A Closer Look at Handwriting and Copywork

 

Guest post by Gale of Imaginative Homeschool.

 

Copywork can help kids practice correct spelling and letter formation while getting exposed to great quotes and useful information. Precisely for these reasons, I’m picky about the fonts used in the copywork I give my kids. At least in this stage of our educational journey I want copywork and tracing work to mimic the style of lettering my child is learning in their regular handwriting lessons. I figure I’m not alone in this.

A Closer Look at Handwriting and Copywork in your homeschool with a comparison of resources available in the Build Your Bundle sale. hsbapost.com

So for that reason, when I was checking out the Build Your Bundle homeschool sale, I paid special attention to what font was used in the various copywork offerings there. Sometimes that info wasn’t easy to find. In many cases I had to visit the publishers’ websites or even contact the author to find out what style of lettering was used. To save others this hassle, I wanted to share what I found while you can benefit from the huge savings available through the Build Your Bundle sale.

Below you’ll find a list of the copywork and tracing work resources from this year’s Build Your Bundle sale organized by lettering type.

Regular Manuscript (ball and stick)

This is the most common text style used in early educational materials. The simple shapes make it easier for some children to learn, but writing some of the letters this way requires taking your pencil off the page, which can slow down writing later. Also, it can be more difficult to transition to handwriting from this type of font than some others.

BallAndStickManuscript copywork

Ball and Stick Manuscript

Armor of God Copywork – $7.99 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)
– Also includes D’Nealian and Cursive

Color Through Ancient History – $6.44 Value – (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)

Handwriting Lessons Through Literature: The Story Book of Science – $15.00 Value (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)
– Also available in cursive (3 styles), and HWT.

Horse Copywork – $3.00 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)

Missionary Copywork Collection– $8.97 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)
– Also includes D’Nealian and Cursive

Preschool Fun Pack – $5.47 Value – (Early Learning Bundle)

Summer Learning Activity Pack – $7.97 Value – (Early Learning Bundle)

Women’s History Collection – $4.47 Value – (Brother & Sister Bundle)
-The Women’s History Coloring Book and Women of the Bible Coloring book have traceables in Manuscript. The Women’s History Notebooking has some pages that COULD be used for copywork in a typical textbook font (not manuscript…see picture under TEXTBOOK below).

 

Write Through the Bible: Philippians (Manuscript, ESV) – $10.00 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)

HWT Printing

HWT (Handwriting Without Tears) style font is similar to manuscript, but the lowercase a,b,g, q and to some extent the p and d are different, allowing children to form the letters without taking their pencils off the page. It is usually upright but some of these use a slightly Italic version of this.

Handwriting without Tears copywork

Handwriting without Tears

Handwriting Lessons Through Literature: The Story Book of Science – $15.00 Value (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)
– Slightly italic form. Also available in 3 styles of Cursive and Manuscript

Anne of Green Gables Copywork Set– $5.98 Value – (Brother & Sister Bundle, Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)

D’Nealian (Printing)

This style falls somewhere in between HWT printing and traditional cursive. Letters are slanted and many have curved “tails.” Lowercase a, b, g, q, p and d are otherwise formed similarly to HWT. The letter k contains a loop. The transition from D’Nealian to handwriting is usually easier than with other fonts, and is sometimes introduced in between teaching manuscript printing and handwriting.

DNealian copywork

D’Nealian

Armor of God Copywork – $7.99 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)

ASL Handwriting Unit – $5.00 Value (Early Learning Bundle)

Missionary Copywork Collection– $8.97 Value – (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)
– Also includes Manuscript and Cursive

Cursive

Some people prefer to teach cursive BEFORE printing and some don’t teach cursive at all. It has been dropped from many public schools, but it has advantages (such as the speed of writing that comes from not needing to lift your pencil from the page between letters). While there are various styles of cursive, unfortunately I’m not very familiar with them all so I only mention the type of cursive if the product description specified which one was used.

cursive font copywork

Cursive

Armor of God Copywork – $7.99 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)
– Also includes Manuscript and D’Nealian

God’s Alphabet in Cursive – $16.00 Value (Elementary #1 Bundle)

Handwriting Lessons Through Literature: The Story Book of Science – $15.00 Value (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)
– Available in three styles of cursive (slant, verticle, italic), as well as Manuscript and HWT

Missionary Copywork Collection– $8.97 Value (Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle)
– Also includes Manuscript and D’Nealian

Super Hero Cursive Set – $3.50 Value (Early Learning Bundle)

Textbook Fonts

There are various font styles used in printed books which have letters (like the a and g pictured) which I’ve never seen anyone attempt to write. There is no curriculum that I know of that teaches kids how to write like this (save maybe books on how to do calligraphy or graphic design)…but they will need to know how to read it. While copywork with these fonts may not be as beneficial for teaching letter formation, it’s still useful for other purposes such as helping with memorization and learning about the topic of the copied text.

textbook font

Textbook

Women’s History Collection – $4.47 Value – (Brother & Sister Bundle)
– The Women’s History Notebooking has some pages that COULD be used for copywork in a typical textbook font. The Women’s History Coloring Book and Women of the Bible Coloring book’s traceables are in Manuscript.

Philippians in 28 Weeks – $18.95 Value (Character Bundle)

Unknown

Intermediate Language Lessons Part 1 – $10.00 Value (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)
Intermediate Language Lessons Part 2 – $10.00 Value (Charlotte Mason Inspired Bundle)
I asked about what font is used for the copywork included in this curriculum. The publisher said that “In those language arts books, the copywork is simply text (poems, etc.) and then blank lines for the child to copy the selection. That way you can have them use just print or they can write in cursive if they are able.” I’m guessing this is probably a typical textbook font, but don’t know for certain.
One Week Only - Ends 5/23/16 - Save 93% on the Copywork, Notebooking, & Lapbooks Bundle

With handwriting becoming a lost art, one way that homeschoolers can encourageĀ fine motor skills and an appreciation for literature and historical documents, as well as the Bible, is to use copywork on a regular basis.

Do you use copywork in your homeschool? What handwriting style do you prefer?

 

 

ImaginativeHomeschoolGale is a wife and mother to three boys, one of them homeschooled. Her blog is named Imaginative Homeschool after her imaginative homeschooler, and she believes make-believe and play can be powerful tools for learning. She also blogs about life as a blended homeschool-public school family, and will soon be starting a series on HWT lettering resources, and another on Story of the World lesson ideas. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

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