Handwriting Resources


Writing Programs
  • The Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting (BFH) program
    designed by Nan Jay Barchowsky, teaches the use of
    curved letters that are designed to eventually be connected.
    Her book, BGH: A Manual for fluent Handwriting teaches
    letter and word formation and the accompanying CD-ROM
    provides practice worksheets and suggestions on how to
    integrate them into the curriculum.
    Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting

  • Big Strokes for Little Folks by Bonnie Levine Rubell
  • Is designed to develop letter and number formation by grouping symbols
    according to similar characteristics.

    Prepares children 5-9 years of age for handwriting.
    Therapro, Inc.

  • Callirobics is a system that uses handwriting exercise patterns.
    The theory is that music relaxes the child. By adding rhythm to the
    exercises, writing becomes fun and fluid and the child learns through
    auditory as well as visual means.


  • The D'Nelian Method of  handwriting involves learning to form letters
    that are curvy and almost look like a cross between cursive and
    traditional manuscript letters. The theory is that if children first learn
    this method, it will be an easier transition to write in cursive. On the
    other hand, this method may be more difficult to teach than the "ball"
    and "stick" method.

  • The First Strokes Multi-Sensory Handwriting program was
    designed by an
    occupational therapist to teach print and
    cursive. The program includes workbooks, manual assessment
    tools and teaching guides. Go to the website to print out words
    to trace and letters with dots that indicate where to begin formations.

  • Getting it Write is a program designed by occupational therapist,
    Anne Karson who was originally
    motivated to design a program
    that would help her son with his handwriting difficulties. By
    worksheets, doing various games and projects, kids
    strive to improve their handwriting speed. The
    program is
    designed for kids with learning disabilities as well as those
    who need writing practice to
    develop their skills.
  • The Handwriting Help for Kids program created by occupational
    therapist Lisa Marnell provides a story to reinforce letter
    formation, introducing letters in groups and a star visual
    cue to begin letter formation. Books and products are geared 
    for children in preschool through third grade.

  • The Handwriting Made Easy As Green Light, Red Light manual by
    occupational therapist
    Margaret E. Kaufman, provides easy to follow
    letter practice pages with color coding to guide the child to form letters
    with correct directionality.
    The child traces over letters made up of tiny
    arrow beginning on a green dot and ending on a red dot.
  • The Handwriting Without Tears Program developed by occupational
    therapist, Jan Olsen. The HWT series consists of workbooks,
    teaching guides for both printing and cursive and numerous
    multi-sensory teaching  products such as wooden shapes,
    sing along CDs, roll-a-dough letters and slates.  Many school
    districts have adopted this program.

    Handwriting Without Tears
  • The Italic Handwriting Series is a style of writing designed by
    Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay. It involves forming slightly
    slanting, elliptical letters which are attractive, fast and legible.
    Their book: Write Now: The Complete Program for Better
    teaches highly legible and rapid italic handwriting
    and is geared toward helping medical professionals improve
    their handwriting skills. Both authors have backgrounds teaching calligraphy.
    Write Now: The Complete Program for Better Handwriting
  • Loops and Other Groups A Kinesthetic Writing System is a program
    designed by occupational therapist Mary Benbow to teach children
    to visualize and experience the movement of cursive letters.
    Children learn  letters in groups which share common movement

    Loops and Other Groups

  • Pencil Pete's™ Learn to Print Program, Cursive Writing Program,
    Handwriting Worksheets are designed for use in school
    classrooms, for home schoolers, preschoolers
    and extra
    handwriting practice at home. They are also a useful tool
    for helping children
    with special needs master handwriting
    skills. The program uses animation to reinforce letter

  • Size Matters Handwriting Program -program includes an instruction manual,
  •  student workbook, handwriting practice books, reward stickers, posters,
     monitoring forms, website scoring videos. This program shifts the focus to
    letter size versus formation. The theory is that students can learn more easily
    since they are correcting errors in only 3 letter sizes (versus 62 letter and number
  • Zaner-Bloser is a style of manuscript, cursive, and number formation
    that is sometimes referred to as the "Ball and Stick" method
    since many of the manuscript letters are formed from these
    two basic shapes.
    Zaner-Bloser Handwriting

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Helpful Books
  • Cavey, Diane Walton, Dysgraphia: Why Johnny Can't Write,
    Pro-ed Publishers, Austin, Texas, 1987.

    This slim, but informative book explains what dysgraphia is,
    possible causes, early warning signs of a learning disability,
    diagnostic tests, how to get help, modifications and program

    Dysgraphia: Why Johnny Can't Write
  • Groves, Penny, Correcting Reversals, McGraw Hill Children's
    Publishing, Michigan, 2001.
    Step-by-step activities are designed to help children learn
    left and right, recognize commonly reversed letters such
    as b and
    d and remember correct formations using mnemonic
    devices. Practice involves circling the correct letters amongst
    the incorrect reversed letters.

    Correcting Reversals
  • Groves, Penny Correcting Word Reversals, McGraw Hill
    Children's Publishing, Michigan, 2002.

    The author again provides activities to reinforce left and
    right concepts, drawing and writing in the left to right direction,
    letter completion and lots more to reinforce correct directionality.

    Correcting Word Reversals
  • Konezny, Lorette, Learn to Print, Pen Notes Publisher, 1985.
    Designed for age 4 and up, this book includes  reusable write-on,
    wipe-off plastic pages and pencil
    to follow step-by-step instructions
    by following arrows. Lessons include letter games, writing
    sentences, matching games, connect-the-dots and fill-in-the-blanks.

    Learn To Print
  • Kushnir, Gail, Let's Do It-Write! Writing Readiness, Achai Publishers,
    Jerusalem, Israel.1999.

    A great book written to help preschoolers develop writing readiness
    skills with activities to develop,
    strength, sensory awareness,
    eye-hand coordination, pencil grasp and finger coordination,
    basic shapes and spatial organization.
  • Kushnir, Gail, Let's Do It -Write! Copying From the Board,
    Achai Publishers, Jerusalem, Israel, 1999.

    The fun exercises and activities in this book are designed to
    help children develop better
    eye-hand coordination, visual
    memory and the ability to correct  errors when they copy
    from the board.
  • Simpson, Eileen, Reversals: A Personal Account of Victory
    over Dyslexia
    , Houghton Mifflin, 1979.
    Simpson describes her frightening experiences growing up
    unable to learn
    to read and frustrating teachers who thought
    she had a cognitive disability.

    Reversals: A Personal Account of Victory over Dyslexia

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Website Resources
handwriting with katherineDownloadable activities and information from handwriting
expert Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L

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©2008 Barbara Smith