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Delightful Handwriting Student Book
$12.95 – $17.95
A gentle handwriting course that allows you to progress at your child’s pace from simple strokes to letters to words to copying beautiful phrases and sentences. Uses words and rich reading selections from Delightful Reading to reinforce and review. (Early Years–Grade 2)
Note: The teacher guide is sold separately from the student copybooks.
Download a free sample: Zaner Bloser | D’Nealian. What’s the difference?
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Handwriting lessons can be a delight!
Delightful Handwriting uses Charlotte Mason’s gentle and effective methods to make handwriting lessons a delight. Your child will naturally progress from copying simple initial strokes to letters to words to wonderful phrases and sentences.
With Delightful Handwriting you will
- Confidently Guide Your Child—The step-by-step lesson plans in the teacher book and easy-to-use student copybook help you teach your child to write as he is ready.
- Reinforce the Habit of Attention—Short lessons (5–10 minutes) cultivate the habit of focused attention for the whole lesson.
- Cultivate the Habit of Best Effort—The clean, minimal layout of the student copybook emphasizes quality over quantity.
- Accommodate Left-Hand or Right-Hand Writing—The student copybook’s unique spiral-at-the-top design makes it easy for little hands to work without any obstacles in their handwriting path.
- Give Your Child a Sense of Accomplishment—Students begin copying words early in the lessons to use the letters as they are learned.
- Strengthen Reading Confidence—Words and copywork selections are taken from the Delightful Reading program (optional) to reinforce and review words your child can read if you are also using that program.
Student copybooks are available in two popular styles: Zaner Bloser and D’Nealian. One Delightful Handwriting teacher book is all you need to teach either style. Take a look at the differences between Zaner Bloser and D’Nealian or download the free sample of each handwriting style and choose the one you prefer.
My younger girls love their SCM handwriting! They are finally *getting* that a page done perfectly is preferable to 2-3 pages poorly done.
|Dimensions||11 × 8.5 × .54 in|
D'Nealian, Zaner Bloser
Grade 1, K
Individual Studies, Grade 1
Julee Wilson –
Fantastic! Are you planning cursive lessons, as well?! 🙂
Sonya Shafer –
We are not currently planning on cursive lessons, Julee. You can, however, follow the same steps in Charlotte’s method for teaching a cursive style.
UPDATE: We now have cursive instruction books available.
Julee, Queen Homeschooling is Charlotte Mason based & has a wonderful cursive program based around picture study. Our 7-year-old is doing the primer level right now and loves it. We will definitely be ordering the next level once she’s done. http://www.queenhomeschool.com/productpages/Cursive/Cursiveframeset.html
Cassie Tynan –
We like these as well.
This program looks wonderful and is so timely for my family. Does this program include numbers? If not, will my ds just learn them naturally when we start Right Start math next fall?
Sonya Shafer –
It does not include numbers, because Charlotte put such an emphasis on “things before symbols” for math. I believe both Math-U-See and RightStart include learning how to write numbers in their programs, so it should work well to teach number symbols (“5”) as your child becomes familiar with the concept of number value (5 objects that he can handle) in his math studies.
I was just getting ready to place my order for “Delightful Reading” and I am glad I waited so I can add these to my order!!!! I really enjoy the items you guys have put out. I will be glad when both my 4 yr old and 11 yr old can both use them at the same time!! Thanks for putting it all together!!
This looks lovely. We don’t teach printing in our homeschool; instead we teach cursive and printing naturally follows after. It would be great if you had a cursive book.
I was looking over the sample pages and couldn’t help but notice how the emphasis is on learning the uppercase letters, yet the children eventually are copying passages that correspond with the Delightful Reading , and they are in lower case I believe… Can you comment on this? thank you….
Sonya Shafer –
The children learn the uppercase letters first, following Charlotte’s recommendations. Once they have learned the uppercase they move on to lowercase. We incorporate individual words from Delightful Reading throughout the lessons so the children have an opportunity to practice the letters they just learned — whether uppercase or lowercase. Then after they have learned all their letters, they continue their practice by doing copywork with the passages from Delightful Reading.
then is it to be presumed that the children can recognise their upper case A is the same as a lower case “a” that they would encounter in the Delightful Reading passages?
My 8 yr old son has dev delays (diag. High functioning autism) he has very poor control of a pencil, I had been using a very popular handwriting book and he has grown very frustrated with our lessons (even though they are short) therefore was liking the idea of using the uppercase letters instead but then when I caught that they would be copying passages from delightful reading etc. I am unable to wrap my head around the differences and am wondering what a child’s response might be…..
Sonya Shafer –
Oh, I see. They would most likely make that connection between upper- and lowercase when reading, but if you want him to write in all uppercase you will probably get the best results by giving him an all uppercase model to copy.
A timely resource! I have been trying to work out my little ones handwriting lessons to connect with The Delightful Reading Lessons (which are great) when I thought I woul browse your site…and there I see it’s done for me! Thanks once again for your magificent resources. You are inspiring.
Is the Teachers book necessary for this program?
Sonya Shafer –
Hi, Marcee. The Teacher book gives you Charlotte Mason’s words on how to teach beginning handwriting, so you can know for certain what her methods were. Then it outlines day-by-day lesson plans to help you know which stroke to teach, how to teach it, which letter to review, and which letter to introduce. It gives alternate ideas for young writers who are not ready for paper and pencil yet.
If you feel comfortable that you have a good grasp on Charlotte’s methods and don’t need day-by-day lesson plans, then you probably wouldn’t need the Teacher book.
Christina Comer –
Hi, i have an almost 7yr old boy and he knows all his letters and he knows how they are supposed to look but at times when he is writing he uses some capital and lowercase letters in the same word ex. is the word home, he may write it like hOmE. i am not sure if some letters are easier for him to write capital/lowercase. he gets frustrated when i ask him to write short sentences.
I am hoping that is will help him.
Sonya Shafer –
I think the copywork in the back half of the book will especially be helpful for him if you focus on best effort and not quantity written. For example, you might start with expecting him to write one word correctly. If he pays full attention and does his best work, he’s done. Then as he becomes more consistent writing a word’s letters correctly, you might bump the expected work to two words. In this way you will move slowly, securing the ground under your feet, and cultivating the habits of full attention and best effort. Plus, he will learn to look closely at each word and notice the letters more fully.
Do we only need one ebook for all levels? If we had a daily handwriting session how long would it take us to do the whole ebook? Presumably, when ordering an ebook, we can print out as many copies as w need for the children for practising on? Thanks for your advice!
Sonya Shafer –
The e-book contains the focus on strokes and each letter, combining into words, then the copywork passages at the end of the book. How quickly you work through the book depends on how much you try to accomplish each day. Go at the pace that fits your child best, emphasizing quality over quantity.
The copyright allows you to print as many copies of the e-book as you need for your immediate family’s use.
Shawna Kelly –
I have three students who could benefit from this program, but they are all at different levels. My oldest (5) can pretty much write all her letters, but needs practice using lines and with neatness. My middle knows her uppercase, but needs to practice on lines and also needs to learn lowercase. My youngest (3) would clearly start at the beginning of your program (and she is eager to start), but my question is, do I start them all the beginning? I’m also trying to decide on which format of the student book to purchase: ebook or printed version. If they are taught perfect execution, is it ever necessary to give them the same page for more practice (for mastery), or do they just move on to the next page in the book? Also, does the teacher’s manual give a visual example of what “perfect” execution looks like from a 5-year-old? Or could you direct me to something so I know what their work should look like? Thanks, Sonya! (I sure enjoyed your workshops I attended in March.)
Sonya Shafer –
It sounds like you would be able to use Delightful Handwriting in various ways to fit the needs of your children, Shawna. I wouldn’t start them all at the beginning, based on your descriptions. Your 5yo could start with the copywork in the back of the book since she already can write all the letters. The copywork will give her practice writing with interesting content. Be sure to emphasize quality over quantity. Yes, you may need to give the same page sometimes. Here is how Charlotte described that situation:
So if your child needs to try again the next day, you may need to have another copy of the page with the letter or word she is working on. Only you know if she is giving her best effort. Some children struggle with fine-motor skills to the degree that their best efforts will not be perfect, but it will be their best efforts. Teach the child, not the curriculum.
Your middle child could start either at the beginning and review uppercase letters or start at the lowercase letters. Your little one could do her letter formations on a whiteboard or in a pan of rice or sand, as encouraged in the teacher manual. I wouldn’t give her paper and pencil yet, but she can still learn how to form the letters correctly if she wants to.
So whichever version you choose — e-book or printed book — you will want to have a separate book for each of your older ones and a third one waiting in the wings for when your 3yo gets older. Either version will work, for you can print copies of the e-book or photocopy pages of the printed book.
This looks great! I am wondering however, if I should purchase this or perhaps some other copywork material for my 6 year old. He did K in public school and I’m starting homeschool for first grade. He can write all his letters but they are very sloppy. So maybe some review of the basic strokes is in order? How do I implement this “perfect strokes” idea without overwhelming or frustrating him? (He is quickly irritated/frustrated) Or, if I choose to just do copywork, motivate him to sit and attempt perfection instead of rushing through it? (He writes all the time on his artwork and writing cards/notes to us but does it quickly without much thought or effort.)
I’d appreciate any input you may have.
Sonya Shafer –
Laura, if your son already know the letters and has been writing, your idea of just focusing on improving his copywork should be good. Be sure to back off on the amount of writing so you and he can focus on the quality of writing. Short lessons with a view toward perfect letter formation will accomplish much.
I purchased handwriting without Tears for our first grade writing curriculum but oh so wish I would had seen this first. This seems so much more gentle and easier to understand!
What is the difference between the student books? Do they both have Italic?
Sonya Shafer –
The only difference is the style of handwriting that is taught: Zaner Bloser or D’Nealian. You can read about the differences and see a sample of each to help you decide which one will work best in your situation.
Hi! My daughter taught herself to write letters when she was 4, so she can form all the letters but does not do the strokes in the correct order, nor does she start at the correct point. She is nearly 5 now. Give that CM does not recommend formal instruction for children under 6, is this be the right time to work on correct letter formation? Or should we wait till she is older? I’m worried about her bad habits getting worse. Which reminds me, should I be teaching “proper” writing as soon as the child expresses interest in letters, even if they haven’t yet developed the fine motor skills? I have a 2 year old so I don’t want to repeat mistakes on him that I’ve done with my daughter.
Sonya Shafer –
Hi, Charis –
You’re right that Charlotte does not advocate formal instruction until 6 years old; however, you can easily follow her tips for informal activities prior to that age and lay the foundation for writing. You can teach correct letter formation whenever the child is interested by using the large motor muscles — drawing on a whiteboard or using a finger in sand or a pan of raw rice. Once the child can recognize/draw a letter that way, you can progress to drawing it in the air and seeing if he can recognize it. Using these fun little activities, you’ll be able to teach the correct formation, so once the child is ready for fine-motor paper-and-pencil writing later, he already knows how to form the letters correctly and will only need to work on doing so in a smaller space with a writing instrument.
My son is struggling with Delightful Reading (he simply isn’t full ready for reading) however, he loves to write things that he can copy. Is there any harm in starting with this and then progressing to Delightful Reading or will I be confusing him?
Sonya Shafer –
I don’t see any harm in it, Sara. It might be a good way to keep him interested in words. If he is not yet ready to do paper and pencil writing, feel free to just do the whiteboard or chalkboard copying for now, as mentioned in the Delightful Handwriting teacher book. You can always come back and do paper and pencil later.
Thank you so much! Your willingness and ability to respond to all of our questions is inspiring!
We used these for both our sons and it was such an effective and gentle approach! We didn’t have the teacher book, but had a pretty good grasp on Charlotte’s methods and it worked wonderfully. It’s a nice reinforcement for words learned in Delightful Reading as well. Will be using again with our next child:)
I’m thinking of getting this for both my 6 and 9 year olds, both of whom have been attending public school until now (trying our hand at homeschooling). My 6 has SUCH beautiful penmanship (print) that it is often mistaken for an adult’s. However, when I observe him writing, I notice that he writes his strokes in the wrong directions (ie upward instead of downward) and often in the wrong sequence. Am I right in thinking that this will hinder his ability to write efficiently moving forward, if I do not correct him now? Will this resource help?
As for my 9-year-old who is entering 4th grade, will this resource frustrate him because of its grade level? He knows HOW to write, but his handwriting is absolutely atrocious, and I want to help him develop an appreciation for good penmanship.
Thank you in advance!
Sonya Shafer –
If your 6yo will be learning cursive, how he forms the printed letters might not be a huge factor in future years. If, however, you think he will be more likely to stick with printing, you might consider gently helping him to fine tune his letter strokes. Some of that decision also depends on the child: if relearning the letters at this point would discourage and frustrate him, you might not want to make it an issue. The Delightful Handwriting teacher book would give you the basic strokes with arrows and the letters that use those strokes. If you were going to reteach the letters for him, I think that would be the approach to take. (The student copybook does not have the arrows to indicate strokes; only the teacher book does. The student book presents the “unadorned” letter model for the student to copy exactly.)
I would not recommend Delightful Handwriting for your 9yo. As you said, he knows how to form the letters; his challenge is writing neatly. So focus on two things with him: 1) Keep the passage to be copied very short, and 2) Emphasize quality over quantity. For example, you might use the Hymns in Prose copybooks for him and assign him just a 4-word phrase or maybe 1 sentence. But let him know what the deal is: If his written copy looks just like the model, he’s done; if, on the other hand, he has misspelled words or misshapen letters or misplaced spacing, he will have to do the whole thing over until it looks just like the model. If you hold him to that Quality-over-Quantity deal, he will probably catch on really fast. As he develops the habit of good penmanship, and writing it neatly the first time, you can gradually nudge out the length of the passage a word or phrase at a time. But always hold to Quality over Quantity.
I just want to say what a wonderful product this has been for our family! I started out trying to teach my daughter with a different handwriting program, one that is very popular among homeschoolers, but it just was not working for us. It seemed so cluttered: with superfluous lines and steps. It was hard even for me to understand. So we switched to Delightful Handwriting and it has been wonderful! I love the simple uncluttered pages and my six year old daughter is developing beautiful penmanship! I love that you offer a digital copy because I can just print off the pages we need as we go, and if she needs extra practice on a certain letter, I can just print off another page. Easy peasy! It also makes it very economical for us as we can use it with our other kids coming down the pike. Thank you for this beautiful product!
Brought for my 8 year old daughter and am very happy with it, thank you.
Would the stroke pattern change any for a lefty? I’m really hoping this will cover our handwriting needs so we don’t have to unlearn any habits that would cause more work and effort for my left handed student.
Sonya Shafer –
Some parents teach a few strokes differently for left-handed children. It’s really up to you. Delightful Handwriting presents only one stroke pattern in the teacher book. The student copybook does not contain any stroke patterns; it simply shows the letters, so you could teach the stroke patterns of your choice and still use the copybook. This paper gives handy tips for tweaking some of the letter strokes for lefties if desired.
My whole family decided on this between HWOT and this … this one won and I love the method you use. I am an eclectic homeschooler but follow Charlotte Mason with a passion. Her method for teaching children to write is outstanding and should be practiced by everyone I feel. It causes less struggle with children still trying to learn pen grip. I can’t wait until I watch my daughter write her first letter.