Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making Your Own Handwriting Worksheets for Free

A few months back I started teaching my five year old to write. So, I started looking for some handwriting worksheets and I quickly discovered Start Write.

It was exactly what I was looking for. And the software really is reasonably priced for all it does. However, I ALWAYS try to find a frugal (code word for free) alternative. I haven't found anything that does everything that Start Write does. But I have found a few free handwriting worksheet generators that suit our needs.

Soft School's handwriting worksheet generator is my favorite. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. But I can save the pages I create in PDF format. Love that! I am in the process of creating copywork pages for the Swinton's Primer. Once I've typed up all of the copywork I am going to print the pages and compile them into a notebook for Dil. And I can just print out a new notebook for my two youngest when they get to that stage.

The ESL Writing Wizard would be my favorite if I could save my pages in PDF. That's huge with me. But other than that this free worksheet generator is the best. There are several writing styles, line patterns, and letter sizes to choose from. And there are also some good instructions on the homepage of how to make a paragraph style worksheet. I used those instructions for the Soft School generator, with great results. You used to be able save the links to the pages you created. But that feature has been temporarily disabled.

Kid Zone also has a handwriting wizard that produces what the site calls "custom tracer pages." What's great about this one is that if you choose the cursive font then the letters of the words on the page are actually connected. The other two sites do not have this capability. Soft School doesn't have a cursive option at all. The ESL Writing Wizard does but the letters are separated. So I will definitely use the custom tracer pages once my younger ones start learning cursive.

Despite it's name, I'm not that impressed with the Amazing Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker. (I wonder if I could say that quickly three times.) But the one feature that I believe comes in handy for a brand new writer is the starting dot that is generated on each letter on the worksheet. That's a definite plus for little ones who are at the very beginning stage of writing.

By utilizing the sites listed above, I can pretty much produce the type of handwriting worksheet that I need.

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