Friday, February 1, 2008

Handwriting

I am the author of D'Nealian Handwriting.This handwriting method offers the first major change in how children learn to write their ABC's in over a hundren years or so. Lower case letters are made with a continuous stroke print ,rather than the traditional circle-stick,large sized letters and vertical writing. The circle-stick methods use splinter parts to form a letter,while D'Nealian is a flowing whole letter movement. Recently I am touting a new way for children to hold the pen or pencil when writing.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your pencil grip is awesome. I am a home schooler and I will make sure my kids will not have calices.

Anonymous said...

What ages do you teach?

Tom and Joanne Foltz said...

I have taught all of my four children through high school and used the D'Nealian handwriting letters. I love them and now I am the headmistress of a Christian school in Tanzania. We are teaching the method to the Tanzanian children here too. I am so excited about the new "grip" that today I am going to the school, and show my teachers the new way. Thanks for your efforts!! Joanne Foltz

Anonymous said...

I am a child care provider who helps the kids with their homework and handwriting. I am wondering how I can get D'Nealian materials (posters, workbooks, etc.)? I live in Minneapolis, MN.

Anonymous said...

The D,Neakian pencil grip is especially helpful for a child with a hand disfunction.A Downs- Syndrome child has trouble with the pincher grip. The D'Nealian grip should be of help.This is my knowledge gained from years of teaching kindergarten, grades one and two.D'Nealian materials can be ordered from Scott Foresman Co. 1 800 552 2259 or 1 800 554 4411

Juan Oyola said...

My D’Nealian Story

By Juan Oyola

Hello, My name is Juan Oyola.

I would like to tell you the story, of how the D’Nealian writing system changed my life. First of all, you must realize that I’m legally blind, and have a learning disability, since childhood. I still can’t remember my Multiplication tables, even after trying for so many years. Presently, I’m 43 years of age.

For many years, I’ve struggled to deal with both my visual and learning challenges. Often being ridiculed by fellow students, and an elementary school Teacher’s Aide , because of my handwriting. This difficulty has lasted well into adulthood, with even some co-workers noticing the problem, until The D’Nealian system came along. But every tale must begin, at some point. And here’s mine.

As a child, I would often notice how beautiful my older brother’s handwriting was. His penmanship was the most wonderful thing I would ever see. I wanted so badly, to have such a skill, but my penmanship was so different.(We were both taught the traditional manuscript of the time, but due to my visual difficulties, I found it most difficult to work with.) Frankly, I felt a sense of great shame, due to the fact that I had awful handwriting. I can remember, having to do a book report on Pippy Longstocking, and my brother having to write it for me, because my penmanship was terrible. As I stated before, I had a terrible time with an elementary school Teacher’s Aide, all because of this. She would criticize my writing to no end, because “in her opinion” my letters were too large. Please keep in mind, that this individual was working with Exceptional Education Students, in the 1970’s.Supposedly a “specialist” in the field.

As I aged, my penmanship had not improved much. Fortunately, by the time I reached middle school, I met other teacher’s who seemed to understand my dilemma. I’m especially grateful to a special education teacher, who taught me cursive writing in the seventh grade. After I’ve learned it, I was delighted. I used Cursive writing in middle school, and all through high school. Some people understood my writing, while others didn’t. At this point, I didn’t care. I knew I’ve reached an intellectual mile stone and I was happy with that. I knew that cursive writing had given me the expressive wings I need to fly with my mind.

Still, I wanted to do something about my terrible manuscript situation. However, there was no script that I could easily master, at the time. I knew that I would need to learn manuscript, because I would need it to fill out job applications, and for my personal growth, as an adult. I began to realize, that cursive and manuscript writing were two parts of a whole, and that they both had an equal place in an individual’s life, to become a well rounded person. I wanted to find a script that comfortable for me to use. And so, my quest began.

For many years, I would take it upon myself, to find a way to learn manuscript. I would look around, and find a script of interest to try and copy. But I would find it too cumbersome for my own use. Many years would pass, before I’d find just what I was looking for.

Eventually, I found employment, at a local agency, helping to care for developmentally challenged adults. One evening, I was online, looking for printed hand outs, to help develop the client’s writing skills. I found a writing method called, The D’Nealian writing system. I began to notice the simple elegance, in which the letters were formed. And thought it would be fun to show them to fellow co-workers, for use with their clients. I must admit that I didn’t study them for myself, at first.

After some time, I went into another field. I started working at a doctor’s office. I not only worked in my field of massage therapy, but was doing some of the office work too. As luck would have it, I needed to improve my own writing stills, and fast. After a time, my supervisor didn’t want me at the front desk, because of my writing issues. So, I went to my old print outs, and there, before me, was the answer to my problem. I finally began to see, how I might be able to use The D’Nealian System for myself. Six months later, I really took a strong interest in the system. I began to carefully notice the formation of each letter, and found striking similarities between Manuscript and Cursive writing styles. As I practiced forming each letter, I began to feel as though each letter was a work of art. As I was forming each word, they became phrases of simple, yet wonderful, elegance and beauty. And, to my delight, they are my words. Formed by the collaboration, of my hand and ideas.

Thank you,

Juan L. Oyola

pjgann said...

When one uses the D'nealian method do you slant your paper or have it straight in front of you?

Thank you,
Phyllis

The Balthrop Family said...

My daughter is having a tough time learning the D'Nealian way of writing. It is hard to find any workbooks that concentrate only on that method. Do you have any ideas on where to find such tools to help her learn that handwriting?

KateGladstone said...

Dear Don --

As a teacher familiar with handwriting curricula around the world, naturally I've seen the handwriting materials that D'Nealian's publisher (Pearson Publishing) sells to purchasers outside the USA/Canada -- very different from the D'Nealian handwriting that Pearson sells throughout the USA/Canada through its North American subsidiary Scott-Foresman.

Seeing the large differences between the handwriting that Pearson sells here (D'Nealian) and the handwriting that Pearson sells to the UK for example, I have a little trouble understanding how one company could sell different and nearly opposite handwriting programs to different customers: telling the USA customers that D'Nealian works best, but telling the UK customers (for instance) that something else works best. (Pearson literature in the UK doesn't even *mention* D'Nealian!)

How can the same company tell people in two countries two different and contradictory stories about which handwriting program to "believe in"?

When I first noticed this, of course I wrote to Pearson headquarters to ask for an explanation. However, over a year has gone by and Pearson has never answered. Therefore, this time around I put the question publicly in your blog, on the assumption that /a/ other people might want to know, too, and /b/ the designer of D'Nealian might have the answer.

So, can you please find out the answer and let people know via your blog?

Anonymous said...

I was taught to write with your method and I think it's easy to see in my writing even now, at age 29. Recently working as a nanny, I printed some practice sheets from a website for the children to use... I had to make sure they were D'Nealian! :) Thank you so much, sir, for your hard work in developing the method; it is truly wonderful!
Sandra

Eileen Farnsworth said...

Dear Mr. Thurber,
I posted 3 pictures on my Facebook account today~one of my son at age 6, and 2 others~where he had "engraved" his name in my dresser (given to me by his Great-Grandmother) using the D'Nealian handwriting he had learned in school. I was just thinking what a great ad campaign the pictures could be! "Teaching Your Children to Write...Except We'll Have Them Use Paper!" A link to my pictures is: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=143579&id=672965744&l=d4ac3e692e
Sincerely,
Eileen Farnsworth

philly46 said...

I have to teach cursive and am looking for a directions for forming each letter. I have directions for manuscript provided from the "Teacher's Guide to D'Nealian Handwriting" from The D'Nealian Handwriting ABC Book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for developing your technique. Way back when I moved schools in 2nd grade from a D'Nealian school to a non-D'Nealian school, I was way ahead of the curve on cursive compared to my new, non-D'Nealian schoolmates.

I quickly was moved into the advanced program at the new school and, who knows, maybe without the D'Nealian training, I may not have had the leg up to go into the advanced program so quickly, and might not have ended up where I am today. It's a stretch, but certainly plausible.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I usually use d'nealian fonts from fonts 4 teachers. My students love them ...... see if you like them http://www.fonts4teachers.com/D_Nealian_Font_Set_p/dnealianstylefont.htm

emma jacob said...

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KateGladstone said...

Are there any reasons that a user of Barchowsky Handwriting would find it advantageous to switch to D'Nealian?