D'Nealian Handwriting

Have you heard of this type of printing? My kids are both homeschool high school graduates now, (and my son will be a college graduate in the spring, Lord willing), 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 this week. 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?!)

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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8 comments

  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.

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    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!)

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  2. My kids all learned it as well.

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    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.

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  3. 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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    1. I'm so glad you're going to go with D'Nealian, Saph! We really loved it.

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  4. Hi! I am your newest follower and you have a wonderful blog, and D'Nealian handwriting sounds like a great trick to transitioning to cursive:) I would love a follow back at http://lefthandedideas.com :)

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  5. Oddly, most public schools aren't teaching handwriting at all anymore.

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