical but may be difficult to fit into a busy schedule
– selecting copywork passages can be time consuming, and not having
copywork planned in advance can throw a wrench into your daily school
schedule.

Other parents may prefer to purchase pre-made copywork titles that


coordinate with the penmanship style and skill level of their child. It can be
more difficult to find a set of copywork lessons that are appropriate for your
child (particularly if you are using a style that isn’t traditional), but if you can
find an appropriate series, prepared copywork lessons can save a lot of time,
planning, and frustration. There will normally be a cost associated with
buying prepared lessons, but it is often small, between $0.10 and $0.20 per
lesson.

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When purchasing or creating copywork there are three major points to look
for. Many copywork books available for homeschoolers are confusing and
inconsistent. In our family business – Bogart Family Resources – we’ve
sought to address each of these major points in a consistent manner, creating a
product you can depend on.

Regardless of your source of copywork, you’ll want to look for:

• Models that match your chosen penmanship style.

Children just learning penmanship need models that reflect the style
they’ve been taught. Working from a model that doesn’t reflect the style
they are learning can lead to confusion and setbacks. Still, many copywork
books use non-standard fonts (like those that come with any computer)
rather than the educationally developed styles that most of us teach our
children.

Finding copywork in your desired penmanship style can be difficult, few


resources are available for children using styles outside of the mainstream
traditional manuscript and cursive. There is a noticeable lack of resources
for D’Nealian, Getty-Dubay Italic, and Handwriting Without Tears
students.

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What About Handwriting? Bogart Family Resources

At Bogart Family Resources we strive to make our titles available in all


four major styles (Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian, Getty-Dubay Italic, and
Handwriting Without Tears.)

• Line spacing that matches the size and style your child is comfortable
writing.

If your child is using a large 5/8” spacing they will likely struggle with
copywork lessons that provide only narrow 5/16” lines. Using copywork
lessons that provide blank lines in the size your child is using makes the
difficult process of learning to write more comfortable. Additionally, some
penmanship styles use specialized lines, such as Getty-Dubay Italic and
Handwriting Without Tears, these
specific lines can be difficult to find in
copywork.

Bogart Family Resources copywork


titles use a wide range of line sizes
(please see the “Our Copywork”
section for details) and penmanship
styles like Getty-Dubay Italic and
Handwriting Without Tears use their
distinctive line styles.

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• Appropriate lesson length.

Because learning to print and write is a struggle for many children it is


important to give beginners bite-sized lessons that are easy to complete in a
short period of time. Older children should begin using longer selections
for their copywork lessons.

Bogart Family Resources offers both short lessons in our “A” series, and
longer lessons in our “B” and “C” series.

• An appropriate level of copying difficulty.

Copywork generally follows an increasing series of transcription steps that


increase in difficulty. Models for younger students should include one line
of text followed by one blank line to write their own model on.

This is a simple model.|


|||||||||||||||||

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As a child’s ability to copy from a model increases, passage-by-passage


models can be introduced with a longer section of text above a series of
blank lines.

This is a longer, passage-by-passage


model. It generally includes two to
three sentences, lines or verses to
copy to the blank lines below.

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After becoming comfortable with passage-by-passage models, children can
then move onto using models without lines. Ideally these models will still
be presented in the appropriate penmanship style and size, but will be
copied into a separate notebook or onto a separate lined page.

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This is a longer, passage-by-passage


model. It generally includes two to
three sentences, lines or verses to
copy to a separate notebook or blank
page.
Bogart Family Resources uses line-by-line models in our “A” series,
passage-by-passage models with lines in our “B” series, and longer lessons
without blank lines in our “C” series.

• Reasonable cost.

If you choose to make your own copywork the price will be very small,
though the investment in time may be large. What is a reasonable price to
pay for prepared copywork? Prepared copywork lessons need not be
expensive, I recommend looking for lessons that cost less than $0.50 per
lesson.

Bogart Family Resources lessons cost around $0.20 each, when our titles
are initially introduced to the public they are sold at a discount for a limited
time – less than $0.10 per lesson.

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Our Copywork
The copywork lessons available from Bogart Family Resources are designed
with busy homeschooling Christian mothers in mind. Ready to print and go,
each title includes simple directions for use and is drawn from either great
literature, classic poetry, and inspiring hymns of the faith. Each and every one
of our titles includes integral lessons from the King James Version Bible that
illuminate the theme of each title.

How do you decide which of our titles is the right choice for our children? In
an effort to simplify the selection process, we’ve developed standardized
levels so that you’ll know what you’re getting each time you purchase from
us. The letter code attached to each title designates the penmanship style
used, whether it is manuscript or cursive, lesson length, line size, and model
style (line-by-line, passage-by-passage, no lines.)

First, you’ll want to select your font style,


traditional and Zaner-Bloser students should
use a ZB title, modern and D’Nealian students
a DN title, Getty-Dubay Italic and other italic
students may use GDI titles, Handwriting
Without Tears students should use HWT titles.

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Copywork Levels Chart

Basic, Combined, or
Manuscript/Cursive

Line Sizes for HWT


Cursive (B, CO, C)

Line Sizes for GDI


For ZB and DN

For ZB and DN

Lesson Length
Level Codes

Model Type
2-Line Style
Line Sizes
(M or C)

For GDI

1-A M B 5/8” 11 mm 5/16” Short Line-by-


line
2-A M CO 1/2” 9 mm 3/16” Short Line-by-
line
3-A C C 1/2” 6 mm 3/16” Short Line-by-
line
1-B M B 5/16” 4 mm 2/16” Long Passage-
by-passage
2-B C C 5/16” 4 mm 2/16” Long Passage-
by-passage
C Both B and C No lines, No No Long Models
models lines, lines, only
5/16” models models
4 mm 2/16”

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Copywork Samples
Though the previous chart is intended to help you quickly select a copywork
level for your child, nothing quite replaces seeing a sample for yourself. In
this section you’ll find included one lesson for each of our copywork styles
and levels. After all, it can be difficult to picture exactly what 5/8” looks like
(well, it is for me anyway!)

Feel free to print the lessons that look closest to what your child needs and
have them try a lesson! When you find a comfortable level, simply note the
code that is on the top of the page, and you’ll know which titles to look for
from us the next time you need copywork lessons!

If a picture to color or a drawing


box doesn’t accompany your
lesson, don’t worry. Each of our
“A” and “B” series titles are
peppered with illustrations to
color and room for creative
expression.

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ZB 1-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the ||


||||||||||||||
LORD is the ||||
||||||||||||||
beginning of wisdom:
||||||||||||||
and the knowledge|
||||||||||||||
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ZB 1-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

of the holy is ||||


||||||||||||||
understanding.||||
||||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10|||
||||||||||||||

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ZB 2-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD


|||||||||||||||||
is the beginning of ||||
|||||||||||||||||
wisdom: and the |||||
|||||||||||||||||
knowledge of the holy is
|||||||||||||||||
understanding.|||||||
|||||||||||||||||
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ZB 2-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

Proverbs 9:10||||||
|||||||||||||||||

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ZÜ©B 3-A PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10

TÇòÑïë ÇñÑïÅÄƧë üäñë áêÇòÑïë |||


||||||||||||||||||
L©O©RÜD áô†ßë áêÇòÑïë |||||
||||||||||||||||||
ÇàåïÅóøôÖûÖûáôÖûÅóÏ üäñë |||||
||||||||||||||||||
á´çô†ßÅîÉüéùë: ÄÖûÅîë áêÇòÑïë||
||||||||||||||||||
ÇõÖûÉüç´äúÑïÅîÅóæïë üäñë áêÇòÑïë |
||||||||||||||||||
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ZÜ©B 3-Àë PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10 ÃÉüéûáêë.

ÇòÉüäúÖ¥Ï áô†ßë ||||||||||


||||||||||||||||||
áŸÖûÅîÑïƧ†ßáêÅÄÖûÅîáôÖûÅóÏ.||||
||||||||||||||||||
PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10||||
||||||||||||||||||

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ZB 1-B Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning


of wisdom: and the knowledge of the
holy is understanding. For by me thy
days shall be multiplied, and the years
of thy life shall be increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11

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ZÜ©B 2-B PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10-11

TÇòÑïë ÇñÑïÅÄƧë üäñë áêÇòÑïë L©O©RÜD áô†ßë áêÇòÑïë


àåïÅóøôÖûÖûáôÖûÅóÏ üäñë á´çô†ßÅîÉüéùë: ÄÖûÅîë áêÇòÑïë
ÇõÖûÉüç´äúÑïÅîÅóæïë üäñë áêÇòÑïë ÇòÉüäúÖ¥Ï áô†ßë
áŸÖûÅîÑïƧ†ßáêÅÄÖûÅîáôÖûÅóÏ. Füè§ë Çàé¥Ï ÚùÑïë
áêÇòÖ¥Ï îÅÄÖ¥Ùßë †ßÇòÅÄÇúÇúë Çàåïë ÚùáŸÇúáêáôáƒÇúáôÑïÅîë,
ÄÖûÅîë áêÇòÑïë Ú¥æïÅÄƧ†ßë of áêÇòÖ¥Ï úáôÇñÑïë †ßÇòÅÄÇúÇúë
Çàåïë áôÖûÉìƧÑïÅĆßÑïÅîë.
PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10-11

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ZÜ©B 2-B PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10-11 Cont.

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ZB-C Proverbs 9: 10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning


of wisdom: and the knowledge of the
holy is understanding. For by me thy
days shall be multiplied, and the years
of thy life shall be increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11
TÇòÑïë ÇñÑïÅÄƧë üäñë áêÇòÑïë L©O©RÜD áô†ßë áêÇòÑïë
àåïÅóøôÖûÖûáôÖûÅóÏ üäñë á´çô†ßÅîÉüéùë : ÄÖûÅîë
áêÇòÑïë ÇõÖûÉüç´äúÑïÅîÅóæïë üäñë áêÇòÑïë hüäúÖ¥Ï áô†ßë
áŸÖûÅîÑïƧ†ßáêÅÄÖûÅîáôÖûÅóÏ. Füè§ë Çàé¥Ï ÚùÑïë
áêÇòÖ¥Ï îÅÄÖ¥Ùßë †ßÇòÅÄÇúÇúë Çàåïë
ÚùáŸÇúáêáôáƒÇúáôÑïÅîë, ÄÖûÅîë áêÇòÑïë Ú¥æïÅÄƧ†ßë of
áêÇòÖ¥Ï ÇúáôÇñÑïë †ßÇòÅÄÇúÇúë ÇàåïëôÖûÉìƧÑïÅĆßÑïÅîë.
PƧÉüé˜åïƧÇà±ßë 9:10-11

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DN 1-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the |


|||||||||||||||||||
LORD is the ||||
|||||||||||||||||||
beginning of |||||
|||||||||||||||||||
wisdom: and the
|||||||||||||||||||
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DN 1-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

knowledge of the
|||||||||||||||||||
holy is ||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||
understanding.||
|||||||||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10||||
|||||||||||||||||||
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DN 2-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the |||||


|||||||||||||||||||||||
LORD is the ||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||
beginning of wisdom:
|||||||||||||||||||||||
and the knowledge |
|||||||||||||||||||||||
of the holy is |||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||
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DN 2-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

understanding.||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||

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D¯N 3-A Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10

The fear oì the L¯O¯R¯D


|||||||||||||||||||||
is the Óíginning oì ||||
|||||||||||||||||||||
wñsdoö: and the |||||
|||||||||||||||||||||
knoÚôedge oì the hoôy |
|||||||||||||||||||||
is understanding.|||||
|||||||||||||||||||||
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D¯N 3-A Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10 Coõt.

Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||

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DN 1-B Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the


beginning of wisdom: and the
knowledge of the holy is
understanding. For by me thy
days shall be multiplied, and
the years of thy life shall be
increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11
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D¯N 2-B Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10-11

The fear oì the L¯O¯R¯D is the


Óíginning oì wñsdoö: and the
knoÚôedge oì the hoôy is
understanding. FÉü bŸ me thy
days ãhall Óí multiplied, and the
years of thy life ãhall Óí
increased.
Pro¨írÒ 9:10-11
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
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D¯N 2-B Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10-11 Cont.

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DN-C Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the


beginning of wisdom: and the
knowledge of the holy is
understanding. For by me
thy days shall be multiplied,
and the years of thy life
shall be increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11

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D¯N-C Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10-11 Coõt.

The fear oì the L¯O¯R¯D is the


Óíginning oì wñsdoö: and the
knoÚôedge oì the hoôy is
understanding. FÉü bŸ me thy
days ãhall Óí multiplied, and the
years oì thy life ãhall Óí
increased.
Pro¨írÒ´ 9:10-11

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GDI 1-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the


|||||||||||||||||||
LORD is the |||
|||||||||||||||||||
beginning of ||||
|||||||||||||||||||
wisdom: and the
|||||||||||||||||||
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GDI 1-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

knowledge of ||
|||||||||||||||||||
the holy is ||||||
|||||||||||||||||||
understanding.||
|||||||||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10||||
|||||||||||||||||||
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GDI 2-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the ||||||


||||||||||||||||||||||||
LORD is the |||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||
beginning of|||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||
wisdom: and the|||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||
knowledge of the |||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||

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GDI 2-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

holy is|||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||
understanding.|||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||

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GDI 3-A PûíÎèôñÜуí¥Åás 9:10

TàÿÑà ÖÌÑæÄßíŸ of îÛàÿÑà LORD â†s îÛàÿÑÃ|


|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
ŬÑægâßéßé§âßé£g of|Œó‰â†ìæÉ™èÒçÀ: Äßé£ÉÀ||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
îÛàÿÑà ãßé™èôó‹åÿÑæÉ£g¸Ñà of îÛàÿÑà à™èÛå§y â†s|||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
ïßé£ÉÿуíÆìøîÚÄßé£É§âßé£g.||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
PûíÎèôñÜуí¥Åás 9:10||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

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GDI 1-B Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of


wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding. For by me thy days shall be
multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be
increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
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GDI 2-B PûíÎèôñÜуí¥Åás 9:10-11

TàÿÑà ÖÌÑæÄßíŸ of îÛàÿÑà LORD â†s îÛàÿÑà ŬÑægâßéßé§âßé£g of


Œó‰â†ìæÉ™èÒçÀ: Äßé£ÉÀ îÛàÿÑà ãßé™èôó‹åÿÑæÉ£g¸Ñà of îÛàÿÑà à™èÛå§y â†s
ïßé£ÉÿуíÆìøîÚÄßé£É§âßé£g. FèÒíŸ Åøy ûçÿÑà îÛà§y ɣħys ìøà£Ä§å§l ŬÑÃ
ûç§ï§å§îÙâ§êøå§âÿÑæÉÀ, Äßé£ÉÀ îÛàÿÑà y¸ÑæÄßíÆs of îÛà§y å§âÀÖÌÑà ìøà£Ä§å§l ŬÑÃ
âßéõǃíªÑæĆì¬ÑæÉÀ.
PûíÎèôñÜуí¥Åás 9:10-11

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
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GDI C Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of


wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding. For by me thy days shall be
multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be
increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11

TàÿÑà ÖÌÑæÄßíŸ of îÛàÿÑà LORD â†s îÛàÿÑà ŬÑægâßéßé§âßé£g of


Œó‰â†ìæÉ™èÒçÀ: Äßé£ÉÀ îÛàÿÑà ãßé™èôó‹åÿÑæÉ£g¸Ñà of îÛàÿÑà à™èÛå§y â†s
ïßé£ÉÿуíÆìøîÚÄßé£É§âßé£g. FèÒíŸ Åøy ûçÿÑà îÛà§y ɣħys ìøà£Ä§å§l ŬÑÃ
ûç§ï§å§îÙâ§êøå§âÿÑæÉÀ, Äßé£ÉÀ îÛàÿÑà y¸ÑæÄßíÆs of îÛà§y å§âÀÖÌÑà ìøà£Ä§å§l ŬÑÃ
âßéõǃíªÑæĆì¬ÑæÉÀ.
PûíÎèôñÜуí¥Åás 9:10-11

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HWT 1-A Proverbs 9:10

The fear of ||
||||||||||||
the|LORD|is|||
||||||||||||
the|beginning|of
||||||||||||
wisdom:|and|the
||||||||||||
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HWT 1-A Proverbs 9:10 Cont.

knowledge|of |
||||||||||||
the|holy|is |||
||||||||||||
understanding.||
||||||||||||
Proverbs 9:10|
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HWT 2-A Proverbs 9:10

The|fear|of|the|LORD|is
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the|beginning|of|wisdom:|
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and|the|knowledge|of||||
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the|holy|is|understanding.|
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Proverbs 9:10||||||||||
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HWT 3-úÈ PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10

TÛáÏÑÈ|ÚÖÏѪÄæëÈ|éÂÖÈ|ÛìæáÏÑÈ|||||
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£ÈO´ÈD|Ûà¬íÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ||||||||
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ÚÅÌѪ܄àøçøçæàøçªÜ¸|éÂÖÈ|ñŸà¬íªÉÍéÁåÈ:
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ÄøçªÉÈ|ÛìæáÏÑÈ|ÛäøçÍéÁñÕãÏѪɪÜÓÑÈ||
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éÂÖÈ|ÛìæáÏÑÈ|ÛáÍéÂãæò¸|Ûà¬íÈ|||||
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îøçªÉÏÑæë¬íæìªÄøçªÉæàøçªÜ¸.||||||
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HWT 3-úÈ PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10 ùÍéÁçæìÈ.

PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10|||||||
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HWT 1-B Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning


of wisdom: and the knowledge of the
holy is understanding. For by me thy
days shall be multiplied, and the years of
thy life shall be increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11
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HWT 2-B PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10-11

TÛáÏÑÈ ÚÖÏѪÄæëÈ éÂÖÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ £ÈO´ÈD Ûà¬íÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ


ÚÅÌѪ܄àøçøçæàøçªÜ¸ éÂÖÈ ñŸà¬íªÉÍéÁåÈ: ÄøçªÉÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ
ÛäøçÍéÁñÕãÏѪɪÜÓÑÈ éÂÖÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ ÛáÍéÂãæò¸ Ûà¬íÈ
îøçªÉÏÑæë¬íæìªÄøçªÉæàøçªÜ¸. FéËëÈ ÚÅÿò¸ ÙåÏÑÈ Ûìæáæò¸
ɪÄæòÒíÈ õíæáªÄºãºãÈ ÚÅÌÑÈ ÙåæîºãæìæàæèºãæàÏѪÉÈ, ÄøçªÉÈ
ÛìæáÏÑÈ òÓѪÄæë¬íÈ éÂÖÈ Ûìæáæò¸ ÚãæàºÖÏÑÈ õíæáªÄºãºãÈ ÚÅÌÑÈ
ÛàøçÍÇæëÏѪĬíÏѪÉÈ.
PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10-11
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HWT C Proverbs 9:10-11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning


of wisdom: and the knowledge of the
holy is understanding. For by me thy
days shall be multiplied, and the years of
thy life shall be increased.
Proverbs 9:10-11

TÛáÏÑÈ ÚÖÏѪÄæëÈ éÂÖÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ £ÈO´ÈD Ûà¬íÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ


ÚÅÌѪ܄àøçøçæàøçªÜ¸ éÂÖÈ ñŸà¬íªÉÍéÁåÈ: ÄøçªÉÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ
ÛäøçÍéÁñÕãÏѪɪÜÓÑÈ éÂÖÈ ÛìæáÏÑÈ ÛáÍéÂãæò¸ Ûà¬íÈ
îøçªÉÏÑæë¬íæìªÄøçªÉæàøçªÜ¸. FéËëÈ ÚÅÿò¸ ÙåÏÑÈ Ûìæáæò¸
ɪÄæòÒíÈ õíæáªÄºãºãÈ ÚÅÌÑÈ ÙåæîºãæìæàæèºãæàÏѪÉÈ, ÄøçªÉÈ
ÛìæáÏÑÈ òÓѪÄæë¬íÈ éÂÖÈ Ûìæáæò¸ ÚãæàºÖÏÑÈ õíæáªÄºãºãÈ ÚÅÌÑÈ
ÛàøçÍÇæëÏѪĬíÏѪÉÈ.
PöëÍéÁïÌÑæëºÅÔíÈ 9:10-11

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Penmanship Resources
I’ve compiled a list of websites where you can find more information about
the penmanship styles and programs we’ve gone through together in this
book. I hope it simplifies your research as you determine the best style for
your child.

Traditional (Zaner-Bloser) Style:

http://www.zaner-bloser.com/educator/products/handwriting/

Generic traditional penmanship style resources can also be found at your local
education resources store (Scholar’s Choice, Education Station, etc.)

Modern (D’Nealian) Style:

Developer Donald Thurber’s website - http://www.dnealian.com/

A specific link to information about the current series of D’Nealian


workbooks - http://bit.ly/9UFWZe

A general link to Pearson’s website - http://www.pearsonschool.com/

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Generic traditional penmanship style resources can also be found at your local
education resources store (Scholar’s Choice, Education Station, etc.)

Italic Style:

Getty-Dubay Italic from Allport Editions -


http://www.allport.com/Catalog_Category.aspx?catid=128

Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting - http://www.bfhhandwriting.com/

Italics, Beautiful Handwriting for Children by Penny Gardner -


http://www.pennygardner.com/italics.html

Handwriting Without Tears

This is an incredibly comprehensive website - http://www.hwtears.com/

A Beka

Under “Category” on the left side, click the drop-down menu and select
“Writing” - https://www.abeka.com/abekaonline/catalogsearch.aspx

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Cursive First

Cursive First also offers a good survey of the arguments for starting
penmanship instruction with cursive - http://www.swrtraining.com/id17.html

Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University’s handwriting materials for homeschoolers can be


purchased here - http://bit.ly/c73nDS

A Reason for Handwriting

Learn more about A Reason for Handwriting here -


http://www.areasonfor.com/article.php?id=19

The Peterson Method

I highly recommend that parents read the research available at the Peterson
website - http://www.peterson-handwriting.com/

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StartWrite

Software to help you create your own copywork lessons -


http://www.startwrite.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=1137

Bogart Family Resources

Our family business creates ready-to-use Christian copywork in a variety of


penmanship styles and levels to meet the needs of all your young copyists –
http://bogartfamilyresources.com

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What About Handwriting? Bogart Family Resources

About Us
In the Fall of 2006, God shut the door on one chapter of
our lives, and opened whole new vistas for us when He
drew us to His Son; from death to life. My husband Larry
and I surrendered our lives to Christ that year, and held on
for the ride as God began building a new foundation for
our lives.

Though we’d always planned to homeschool, we now quickly realized that we


are responsible in God’s sight to raise our children for Him. At that point we
had two children, and He has now graciously blessed our home with a third.
We look forward to welcoming any additional blessings as He sees fit to add
them to our family.

Our search for edifying Christian curricular materials that are literature-based,
multi-sensory, clearly organized, convenient, and easy to use for busy mothers
to use led to the founding of http://bogartfamilyresources.com.

We delight in our time spent together as a family as we continue to delve


deeper into God’s word together as we work, play, and learn on our farm in
Alberta, Canada. Thank you for supporting our family business. If you have
any questions, suggestions, corrections, or concerns, please email us at
jennifer@bogartfamilyresources.com - we’d love to hear from you!

A Guide for Homeschooling Parents About Us ❀ 107


Free $5
Copywork! Gift!
Looking for copywork to reinforce your penmanship studies and to develop
an intuitive understanding of spelling and grammar? Drop by our website at
http://bogartfamilyresources.com and join our mailing list to receive a
coupon code for $5.00 off any online purchase!

With most of our titles affordably priced between $2.95 and $4.95, you’ll be
able to pick out a title to try for FREE!

We offer a variety of Christian copywork based on classic poetry, literature,


and the great hymns of the faith in:
- Traditional ZB Style Manuscript and Cursive
- Modern DN Style Manuscript and Cursive
- GDI Style Basic, Combined, and Cursive
- HWT Style Manuscript and Cursive
- Levels are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced copyists.

Drop by soon so we can help you simplify your copywork lessons!


Are you new to homeschooling and Includes:
wondering how to get started with • How to choose a
penmanship instruction? Do you find penmanship style
yourself wondering how to teach printing and • Priorities worksheet
• Concise overviews of
handwriting? What options are available? four major styles
What are the main considerations to keep in • How copywork fits in
• Copywork samples
mind when making a penmanship program
• Free copywork offer
choice?

Whether you’re a newcomer to educating your children or an experienced


veteran, What About Penmanship will help you evaluate the needs of your child
and think through the major areas of consideration before presenting a detailed
analysis with objective benefits and disadvantages of the major penmanship
options available.

Additional sections on selecting copywork to match your child’s penmanship style,


fine motor skills, and copying abilities are included to help you find or create
copywork to refine your child’s penmanship skills. An extensive selection of
copywork sample lessons for various styles and levels – 36 pages!

Now you can finally make an informed decision when it comes to penmanship!
Also Available From Bogartfamilyresources.com!

• Copying the Poems and Copying the Hymns – Christian


copywork books
• All four major penmanship styles in a variety of levels