Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Italic Writing on a penny

I think one of the harder things about homeschooling on a penny is that you have to do more footwork. When you buy a pre-packaged curriculum, even for one subject, it's usually laid out for you. More than once, I have been discouraged when looking for something in particular and being told that a curriculum is free, only to learn that it in fact requires me to buy a workbook or CD. I mean, I will admit, there is a lot of good, inexpensive stuff out there. But ONLY $9.99 is not only when you don't have the money.

My older kids have been through public school and they simply did not learn to do cursive well. Thing is, they would much rather print. This is strictly from a preference point of view. Problem is, they can't print fast, so thus their work is very hard to read. I considered simply drilling them on cursive, but realized that is not going to help. So, I decided that italic writing would be the best next step. So, I went looking, and of course found lots of stuff, all with a price tag. This actually caused me to cry.

I will say that if I had the money, I would probably go with the Getty-Dubay system. Though the one by Christopher Jarman is a close runner up (and would be good for our UK visitors). Honestly, I think there are some things that if you have the opportunity and means to purchase, you should. Certainly it will be easier for you if you have a workbook and teacher's guide. But, since I don't really have the money, I had to piece together a system on my own. As promised, I will share my journies with you all in the hopes someone else can benefit.

Here is what we are using:

Jarman Site - This is the site of Christopher Jarman, who developed an italic writing course for schools in the UK. There is lots of good general information on this site, as well as downloads of his Jarman and Jardotty fonts, which can be used to teach your children italic writing.

12 Rules of Good Cursive Writing - This page can be of benefit to anyone, italic and standard cursive alike. It is good for kids to review since it graphically give some general rules that should be followed with respect to all writing.

Jarman Parent's Guide - This is not really meant as a substitute for the program, but if you really need some guidance, there are some excerpts from the parent's guide for the Jarman series that can give you some guidance in instruction.

Jarman Fonts - This is the page where you can download the Jarman fonts. More significantly, you can also download animations of how to make the italic letters, which can be very useful in your instruction.

Italic Writing - This site has a lot of information on italic writing in general. Lots of examples and general information on how to teach it. This site also a zip file of numerous italic worksheets.

Italic e-Book - This page offers several e-books on italic writing. Not really textbooks, but they could be incorporated into a program using the other resources listed here.

Handwriting Success - This is the resource page of the Getty-Dubay website. It has some free resources that may help.


KateGladstone said...

How good to see your comprehensive listing of Italic resources! Please let me know whether you can add my own learn-Italic page,

Mirz said...

I actually did come upon your site while doing my research. However, it was not added or endorsed by my list because it was a pay service. Due to the bad economy and fact that some people don't even have a small amount of money to spend on lessons, I am focusing my findings on resources that are totally free, or pay services that offer free materials on their websites that can be utilize by anyone, regardless of their purchase of the program.

KateGladstone said...

My site also includes pages of free materials — please see the "links" page, for instance.

Kristin said...

Thanks for this article...I can't access the yahoo stuff though, I think "BT" is something I don't have access to? Oh well...some of the other sites had some nice worksheets. I am thinking I'll laminate them for my 7yo to practice with...Thanks!!