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Educational Fontware

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Educational Fontware Teacher Pack Single User CD-ROM, $49.95. Available only from the publisher, Educational Fontware.

Do you find handwriting curricula to be BORING? I have to admit that this was the reason that I started looking for an interesting and flexible way to teach and improve my children's handwriting. Educational Fontware, Inc. has answered that need.

Educational Fontware sells fonts. Their large selection includes D'Nealian, Getty-Dubay Italic, Zaner-Bloser, Harcourt Brace, McDougal, Littel, Old Zaner-Bloser (the traditional one), and two very interesting old-fashioned looking fonts called Palmer style and Peterson method. Once you decide which font is right for your children, you order the entire font family. You load the font onto your machine from the CD (or floppies) and then use it in your preferred word processor to create handwriting sheets for your children.

A font family actually includes about 22 different fonts. For the manuscript family, you have the choice of plain, manuscript with directional arrows and three rules (lines), bold, dotted, dotted with directional arrows, dotted with arrows and rules, dotted with rules, outlines (for tracing), outlines with arrows, outlines with arrows and rules, outlines with rules, arrows, and rules. Similar options are included for cursive. A unique "Link Letter" feature actually links the cursive letters together so that they look like real handwriting.

Our children frequently memorize poems and we have been able to use the fonts to integrate memorization with handwriting. To do this, I type in the poem and make a blank set of rules (three lines) below each line of the poem with the idea that the children will try to duplicate the perfect handwriting of the font on the line directly below. Occasionally, I will use the outline font and ask them to trace first before copying the line onto the blank line. I have plans to use this to reinforce learning of spelling lists and passages from history and science studies while simultaneously improving handwriting.

The pricing of a font family is quite reasonable and Educational Fontware offers a money-back guarantee. You can purchase an optional "Speciality" font collection including sign language (actual hands!), morse code, Braille, and funny faces for just a few dollars extra. The folks at Educational Fontware are considering developing a font to simulate Spencerian Penmanship, the beautiful handwriting popularized in the 1800's and regaining in popularity with Classical Approach homeschooling families. Email Educational Fontware at if you would like to offer encouragement on the development of Spencerian! resources related to this review:

Interview with Dave Thompson, president of Educational Fontware
Review of Spell to Write and Read
Review of Handwriting Without Tears
Review of Italics, Beautiful Handwriting for Children
Review of SmithHand Handwriting
Interview with Bruce Smith, Ph.D. on developing elegant handwriting
Interview with Michael Sull, master penman

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