1. How do these teach children to write?
2. How old does a child have to be in order to use these templates?
3. Where do I start with the series?
4. Can these be used for homeschooling?
5. What is your most popular template?
6. How are these different from alphabet stencils?
7. The stencils are so thick, how do the kids learn the correct slant of holding the pencil?
8. Does it only let them hold the pencil at a slant along one side of the letter?
9. The slot is so narrow. Does it work with a primary pencil?
10. How is using this template different from tracing?
11. Are these used at home or in schools?
12. Do the lines on the template match up with the lined writing paper used in the schools?
13. The templates have individual letters. Are they just supposed to practice the letters, or can the child make a complete word?
14. How come the letter is not complete when it is finished?
15. Can left-handed people use these to learn how to write?
16. What is “Transitional”?
17. Do you have D’Neailan Handwriting Guides?
18. Do these templates have any other uses?
1. How do these teach children to write?
Our Handwriting Instruction Guides are unique writing aids. They are based on the kinesthetic approach to learning where a child learns by physically going through a process in creating something. In this case, it is the process of correctly making the letter. The activity is transferred to the brain and helps the child remember what he did.
Our templates provide for kinesthetic learning while providing the visual information to make the learning complete. The proportions of the letters are reinforced by line placement on the template. Also, the stroke and sequence information is provided to assist with hand-eye coordination in developing skills.
A sample letter is given for letter identification and image transfer of the completed letter,
2. How old does a child have to be in order to use these templates?
Generally a child is old enough when an interest in making letters is first expressed. This is usually around four years of age. Children want to write, but lack the fine motor skills to control the stroke of the pencil. Our 2-inch alphabet sets give them the experience of correctly making the letter and the satisfaction of making it correctly. They love it and feel very grown up!
The series starts with Early Childhood (around age 4) with the 2-inch alphabet sets and 2-inch numbers set. They are encouraged to learn the shape of the letters with these templates.
About age 5, lines and stroke directions are added to the templates. This teaches the correct proportion of the letters and their relationship to the line spacing on paper. It also teaches the correct stroke sequence in making the letter. A sample letter is included for letter identification near the slotted letter that they are making.
This more advanced series begins with the Manuscript templates, then moves to the Transitional Manuscript templates, the Transitional Cursive and, finally, the Cursive. This series provides the transition from the traditional manuscript printing, through the slanted printing and simple curved letters, to the final stages of advanced script, cursive writing. The age range spans from 5 years old to about 9 years old, depending on the development of the child, and is excellent for developing penmanship skills.
Our Handwriting Guides are used in homeschools across the nation. They are a natural resource for parents who homeschool as they easily compliment the various methods of handwriting instruction. Homeschooled students can practice on their own while fine-tuning their penmanship skills.
Our Uppercase and Lowercase Manuscript templates are the most popular. This is primarily because of the age group being addressed. Grandparents and parents have a strong interest in helping little ones get started with handwriting skills. They love the assistance that the templates provide. The Numbers template goes hand-in-hand with these writing templates.
Our second most popular is the Cursive templates. Parents want these to help children get started with cursive. Also, to help children who are having trouble learning the stroke sequence and flow of the cursive letters.
Our Transitional templates (Manuscript and Cursive) bridge the gap between printing and cursive writing. They provide the “transition” between these two styles. They also are designed to fill the needs for those areas of the country that follow the D’Nealian method of handwriting. They are designed to compliment that program, as well as the Modern and Contemporary methods that are used in the schools.
Alphabet stencils are generally sold in stationary stores and are used for lettering purposes in making signs. They are significantly different, in both quality and design, from our Alphabet and Handwriting templates. Our Handwriting Instruction Guides are educational in nature and are designed to teach alphabet and writing skills to the beginning learner. They are thick, heavy-duty, quality templates that guide the pencil stroke through the letter configuration, giving practice in correctly forming each letter. The stroke movement that the child feels is what is emphasized. The templates are designed to make the pencil lift where normal lift occurs in the handwriting sequence. When they have finished the stroke sequence, they remove the template and re-write the letter, connecting the lines. This reinforces the correct writing of the letter and develops their fine motor skills.
The templates are designed for correct pencil slant for children. Their hands are much smaller than adult hands and they hold a pencil closer to the template than an adult would. Our Handwriting Guides have beveled edges that allow a child to hold the pencil at the correct angle while making the letter.
No. The slot of the letter is beveled on both sides, allowing for pencil slant for both right-handed and left-handed learners.
The pencil slot holds both a standard pencil and a fat primary pencil. The pencil tip does not need to be sharpened to a fine point. It also works with a fine tip felt marker.
The template guides the pencil stroke through the correct letter configuration, forcing the pencil to lift in the stroke sequence of making the letter. It allows the child to “feel” the motion of making the letter. The flow of the motion is significant in transferring the message to the brain as to how the letter is made.
Tracing is a different form of concentration. With tracing the learner is focusing on keeping the pencil tip on the line. They are generally not paying attention to the movement of making the letter. As a result, This memory retention of making the letter is difficult to acquire.
Tracing is part of the learning process, but requires that the child have control of their fine motor skills in order to trace the letter. With our Handwriting Guides, the child can have limited fine motor skills and still experience the correct making of the letters of the alphabet. The guided movement of the pencil making the letter enhances memory retention.
After they have gone through the motion a few times, they are encouraged to remove the template and retrace the letter, connecting the lines. This extended activity helps to develop their fine motor skills as they have already experienced the motion of making the letter with the template. This transfers to reproducing that movement, unassisted, in retracing over the letter they have made with the template.
They are used both at home and in school. Our Handwriting Instruction Guides have been approved by California State Board of Education and are used in many school programs. They are highly recommended by educators for practice at home because they do not require adult assistance in order for a child to learn to write.
Our templates have slotted letters, with lines. The alphabet is on a single template and features 1-inch letters. They can be used with plain paper or lined paper. The schools use a variety of lined writing papers and do not all conform to the 1-inch letters. We find the 1-inch letters to be most effective in teaching with a template as this reinforces the correct shape of the letter, and transfers the motion used in writing the letter to the brain. We have designed the templates so the proportions of the letters relate to the correct line placement as taught in the schools. Once they have experienced our templates, they have no difficulty transferring this information to the various lined papers.
The templates are transparent. Once they have practiced making the letters, they can move the template in position to create their own words. They can use the lines on the template to guide the position of the letter as they add letters to make the word. Each template has a sample word at the bottom so the child can see how a word is created.
Each letter is carefully designed to guide the child through the motion of writing the letter. We have created a slotted letter as much as possible so the pencil tip is controlled in that process. This feature requires the center of some parts of the letter to remain in place, so the pencil glides through the path of the stroke. We have pencil stops that maintain this feature and force the pencil to lift where the normal lift occurs in the handwriting sequence. We have also created pencil glides that allow pencil to flow through a continuous motion in a letter where the center is in place. If the pencil moves correctly through the stroke, it can pass through this pencil glide. If it moves in a backward stroke motion, it is forced to stop.
The experience is kinesthetic, where a child learns by going through the physical motions. This process produces a partially fragmented image when completed with our templates. This is similar to the broken line letters that are printed in traceable alphabet workbooks, in which the child works to connect the broken lines forming the letter in order to make a complete letter. This also relies completely on the developed fine motor skills of the child.
Our templates allow the child to experience the motion of the letter, then re-trace the letter to connect the lines and develop fine motor skills.
The beveled edges of the slotted letter allow for the pencil slant for both left-handed and right-handed learners. However, the slant of the letter shape is designed for right-handed learners. Even so, left-handed learners are successful in using our templates. They are able to learn the handwriting stroke sequence and letter configuration that goes with making the letter. Eventually, the slant of their finished letter is adapted for the way a left-handed learner approaches writing on an individual basis.
Transitional templates provide a bridge between printing and writing cursive.
The Uppercase Transitional Manuscript Guides give a slant to the traditional block manuscript letter, so the learner starts to feel a slant in the writing process.
The Lowercase Transitional Manuscript Guides introduce the curve to the lowercase letters, moving away from the traditional block letters. They give the appearance of a rounded form of printing.
The Uppercase Transitional Cursive Guides feature a simplified cursive letter. The overall shape is more “casual” and the stroke lead-ins are softer, eliminating the formal scroll of the traditional cursive writing.
The lowercase letters start at the beginning of the letter. They do not have an up-stroke lead-in to the letter. They also start to include an extended stroke at the conclusion of the letter, so the idea of a continuous flow of one letter to meet another is introduced.
The overall impact is a smooth transition between block printing and cursive handwriting. For more detailed information about each letter style, refer to our Products Page
View Styles *requires flash
D’Nealian is a specific method of handwriting instruction. It is used in some schools across the country. Our Transitional Handwriting Instruction Guides will complement the D’Nealian method of handwriting instruction. They can also be used with the Modern and Contemporary methods of instruction used in the schools.
Our templates are used in a variety of programs. We continue to be surprised by their adapted uses.
Originally designed for practicing at home, they are used in public schools, private schools and homeschools. They are also used in programs for Special Needs, including hearing and visually impaired. Our Handwriting Guides are also used in rehabilitation programs for adults who have suffered from strokes.
Some have found them helpful in scrapbooking and designing covers for school reports. Teachers often use them with fine tip felt pens to make charts for their classroom, or use them with an overhead projector to demonstrate the handwriting process.