D'Nealion writing in Kindergarten

Marsha680September 18, 2002

My daughter just started Kindergarten and is learing the D'Nealion method of writing. Personally I think it is not the desirable way, none of our books are written this way, nor is the type on our computers, typewriters etc. But so be it. I wanted to download this font so that she could practice, but can not find it anywhere. Any advice?

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I looked for you and it looks like you've spelled the font name incorrectly. It's D'Nealian. Here's a link that should help. I don't know if the font you want is free on this particular link.

Here is a link that might be useful: D'Nealian

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 10:42PM
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Both my kids learned D'Nealian handwriting. It is much easier to move into cursive handwriting from D'Nealian. One drawback, they switched schools this year that did not teach D'Nealian and sometimes when my kids print some of the lowercase letters that have tails,"L" in particular, it looks like they are capitalizing the letter.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2002 at 9:49AM
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What other "method" is used?

I distinctly remember the "Palmer Method", and practicing the, "push, pulls, and ovals" (most fun was using the fountain pen contained in the mahogany desk that belonged to my grandfather). Penmanship was considered very important in our home. We were repeatedly told there was, "NO excuse for poor penmanship!".

My father ( a "leftie") was actually forced to use his right hand (about 1932) to hold the pencil. He was in tears in second grade when it was time for writing drills. His teacher, quietly asked him if he wanted to try using his left hand to hold the pencil. He repeatedly wailed, "I can't, they won't let me!". His teacher calmed him, telling him it was perfectly OK to use his left hand since she'd been doing it for nearly 50 years. The "trick", she told him, was to TURN THE PAPER AROUND! His penmanship was gorgeous, the envy of many "righties", doubtless! In the time before ball point pens, learning to turn the paper instead of cocking the wrist, made for writing angled correctly WITH NO SMEARS.

This forum interests me greatly, and it is one to which I will return frequently, I'm sure. I represent one half of a "child-free" couple. There are a lot of "us" out there. My taxes are sky-rocketing and my frank questions about budgets/curricula are frequently met with derision at local meetings(obviously, I represent the minority!). I hope you will help introduce me to some of the terms/methods/theories with which I am unfamiliar.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 1:34PM
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I think one other method is called "ball and stick".

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 1:43PM
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"Ball and stick"? Is this a joke? (if so, well... OK, I'll "bite").

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 2:35PM
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No it isn't a joke. I believe the term came from making very straight lines (stick) for the letters using straight lines and rounded (almost circular) shapes for the other letters (ball). Like a lowercase "b" would have a very straight line and then a ball for the rounded part.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 12:31PM
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Well, here's an interesting old article that talks about the switch from "ball and stick" to D'Nealian. Some interesting reading for those who are curious.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ball and Stick replaced by D'Nealian

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 9:01PM
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Interesting article. In the article it says that Prince George's County (Maryland) created it's own continuous stroke alphabet, my kids just switched into public school in Prince George's county and their school uses the ball and stick method.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 10:49AM
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Thank you for the marvelous link! Please know I was NOT being, "smart" with my question about whether or not "ball and stick" was a joke.

Interestingly, I remember refusing to use the fat pencils and crayons in school (brought my own!) and copying my father's graceful penmanship well before it was introduced formally. I'm 43, probably learned, "ball and stick" in kindergarten and first grade ('64-65), but abandonned it as soon as I was able!

I also now have a far greater appreciation of why so many young people's penmanship is so terrible, it's no longer accorded much status in the array of skills required of children. (Personally, I think that's a mistake).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2002 at 12:09PM
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Being a retired teacher of elementary for 3 yrs now, I can tell you that I have seen several handwriting programs through the years. Like many teachers, we often hated to switch to new handwriting programs since they are not necessarily used as they go to the upper grades.
However, my main emphasis was always on trying to help the child have some form of ledgibility without the stress of whether his letter had a curve , tail, etc. To gain good control, it is a good idea to practice circles, loops, and connecting curves by pushing and pulling the pencil to help the child understand the basic strokes needed to form letters and then words.

We are all different and each have our own handwriting style. I wanted the child to mainly have enough control to convey a written message to another person.

If anyone has ever taken a painting class, you can see exactly what I mean. The teacher is painting his/her style and all the students are "trying" to paint the same but each picture has a different look to it. This is the same with handwriting because our minds perseve and interpret differently.

Don't stress a child out over a "tail", curve, slant...but is it ledgible to read the message?

Hopefully no one has any problems with any teacher telling a child which hand to use. It is a right handed world but nearly all the lefties are brilliant people!!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2002 at 11:26PM
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Marsha680, if you can't find a font called D'Nealian try looking for modern manuscript. That is another name used for D'Nelian.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2002 at 1:35PM
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