Family of N

Copywork: Practicalities

Posted in Homeschooling by Laura on December 21, 2009

I’m of the school of thought that handwriting practice should have the added benefit of teaching language and character. A child’s attention is not fully engaged by the repetitive strokes of his pencil, so the remaining attention should be devoted to something worthwhile. Good copywork provides this “something worthwhile” through the words and ideas the child is copying.

I could spend a little money and get good quality copywork workbooks, but if I’m going to spend money, I want something more customized to my family’s needs and values. I want to be able to vary the font size based on my child’s needs, and I want don’t want to have to choose between fonts I like and copywork passages that speak to me.

So what I plan to do is acquire (for purchase or for free) a good font that can be used for teaching handwriting. There are actually a few places where you can get free fonts for teaching handwriting (a few more are listed here, along with some commercial ones), but unfortunately I fell in love with the D’Nealian manuscript, a form of the italics font popular among today’s educators.

Jarman is the closest free font I’ve found, but the up-tick’s are too long for my taste. Especially if a Kindergartener is imitating it. I want a beginner’s handwriting to still be legible, and I think this fancy tail would interfere with that.

I also prefer the fonts that have at least the option to include the lines to write on. This would greatly simplify worksheet creation.

So, unless someone publishes a better free handwriting font, I am planning for our homeschooling budget to include the Fonts 4 Teachers package, which happens to include a beautiful D’Nealian font as well as a cursive script that will be useful later on.

With these fonts, I can create handwriting worksheets as needed to reinforce the Scriptures, poetry, and literature we are reading, or to introduce passages we are not able to cover during reading time. Perfect!

Meanwhile, the writing milestone we’re most interested is putting one’s writing utensil on the page rather than in one’s mouth.

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One Response

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  1. Iris said, on December 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    In elementary school, my teachers used the D’Nealian workbooks to teach us how to write in print and cursive. 🙂


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