Frequently Asked Questions
The Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series has many advantages over other handwriting methods available. It is recommended for children with ADD and other learning challenges because it is very simple to learn, and the children often think of it as fun. It also eliminates the difficulties dyslexic children experience with mirroring or reversible letters. The hand position and movements for the italic are natural and result in an easy flowing motion when writing. We have had many mothers of children with horrendous handwriting try the Getty-Dubay Italic and be amazed with the improvement after even a short time. Research shows, comparing children in the same age group, those writing in italic can write significantly faster than those using conventional looped cursive or conventional printing methods.
One of the main difficulties children have with learning handwriting is in making the transition from the commonly taught ball and stick printing to the looped cursive. The ball and stick itself is awkward requiring perfect circles, vertical lines and many pen lifts off the page. Children are taught to print, and then asked to learn a completely different alphabet that has no resemblance to the printed alphabet they just learned. The looped cursive is confusing, difficult to write, and difficult to read. Italic eliminates this transition difficulty with a basic printed alphabet that is transformed into cursive italic by a series of joins. The child uses concepts he/she has already learned with the basic italic to learn cursive italic. A letter by letter comparison of five handwrinting styles (opens new window) is available for download.
Studies indicate there is a major drop in average speed and legibility in the second grade, which is when the looped cursive is introduced in the classroom. Children in this age group are working on their reading skills, and looped cursive adds confusion to this issue as well. They are learning to read a script which most resembles italic, and yet they are also learning how to write in a script (looped cursive) that has no resemblance whatsoever to what they are reading. It is no wonder difficulties arise from this.
The italic method is more intuitive, easier to understand, write and read, and it tends not to break down into illegibility as does the looped cursive. Have you ever noticed that every form you have had to fill out says, "Please Print"? This is because we are not able to read each other's handwriting, so we must resort to printing to be legible. Many mothers have told us they tried everything with their children, and the Getty-DubayItalic was the only thing that worked. Click here - 76.5k (opens new window) for a sample of children's italic handwriting using the Getty-DubayItalic.
The program takes the child through step by step in a very clear, logical manner using a "Look, Plan, Practice" approach. The five degree slope of the letters and the manner in which the pen is held when writing in italic are more in keeping with the hand's natural position. Have you ever noticed how contorted a child's hand can get when trying to write the looped cursive?
If you wish to see sample pages taken directly from our books, these are available here. The pages are lifted directly from the books, and have extensive graphics that can slow the downloading/printing process to anywhere from 2-5 minutes per page, depending on the speed of your computer's processor.
Please note that you must have Acrobat in order to download and print the sample pages. If you do not already have it in your software package, you can merely click on the "Acrobat" icon available here and it will automatically download for you.
You may also view the table of contents for each of the books at the web page designated for that book.
The Getty-DubayItalic Handwriting Series offers a comprehensive review of the basic italic in each book, so a child can start at their current grade level even though they've never had italic before. There is no need to go back to a book from an earlier grade level. However, the indicated grade levels are not written in stone. We recognize that each child is different, and parents can decide which is the best starting point for their children based on the individual child's particular needs.
For the purposes of private and public school instruction, the books can be used beginning with Book A for Kindergarten, Book B for 1st Grade, Book C for 2nd Grade, Book D for 3rd Grade, Book E for 4th Grade, Book F for 5th Grade, and Book G for 6th Grade. Once again, a child in school can begin with the book designated for his/her particular grade, even though they have never had italic before. Each book offers a comprehensive review of the basic italic at the designated grade level.
The Blackline Masters are folders of supplementary practice sheets designed to complement the lessons in the books. Each practice page references the page number in the corresponding book of that particular lesson, making it easy to integrate the lessons in the book with the extra practice opportunity offered in the Blackline Masters. There is one set of Blackline Masters for each of the books A-G (K-6th grade). Downloadable online sample pages are available for review.
NEW! The Blackline Masters are now available on CD.
We have recently discontinued our Lucida Sans School Font for several reasons. Most importantly, when this font was originally created, it was not a true type font, requiring Adobe Type Manager (ATM), in order to print. We did not offer ATM, requiring our customers to purchase it from Adobe at an extra charge, making the cost somewhat prohibitive.
There is, however, a company called Educational Fontware, Inc. which produces the
GDI (Getty-Dubay Italic) Font using our italic style. It has many features such as
basic and cursive italic, lines and directional arrows, letters with dashed lines,
etc. If you wish to find out more information, you may call them at
1-800-806-2155, or visit their website at www.educationalfontware.com.
Please note, Portland State University, Continuing Education Press is in no way affiliated with Educational Fontware Inc.
Both the Moveable Alphabet and Sandpaper Letters have been discontinued. We received many returns of the Moveable Alphabet because customers envisioned a different type of product. The Moveable Alphabet consisted of thin plastic punch-out letters in sheets similar to old-fashioned stencils. Customers were expecting them to be made of a much heavier plastic. Also, our supplier for the Moveable Alphabet ceased to produce it.
The Sandpaper Letters were very expensive to produce, resulting in a high price to our customers which was prohibitive, and the supplier went out of business.
We do not currently carry flash cards, however many of our homeschool customers have used our wallcharts as a substitute by cutting out the letters themselves.
That depends on how much time is devoted to handwriting. The workbooks were designed to last an entire school year. However while some parents work on handwriting with their children every day and finish early, others work on handwriting once or twice a week and complete the workbook within a school year.
Find a subject your child is interested in. Have them do an age-appropriate, hand written report on a poster board. They are able to practice their best handwriting and have fun with subject matter they are interested in. They may also include pictures or drawings on their poster board display.
Have your child:
- write a letter to a family member, or to someone famous. We've heard that famous people often write back!
- make stationary with their name at the top. This activity is something that many children enjoy.
- write a poem or Haiku.
Send us an e-mail telling us your ideas. We always love to hear from our customers and appreciate any feedback you have to offer.
The Instruction Manual is not necessary, but most school teachers and homeschoolers find it extremely useful. It includes teaching and assessment strategies, creative student activities, and adaptations to special needs. It also contains handy ruled line blank masters for 9mm, 6mm, 5mm and 4mm line spacing which are copyright free so you can make as many copies as you like for practice.