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D’Nealian Handwriting

Have you heard of D’Nealian handwriting?  My kids are both college graduates now, so it’s been a while since they were learning to print. The subject of learning to print first vs.learning cursive first came up in a web conversation with some homeschool moms recently. Many of the moms were saying that in some schools, they aren’t even teaching cursive any longer.  I threw my two cents in and suggested they consider D’Nealian first.

D’Nealian handwriting is an italic form of printing. It makes the transition to cursive much easier but could stand on its own for those who are choosing not to teach cursive.  It looks really nice too.

We homeschooled for several years, but my son began school in a small Christian kindergarten class. They taught D’Nealian at that school, and I simply loved it.  (That’s my son in the picture, 16 years ago!  He was in kindergarten, and wrote the thank you note by himself.  While he didn’t quite have capitalization and punctuation skills perfected yet, didn’t his handwriting look nice?!)

My son would have loved this write on/wipe off board, but at the time, I’m not sure these were around!

By the time my daughter was in first grade, we were homeschooling, so I taught her D’Nealian too. Her transition to cursive was a breeze. (It’s basically just a matter of joining the letters to transition from D’Nealian to cursive.)

I thought I would pass this D’Nealian suggestion on, as I have quite a few homeschool moms as readers.

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  1. I think the D'Nealian printing is beautiful. My kids all learned it, it was an easier transition to cursive. Interestingly, after learning handwriting, all my kids have reverted back to printing. And, with the emphasis on computer printed essays and homework assignments, Cursive really is going by the wayside.

    1. Yes, one of the comments was made that printing will be more necessary for filling out forms, etc. and that cursive won't be that necessary. I figure, with D'Nealian, at least the printing will be nice looking! Kind of sad that cursive is going by the wayside, though, isn't it? It's so flowing and pretty. (But then, I am a calligrapher, so I'm kind of drawn to pretty handwriting!)

    1. April, I wonder if it's becoming more common now or less common? To me, it seems esier to learn than traditional ball and stick printing.

  2. Never heard of that! I want to teach my daughter cursive but I think I may go with this first and then cursive later. Thanks for posting about this! Perfect timing! 🙂

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