The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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A Reason for Handwriting Review by Heather Jackowitz


Okay, I'll admit I'm slightly neurotic, but I just love beautiful handwriting. If I had it my way, my children would take their spelling tests using Spencerian Penmanship. But, recognizing the need for something a bit more practical, I spent hours on the Internet looking for just the right handwriting program. D'Nealian was just too plain, and that Q that looks like a 2 just wouldn't do for me. Zaner-Bloser was more to my liking, but those long tails were too distracting to my eyes. Then I found A Reason for Writing. Their new, simplified style of cursive is the perfect blend (in my humble opinion) of the simplicity of D'Nealian and the beauty of Zaner-Bloser. And the Q looks like a Q, not a 2!

So now that I was sold on the style, I was pleasantly surprised by the method. Using verses from The Living Bible, children practice letters and words on Monday through Wednesday, the whole verse on Thursday, and on Friday they copy the whole verse onto fun border sheets using their very best handwriting. Finally, they color the border and give the verse to someone as a gift. My children are motivated to do their best knowing that their purpose is other than filing their work away in a binder, hence the name A Reason for Writing.

The new Transition Book, typically used in second grade, was created to allow flexibility in making the cursive transition. There are 27 weeks of manuscript practice, nine weeks of transition-to-cursive lessons, and 27 weeks of cursive-only practice. I am planning to use the manuscript lessons for my first grader, followed by transition, and finally cursive in second grade. However, there are only enough border sheets for 36 weeks of lessons, so I will have to purchase additional sheets. Some may choose to skip the manuscript lessons and jump straight into making the transition. You can contact A Reason for Handwriting at 1-800-273-2187 or visit their website at

-Product review by Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC