Hi everyone! Welcome to day 5 of my Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts! Today we’re talking about handwriting.

there are a few different theories about handwriting out there. I personally prefer to stick with manuscript from preschool – second grade then I move on to introduce cursive to my students. I also like to stick to traditional manuscript as opposed to D’Nealian print. I know I’ll probably get a few different comments on this, but my line of reasoning is this; Students need to know how to print.

They need to also know how to print neatly.

On pretty much any form they will experience in life, they’ll need to print. If they move onto cursive too soon I don’t feel that students get a good enough grasp of printing neatly prior to the transition. And since most curriculum only offers cursive once you get into higher grades, I take advantage of the traditional method of manuscript until then.

I like to start out with A Reason for Handwriting. I like their colorful pages, and the fact that my kids are practicing writing scripture which is also nice. One thing I don’t love about this? Is that there aren’t typically enough lessons to get us through one full year, so I find that I’m ordering the next level about now. I guess that’s not a huge deal though right?

I do like their transition (Level T) year as well, I find that it does a good job in the transition from manuscript to cursive. I have previously started this when my kids hit 3rd grade when I find that their motor skills are such they can easily make the transition. I have tried to introduce cursive in 2nd grade and found that motor skill wise they just weren’t ready yet, so I’m sticking to cursive in 3rd grade.



  • Uses scripture as handwriting practice
  • Reasonably priced


  • Repetitive, and can get boring after awhile

That said, this upcoming year I’m actually going to switch to BJU Handwriting. Partially just to give my kids a change since they’re kind of getting bored with the same exact handwriting pages each day.

And also because I like the more upright cursive I found in the fourth and fifth grade handwriting books. Turbo has a hard time visually reading super slanted (a.k.a. more traditional) cursive and I think this type might suit him better. I also like that there are a little more variety of activities from day to day with this curriculum as well. So we’ll give it a go and I’ll keep you posted on what we think!

I don’t typically purchase the teacher’s manuals for handwriting, so if someone out there thinks I need to please speak up! I usually just take a look at what they’re working on that day, do a few samples for them on the white board if they need it, then let them have at it. I do check for neatness and also make them read whatever it is they’ve written to me out loud just so I know they understand what they’re writing. It’s also good to show them if they can’t read what they’ve written then there’s a good chance others won’t be able to read it either.




  • Activities vary from day to day.
  • Uses the D’Nealian font if you prefer that.


  • Some of the capital letters are different than traditional cursive.

So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite Handwriting curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards Handwriting, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.


Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.


  1. My favorite handwriting program is Handwriting Without Tears. Because I’m a cheapskate, I only bought the kindergarten level. Once my children finished the workbook, I bought kindergarten-lined paper (the newspaper print kind from a school supply store) for copywork until my children reached first grade, then I bought first-grade-lined paper for practice. Once they hit second grade, I stopped buying lined paper and found free 3rd-grade-lined paper from various homeschool blogs for the copywork I assign. So what I’m saying 😀 is that I initially teach from the kindergarten book and only change the paper over the course of three years. My three older children have excellent penmanship. I only require them to rewrite their copywork if I feel it’s too sloppy, which is rarely these days. My first grader is currently writing on first-grade-lined paper and while handwriting practice is not her favorite thing, I have noticed improvement over the course of this year since she finished the workbook. I don’t believe you have to fork out a lot of money on bells and whistles (extras) to teach handwriting. Find a program you like, buy your own handwriting paper, and require neat penmanship. 🙂

  2. I currently use abeka for my younger student and I teach my 3rd grader cursive through memory verse and copywork. I use handwritingworksheets.com because it is free and because I can put in a letter she may be struggling with and she can have extra practice. Also, I can use this site for print or cursive for both children. On Friday’s I test my 3rd grader to see what she has learned. I also use http://www.softschools.com/handwriting/cursive for worksheets. If she has trouble we work together, so far she has done great. We currently don’t have the extra cash to spend on another book or the space to store another book. Hope this helps!

    1. This is a delayed answer, but in case anyone else is interested, I’ll share my experience. We LOVE PAL. It is absolutely fantastic. I’ve taken two boys through it already, and beginning my third in January. I highly recommend!!

  3. Although this discussion was started a couple of years ago, I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth. I had been told a couple of years ago that our schools would no longer be teaching cursive and a raging debate began over whether this was a good idea. One thing that came up that really got me thinking was a comment by a history professor. He pointed out that in Egypt they eventually stopped using hieroglyphics and then eventually stopped teaching how to write hieroglyphics. Eventually, there was no one left who could read the symbols. Thousands of years of history were lost. Even though many symbols have now been (they THINK) translated accurately, it took years and years of painstaking research with no guarantee that they are correct.

    So many personal letters and documents were written in cursive. If there is no one left who knows how to read them, how much of our history will we lose? How easy is it to delete e-mails and a piece of history is actually lost. So much of what we know of the past is through personal letters. If those letters had been text messages and e-mails, they probably wouldn’t even exist now. In depending on technology for everything, how much more do we risk losing than just a few curly letters?

    Even though we don’t really need candles for light, I would hate for the world to lose the ability to make candles. Even though we have machines to make clothing, I would hate for us to become so dependent on those machines that there is no one left in the world who knows how to truly sew. How about wood carving and cooking meals from scratch instead of reheating a boxed dinner? So many skills that really could someday be looked on as antiquated, but at the very least are a great art form in their own way and at most would be important for survival should technology fail. No one knows what our future will hold. If we become so dependent on technology that we can no longer function without it, are we dooming ourselves?

    By the way, I am currently looking for a handwriting curriculum for a dysgraphic 4th grade boy who functions really well in a color environment but does poorly with black and white. Has anyone got a suggestion? I will look into A Reason for Handwriting along with some of the others mentioned.

  4. Thank for the great recommendations, I can’t wait to find them. I have recently purchased a program that teaches shapes and creates great form. It’s simple and easy to follow. I am thankful I found this book and look forward to continuing my children’s handwriting. Sorry I don’t have the link, but you can search Facebook: Shaping up your penmanship. Thanks again for the references.

  5. A few years ago I found a D’Nealian desk name plate from your website. It had how to make each letter and a place to write their name on it too. I can’t find it and my next one doing K would love one. Also, my older one wondered if you have a cursive one.


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