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Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series, Books A-G Review by Cassandra Holdeman

Getty-Dubay Italic Calligraphy for School & Home
Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay
Getty-Dubay Productions, LLC
716 NE Lawrence Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

Handwriting is a very important part of our school. I want to make sure that my kids’ handwriting is legible, neat, and spaced properly. This is why I was very excited to review Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series, Books A-G and Getty-Dubay Italic Calligraphy for School & Home. I was curious to see if my third-grade daughter’s handwriting would improve from learning italic handwriting.

The series of books I received to review included Books A-G and the Instruction Manual for Basic and Cursive Italic. Book A is recommended for preschool, kindergarten, or early first grade. It teaches the basics of writing and focuses on writing lowercase and capital letters. It also has students tracing words. Book B is recommended for late kindergarten, first grade, or early second grade. This book focuses on capitals and lowercase letters again, but it also has the students tracing and then writing sentences. It encourages students to evaluate their own work by writing their best letter in the box. This book also has students work on writing their numbers in italics as well. Book C is designed primarily for second grade, but can also be used for the last part of first grade or the early part of third grade. This book focuses on continuing to improve italic handwriting while also introducing cursive italic. It emphasizes correct letter formation through tracing letters, words, and sentences, and it also has plenty of room for the student to practice on their own. When the book teaches cursive italics, it focuses on attaching the letters to each other properly.

Book D is designed to be used in third grade. It reviews italic handwriting, but focuses much more on cursive italics. It takes away the big primary lines for writing and introduces smaller lines which help students control their letters more. This book uses minimal tracing. Book E is recommended for fourth grade. It provides more practice with cursive capitals and joining lowercase letters. The book also focuses on proper word spacing. Book F is recommended for fifth grade. It includes a very basic review of italic handwriting while the rest of the book focuses on cursive italics. This book reinforces cursive joins, letter shape, spacing, and size. Book G is recommended for sixth grade and beyond, including adults. It reviews basic italic handwriting, cursive italic handwriting, and introduces Edged Pen Italic writing. This book focuses on technique, letter shape, and spacing. The instruction manual informs the teacher of the methods being taught, the proper strokes for each letter, what the finished work should look like, how to assess the student’s work, and includes additional activities that can be completed. It is very helpful and thorough for the teacher. The Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series, Books A-G can be purchased on their website for just $82.00.

I also received a copy of Italic Calligraphy for School & Home to review. This book teaches students second grade through adults italic calligraphy and its history. It teaches the proper use of the edged pen, and it builds on the lessons learned in Books A-G. It teaches how to form letters using eight different styles of writing, and it teaches two different sizes of writing. It also gives the student plenty of words to practice writing. The Getty-Dubay Italic Calligraphy for School & Home can be purchased for just $29.95.

We have never practiced any kind of italic handwriting before so I started my daughter in Book A of the series. I wanted her to learn the basics of italics before trying to learn about cursive italics. She quickly worked through Book A, but it taught her to concentrate on getting a consistent letter size and shape. She enjoyed working on her handwriting and kept asking to work on extra pages. Once she completed that book, I moved her into Book B. I felt like she needed to work more on her spacing and letter shape. She loves to write, but she has a tendency to rush through her writing and make it sloppy. Book B helped her slow down and really focus on proper spacing. I really started to see her handwriting become more consistent as she finished this workbook. My daughter became anxious to start learning cursive italic so we moved on to Book C. She worked through some of the basic italic review at the beginning and then we started on the transition to the cursive italic. She loved how pretty the cursive letters looked as she wrote them. In Book D, she started working on joining the letters. She is very excited to see the progress she is making, and she is enjoying learning italics. She has asked me if she can work through all the books this summer, and I am more than happy to have her work on them.

I have personally been working on pages from Books E-G. I have also always wanted to learn to write italics because it is so pretty and easy to read. I really love handwriting, and I am always looking to improve my own handwriting. I feel like it is important for me to practice and show my daughter that I can do what I expect her to be able to do. I have enjoyed learning the cursive italic letters and how they are supposed to be joined by working in these books. I have also been reading through the calligraphy book and practicing with the edged pen. This book does a great job of teaching this method, and while it takes some practice, you can learn it like I have been doing. Once I get better with the calligraphy, I have a few projects for my house I want to try it on.

I have definitely seen a big improvement in my daughter’s handwriting since she started using these italic handwriting books. She is finally taking her time again with her handwriting and doesn’t rush to make her letters anymore. She is doing much better with the spacing between her letters and words. I can tell that she puts thought and effort behind her handwriting, and I truly look forward to seeing it continuing to improve as she finishes learning the cursive italics. I really appreciated that this series of books walks you through learning italics step by step and the books build on each other. Both my daughter and I recommend Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series, and if you want to learn calligraphy, I recommend Getty-Dubay Italic Calligraphy for School & Home.

-Product review by Cassandra Holdeman, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017