Handwriting curriculum with reference and practice sheets, print through cursive
(PDFs on Google Drive)
Intro to 5 fonts | Intro to Roman fonts | Fontology–fonts.com
Machine-printed fonts should be readable, depending on their purpose. Usually, avoid geometric sans serif and modern Roman fonts in large blocks of text (like articles, essays, and letters) because their letters are too similar and difficult to read quickly. Instead, use normal sans serif and Roman fonts in large blocks of text and reserve geometric sans and modern Roman fonts for titles and headings.
Handwriting styles should be easy to write quickly and be easy to recognize. Handwriting and fonts should be different.
Never model your handwriting after a Roman or sans serif font!
Sadly, many early to mid 1900’s handwriting curricula teach geometric sans font-style for handwriting, but this is a mistake. If you want to write with a geometric sans font-style, that is an artistic style of writing that you should learn after first learning the natural writing style.
Why ‘Basic’ Letters?
These “Basic” letters are intended to aid both printed and cursive writing practice, doubling as core practice for both writing skill levels. The Basic letters are slanted in anticipation of cursive, and many letters either have identical core components as cursive—such as: a, d, c, g, h, o, p, q—or contain principle proportions in size—such as: b, e, f, i, j, k, l, m, n, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. Even Basic k and z have overlapping sizes with their cursive styles.
With this method, “Basic” letters followed by “Cursive Prep Curves” prepare students to write cursive quickly and well.
*Teaching tip: The following two charts are for reference, to help students see how writing styles can differ. This are not intended for significant teaching time. After learning to write the “Basic” letters, students may be interested in learning some of the alternate writing methods on their own initiative.
Note: “Print” is the same as “Basic”, but not slanted. The trailing “a” and “g” are “double story” versions as they would be written by hand. Usually, these are only seen in fonts, especially Roman. Other letters include alternate methods of writing.
‘Basic’ Print Letters
Beginning Guide Dots
(to demonstrate stroke order)
Guide dots for 2 writing styles: CAPITAL & Basic
(with NAM-MAN difference & alternate letters/orders)
Especially for young learners, but for everyone, color-coded shapes can help you learn the stroke order.
Start with the green circle, then the yellow triangle is your next destination. Stop at the red square and figure out everything in between.
Start with a few simple capital letters, then all capital letters, then work to lowercase, starting with carry-over letters p-a-g-e-s-n-d-t.
Best practice order:
H I F E P R B A S K
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*Teaching tip: These Guide Dots are intended to help young learners develop instinctive stroke order (learning by rote practice) while gaining muscle control in the hands. Move on to Transition Sheets when the learner’s hand is strong enough to make semi-recognizable letters without the Guide Dots. Moving-on is a “muscle strength” question…
The next step is to properly write letters correctly within lines.
(lined with colored ascenders & descenders)
24-line “range back sixteen seventy juggernauts”
(focus on: a, g, b, e, s, plus i, j, and t to cross and dot)
24-line a-y diverse text
(a-y in three lines to practice)
*Teaching tip: For young learners, use any Transition Sheet (above) or Lined Practice Sheet (below) in combination with a blank Lined Practice sheet (below). First give a “test” with the blank sheet, second return to the sheet with letters, repeating this blank-transition pattern to quickly learn.
Lined Practice Sheets (print):
After learning to write basic print (above) and to read long and short vowel words, connect phonics and writing with this 24-line phonics writing sheet:
Take one day to learn the skill you will use every day of the year and you have learned the entire year in one day.
Prepare for cursive by drawing decorative “cursive prep” curves on blank paper, then repeat lowercase letters—”l” loops & “m” on lined paper. Eventually, after all letters are learned, cursive should be written without any lines, on blank paper.
*Teaching tip: Curvy is key! Writing decorative loops first prepares the hand for writing ALL letters, making the process easier than less curvy cursive styles. Loops first, then all cursive lowercase letters at once, finally all capitals at once; then practice “trouble letters” as they crop up in daily practice of the entire alphabet.
Here is a banner, such as for a classroom: Cursive – all one line.pdf
Lined Practice Sheets (cursive):
All-Styles Print Guide Dot Chart
Once you have learned the print and cursive letters, it doesn’t hurt to try to learn a Geometric or Fast way of writing. Use this sheet to guide you through stroke order for all five print styles…
10-line large (0-9) Guide Dot Numbers
D’Nelian was introduced in the late 1900s. “Manuscript” flowing print in first grade prepared students for a similar cursive the following year. The PinkWrite “basic” lower-case letters were inspired by D’Nelian, but with the controversial “monkey” tails on fewer letters. This was a strong improvement over the starting with “block letters” (Geometric), then moving directly to cursive.
The PinkWrite writing script followed the principles of flowing print, but removed the monkey tails from the first year “basic” letters and made more artful cursive the second year. Flowing, curving cursive may seem more difficult if tracing, but if students learn to draw curves first, a curving cursive is actually easier to write, even for young students.