Vegan Homeschool

Our adventures as vegan homeschoolers…

Using Italics for Penmanship


So, I’ve decided to stick to my guns and go with Getty-Dubay Italics for the boys’ penmanship. I’ve had the instruction manual and book B for like two years now. Just sitting there. :sigh: We’ve started working it in slowly and I’m really hopeful that it’s going to be a great fit!

We have one Super Lefty (8 yr old) that hates to write and an 11 yr old that is the easiest child to teach. Ever. Just give him his assignments and he’s off! This choice was more about the 8 yr old, to be honest. Italic cursive is just way easier to write, not to mention read. They have no problem reading italic cursive. They’re not into all the flourishes and loops of traditional cursive. Truth be told, neither am I! I presented samples of Getty-Dubay Italics, D’Nealian and Zane Bloser to them and allowed them to choose. They both chose the italics hands down. :whew:

Now the question is: How do I incorporate it into our day when we already do so much writing?

We’re Well-Trained Mind peeps. Love their Language Lessons and Writing With Ease. But, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of writing involved once you get past level one. Not to mention spelling and vocabulary, work for Cub Scouts, French and Latin, math, etc.

My plan for now is to give Super Lefty one letter a day to practice, capital and lower-case, from the workbook. My thinking is that once he has the letter formations down he can start using it for the rest of his work. This is probably going to mean some funky writing for a bit, but I’m hoping it will prompt him to want to work ahead and learn the letters faster. This summer I’ll start him on cursive.

The 11 yr old will be working on an accelerated version of this, of course. Bonus: he doesn’t complain about the amount of writing he has to do in a day. As long as he gets his free time when he’s finished his work, he’s golden. ;)

I’ll update how we do with it!


  1. It’s always nice to find a program that the kids like. I love how you ask them what they prefer, I think it leads to more wanting to learn than the feeling of having to learn.

    • Absolutely! You know my youngest. :D Anything to make it what he thinks is coolest is always a good thing. Sometimes I wish he was as easy as the oldest but then I realize he is who he’s meant to be. Plus, where would the challenge be?! LOL!

  2. We just went back to Italics after a switch to HWT for a few years. My son liked his handwriting better with Italics (me, too), so back we go. He’s right, we only switched to HWT because his older brother hates handwriting (he says it’s handwriting with tears) We use WTM, but we’re off and on with Lang Lessons and Writing with Ease. Maybe we’ll try them again next week….

    • Are you using Getty-Dubay?

      • Yep. How do you use Language Lessons and Writing with Ease? I still haven’t tried tackling them again. Do you do it weekly? or daily?

        • FLL is daily and WWE is four days a week. Sometimes we get sidetracked, though. ;) I love them both because they’re so comprehensive. Your kid is going to learn material without fail. What are you using instead?

          • Uhh, well. Hunt and peck method? We just cover grammar, writing structure, and similar topics informally. Yesterday it was homophones like dear, deer. It’s where I see them having problems with reading or writing. This works, because they can apply what they learn right away. However, it is sorta putting out a fire instead of preventing them. So ok, you inspired me well try FLL and WWE each day…it just seems like it gets boring and repetitious and they tune out when I do it that often. Do you ever have that problem?

          • The 8 yr old loathes just about anything that involves writing, but he doesn’t complain about the repetition. They both use the “repeat 3 times” thing in any activity that requires them to memorize something. They’ve noticed how well it works.

            Maybe go for 3 days a week?

          • Yesterday it went pretty well – I just skipped ahead to a place I thought would work for us. They seemed to enjoy FLL as a group. Next week I’ll add back the WWE and see how we do. Maybe they just weren’t ready before, or it was the wrong lesson, who knows. I heard my son reciting Caterpillar to himself this morning. Thanks for the advice and inspiration.

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