Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay developed their own italic handwriting method to provide students a more natural style than the more tradition ball-and-stick most kids learn. The fluidity of italic handwriting, they say, is easier for younger kids to master and offers more intuitive transition to cursive. Similar to calligraphy, italic is aesthetically appealing and easy to read since letter forms are uncluttered.
How Do These Work?
Seven consumable worktexts cover grades K-6, though Book G can also serve as a remedial text for grades 7-8, or even for adults. A single instruction manual covers all seven student texts, and provides plenty of information for demonstrating the basics (how to hold a pencil, etc.), special concerns, and some background philosophy of handwriting instructional methods.
The student texts are self-explanatory. Kids simply copy letters, numbers, words and sentences on variously sized lines (ranging from 15/16" to 5/32"). Cursive is introduced in Book C (grade 2), while Book G includes both basic and cursive italic. Two supplemental texts are also available: Italic Letters which teaches calligraphy and italic handwriting, and Write Now which acts as a complete italic handwriting program and works great as a remedial text for older students. Both these books are consumable, though students could just as easily complete all work on separate sheets of paper.
None of the books in this series are reproducible, so you'll need separate texts for each student. These are secular texts, so you won't find moral tales or Scripture verses here, but neither will you find anything offensive or political. Each book is simple black and white, and while there are illustrations they're simply line drawings. Not incredibly appealing, this series nevertheless gets the job of handwriting instruction done, and done well.
Our Honest Opinion:
We've sold many of these books and have personally witnessed handwriting improvement from some kids. The most common complaint is that children who learn exclusively this style have a hard time reading more traditional cursive styles like Zaner-Bloser and Palmer. While this probably isn't a big deal, it is something to consider. At the same time, students who master this style will have no trouble with illegibility as this is one of the most attractive cursive forms we've seen.
Sample of Children's Handwriting (PDF fomat)
Comparison Chart (PDF format)
Reading Looped Cursive (PDF format)
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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