Nan developed her teaching method during more than 20 years of experience working in elementary school classrooms and also tutoring/remediating older learners. Observing the motor skills of young children enabled Nan to formulate methods that allow children to write at maximum speed with maximum legibility.
Notes Nan, "If children learn to write with the most efficient movement possible for the human hand, little classroom time need go to penmanship in years when so many other activities demand attention. Handwriting can be individual, and a joy!"
This educator created a handwriting program which, parents and teachers agreed, produced more legible, attractive, and speedy writing than the school district had heretofore considered normal or possible. Yet, incredibly, the district discontinued the program in 1993 (after 23 years of success) because of the usual drive to lower standards and "be like everybody else."Briefly: those parents and community members who could not themselves write legibly by hand felt offended and disturbed that their children's handwriting was now superior to their own: some even denounced this fact as "elitist" and "un-American."Copies of the Williamsport textbooks (a complete series from kindergarten through Grade 8) prepared by Dr. Baskin's colleague (the late Lois McClelland) still exist in Dr. Baskin's possession, as well as in the ERIC microfiche files which most university libraries and research libraries have access to. The ERIC collection lists these under the name "Functional Handwriting", but the books provide fun as well as function.
Mrs. Eller has made handwriting the Italic way a full and integral part of her teach-yourself literacy course, Action Reading, which she designed to help her son who was diagnosed as "totally dyslexic; will never learn to read or write" at age 5. (He has now grown up. This "totally dyslexic boy" now reads perfectly, and has fully legible, rapid handwriting.)
Write Now (teens - adults)Italic Letters (adults interested in calligraphy as well as handwriting)In addition, Barbara and Inga teach better penmanship to anyone who asks - giving free workshops each year (on the weekend nearest John Hancock's birthday in late January), as well as a low-cost course (always booked to capacity!) . All of this they have accomplished despite local educators' moans that the public can no longer need or demand anything as passé - so they say - as penmanship!
For further information on the kit and how to order it (yes, they take credit-cards), contact the Society's treasurer, Gordon Wratten, at email@example.com - Mr. Wratten can also tell you how to join the Society.
Mrs. Svaren has observed the decline in educational standards (including handwriting standards) over a long and busy life as a calligrapher, a mom and a teacher. She blames the current decline in handwriting (as in much else) on laxness of standards: a careless assumption that "one's own way" or "the [apparently] easy way" is as good as the right way - also on the fact that most parents and teachers today have themselves never learned how to write properly by hand themselves. Therefore, they have NO chance of teaching their children how to do it!However, Jaki reminds us that - deep down - parents/teachers/the general public still do recognize the value in better handwriting; they ignore or mock it ONLY because improper education has convinced them that neither they, nor their children, will ever attain it."The handwritten word," she says, "is still the only proof parents have that their children actually learned anything in school that day."
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Level A 1. Your name written in your usual handwriting is called your: A) guarantee B) signature C) handwriting 2. Penmanship is A) the use of different pens for writing B) learning to write with a pen
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