This website has samples of all the major handwriting styles taught in schools today. Columbus City Schools uses the Zaner-Blosser (ZB) format. Most of the suburban schools surrounding Columbus teach the D'Nealian style of handwriting.

The primary goal of teaching any handwriting style is legibility. If your students can master spacing, consistent size, and uniform slant, their writing (cursive) and manuscript (printing) will be legible and very readable. D'Nealian style encourages a slant to the left, right, or straight up and down...just as long as it is consistent. D'Nealian also seems to lead quite naturally from manuscript to cursive because the manuscript letters have "tails" A style called "Handwriting Without Tears" is becoming popular and is being taught in many preschool and pre-Kindergarten programs.

Children are naturally motivated to learn to write "like a grown up." You'll find that this natural motivation works in your favor as you teach handwriting skills. almost nothing is more motivating that learning to write in cursive. Learning to "sign" you name (that is, create and use a unique signature) is a profound experience. Perhaps you remember perfecting your style so that your signature would prepresent and express your essence. I, personally, like to ask children to "sign their work," rather than to "put their names on their papers." It's a minor thing...but I like the concept, even with kindergarten children. We sign work of which we are proud!

Columbus City Schools formally teaches fcursive writing in third grade, although many teachers find they just can't wait that long to do it.. Most of the suburban schools informally introduce cursive in second grade. Most children love to learn cursive writing, because they consider cursive to be "real" and '"grown up" writing. Many consider manuscript or printing to be...well...kind of babyish writing.

Some research indicates that cursive writing is actually easier for children with learning disabilities to grasp than manuscript. Those studies suggest beginning with cursive because there is less need to lift the pencil and begin writing anew than with the more fluid cursive style.

Again, personally, I like to give children choice between writing in cursive and manuscript once both styles have been taught. Continuing to practice manuscript seems like a good idea throughout one's time in school, because print is so often required for legibiliity on applications and other formal documents. .

I recommend that you practice, practice, practice your teacher syle writing on paper and on white or chalk boards. Children will appreciate that you write clearly for them. It is worth the effort!

You will also find information about teaching the formation of letters, pencil grip, and how right and left handers should position their paper for wriing.


Another resource for preparing young students to learn handwriting: