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. We loved HWT K. Helped my leftie tremendously. Her handwriting is SO nice now. Highly recommend HWT! I will say for HWT you should buy everything they recommend…the TM, the student workbook, the cd, the blackboard, chalk, and sponges. My daughter loved everything about the program.

    ElizabethH in CO
      1. I have used HWT at every level for years. You really only need the TM, wkbk for the level and the slate. I also buy a ream of appropriate level writing paper. If your child can print, you could go ahead and use the Grade 2 book. HWT just released a Kick Start Cursive booklet for the end of 2nd grade. Cursive begins in the 3rd grade book.

  2. I use a sharpie and different kinds of papers to do prewriting circles/squiggles, then we use a highlighter on dollar store lined paper to introduce the letters themselves and then at 4 I give them the handwriting workbook from Walmart that is broken into four sections (indented capitals, indented lowercase, raised top and bottom lines, just lined). Then once they get the hang of properly forming the letters we do copy work using their awanas memory verse or a sentence that they choose from one of their favorite books. We will see if a similar approach works with cursive when my oldest hits 3rd grade.

  3. I used BJU (2nd) this year and stopped it when we hit the lessons that introduced cursive. To take over we, we bought A Reason For to stay in manuscript until the end of the year. My son (7) will do it because I asks but he really does not want to. He begs to go back to BJU but I didn’t think he was ready to handle cursive at 7. This is traditionally is 1st year grade year but he’s on 2nd grade level. So “1st grade” seemed a bit young for cursive. In August, I may pick up cursive! Just becaus he is asks for it.

  4. My older boys know cursive, both American and Italics versions. Neither of them use it except to sign their names. I often wonder what the point was of all those years of forcing cursive. Let’s face it, we live in a Print Only society.

    1. The same reason we spend hours hounding them about music practice and then after years of battles over it and hundreds of dollars worth of lessons, they never touch the instrument again.

    2. The main one is so we can read historical documents. If you think about all of the documents that our country was founded upon, they were all written in cursive, not print. If we don’t learn cursive and how to read it, the Declaration of Independence will be like reading hieroglyphics to the next generation.

  5. We just ordered a reason for handwriting for my son to use next year. He will be doing first grade work. This year we are just Horizons phonic which has a lot of writing during the lessons, so he gets practice that way.

    Bekah Begg
  6. We have had success with Getty-Dubay Italic books. Sometimes I make my own copywork pages as well with a program called Fonts for TEachers from Educational Fontware. I have also downloaded books from Character Italic, which take a student through character qualities, first defining them, writing a quote from a famous person, and then answering a question on character. Zeezok publishing also sells a download for various handwriting versions called Presidential Penmanship. You can get Italic, Zaner-Bloser, and possibly one other font, which give handwriting practice based on quotes from the US Presidents.This is nice because you simply print off the pages you want, and you can use it with multiple children.

  7. We currently use HWT however I would like to try something new next year and I may try BJU. I do have a problem that I was wondering if any of you have delt with. My 7 year old daughter has horrible handwriting. I know that the main reason is how she holds her pencil but I cannot seem to get her to stop. Currently she fist the pencil which takes forever for her to write and it does not look good. I will correct it and then she will go right back to fisting it. She is a very intelligent child and excels in all subjects so it stresses me that I can’t get her to hold her pencil correctly. Any advice?

    1. I saw a pin on pinterest to get your child to hold their pencil correctly. You find an old sock, cut out two holes, one for their thumb the other for the pointer finger, the rest of the fingers stay in the sock, ideally the child has to hold their pencil correctly to write. I didn’t pin it, so I can’t give you the link, but it might be worth a try.

    2. You can also buy those little grippies that go around a pencil, they are about 1 inch in length and are generally triangular. They should be available at a local teacher supply store. Here’s a link to what I’m talking about http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C925%2C124&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1366693238646

      Perhaps you could encourage writing with her finger in salt or painting with watercolors, something that will require a similar skill but won’t work as well with a ham fisted grip.

    3. HWT teaches proper pencil grip in the kindergarten level book (I don’t know if any of the other levels re-teach this). My first grader held the pencil completely wrong (pained me just watching her write! I’m surprised she didn’t break pencils) until I consistently and persistently corrected her grip. It took awhile, but anytime I saw her pick up a pencil, I checked her grip and corrected it if it was wrong. She holds it correctly now (a year or so later) and she hasn’t gone back to her old ways. It could be just a “bad habit” that your child needs help breaking. And as we all know, bad habits are very hard to break! 🙂 I hope this helps you a little…

    1. I would try using the Handwritint Without Tears program. I’m a lefty and find it very “left-hand-friendly” — even though I’m teaching three right-handed kids. 🙂 The kindergarten level teaches proper pencil grip (something many left-handed children struggle with) and how to position the paper on the table according to which hand you write with — I love that! If your child consistently switches hands for writing, I would try teaching him/her to write with their dominate hand (does your child eat left-handed as well? Does your child throw left-handed?). If it turns out writing is easier with his/her right hand, then I would teach as if he/she is dominantly right-handed. Does that make sense?


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