Getty Dubay Italics - Easy Transition from Print to Cursive
(League City, TX)
We used Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting, Books A-E and Instruction Manual from January 2006 - current.
Likes: The books gradually increase in difficulty and emphasis on neat, legible writing. For example, Book A only requires writing on the baseline and does not have a lot of other guidelines. The letters start out solid, go to dotted & then just a start dot. As the series of workbooks progresses, additional guidelines are added. In addition, the writing size becomes smaller, and the students are asked to watch and maintain additional qualities in their writing such as the length of ascenders & descenders, letter spacing, word spacing, letter slant, and so on.
Interesting subject material is used(is secular, though) and is linked to the suggested grade level of the book. Books A & B have pictures to color and transition from one word to short sentences. Later books have synonyms, antonyms, numbers (spelled out and in numerical form), names of days, poems, prefixes, etc.
The transition to cursive writing is slow and easy with serifs added to the letters first. Then letter joins are introduced one or two at a time. Finally, the student is expected to write one or more sentences in cursive. The transition period starts near the end of book C and finishes up in the book D after a review of basic (print) italic. Each new book after that starts with a basic (printed) italic review and then progresses to cursive italic.
My daughter complains some about 'loopy' cursive being difficult to read, but only a little. Most people I know print instead of using cursive because their handwriting is so sloppy. I'd rather her have trouble reading someone's cursive than someone have trouble reading her writing!
One last note: Book G includes calligraphy-style writing (they call it 'edged pen italic'. I bought this just in case my daughter wants to learn 'fancy' writing - something to encourage her to practice!
Dislikes: My daughter was still bored until I found the program StartWrite 5.0. It has Getty-Dubay Italic (in fact, Getty-Dubay's site refers you to StartWrite). Now I can create interesting worksheets for her.
Another problem: I recently learned that neurologically, the brain 'sees' letters better when fewer strokes are used. Thus, cursive writing (italic or 'looped') is supposed to be taught first. But, the cursive italic is only in the later books and the letter size and copy exercises are inappropriate for young children. StartWrite 5.0 solves that problem, too.
Clear and Easy to Read
by G. Marie
I have used this program with all three of my children, who are now grades 3, 7, and 10. I like that their handwriting is clear and easy to read. My only complaint/concern is that they are not able to read "regular" cursive writing. I also wish the books had more practice pages in them. They do have separate practice pages you can buy - I would just prefer them all in one book.