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Jennifer Suchey

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, May 23, 2007
  • Grades Used: 3rd - 4th
  • Dates used: 2005 - 2007
This is a wonderful way to teach both manuscript and cursive handwriting. It is a computer program that allows you to make up your own worksheets. You can choose from various fonts and customize a worksheet in many ways. We like the older cursive "Palmer" style of cursive.

I like that I can customize her penmanship with other things she is learning. Lately, I have been making up cursive worksheets with her spelling words and sentences containing those words. Sometimes I make up goofy sentences that I know will make her laugh, often personalized about her. I can have her practice a memory verse or combine any number of other school work with cursive writing practice. I can repeatedly have her work on letters she has the most trouble with.

When I realized she had trouble simply reading in cursive (let alone writing), I wrote out a silly story on StartWrite about her pony and her living in a castle together. I was able to take away all the lines and make the font small. This was simply for her to practice reading in cursive. She's a complainer when anything is hard, so whatever I can do to make it fun!

This may not be a good "beginner" course all by itself, as it does not give you the ability to write "parts" of letters before moving on to forming the entire letter, as other beginning programs do. But it would be a great supplement to a beginner course or any handwriting course. I don't use anything else though. It's all we need.


  • Reviewed on Monday, April 2, 2007
  • Grades Used: PreK-present and beyond
  • Dates used: 2004-present+
This is the best $40 I've spent on homeschooling curriculum that covers as much penmanship practice as you need. I love the features of the program, especially how you can make the lines smaller so the student can practice finer motor skills. I plan on using this all the way through high school if necessary. It's great for adults who want to improve their handwriting as well. (We use the italics font, and as another person noted in a prior review, it is much more cost effective than the other italics programs out there.) I recommend this to every homeschooling family for handwriting.

B J Hargett

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, February 18, 2003
  • Grades Used:
  • Dates used: 2001 through 2003
This is a program for your computer that enables you to make your own handwriting sheets. I like this because I like to use King James Bible verses in Italic writing. I can also use book excerpts that I want to use, from books I never see excerpts from. I use the great biographies of Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, and other missionaries we admire. You can choose color, pictures,different sizes and types of fonts, dotted or regular lines. You can choose printing or cursive. It turns out beautifully. You can download a trial version at StartWrite and try it yourself. If you are sticky about what you want your children to write, try this program.

Christine Montano

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, September 10, 2002
  • Grades Used: pre-K and up
  • Dates used: 9/2002`
StartWrite is a computer program that has several different font styles to choose from, from Italic manuscript to regular manuscript to cursive.

I am using this in conjunction with the Italic handwriting curriculum. As stated in other reviews on the italic curriculum, there is not enough practice. There are about 8 times per letter that the child actually writes the letter---that is it. I know the price for the workbook is about $5 but that is not enough practice, in my opinion. The italic curriculum is beneficial as it arranged the letters per similarity of stroke, clumping letters logically.

For extra practice and customization, the StartWrite software is great. You can use it to write up anything you want, from extra sheets with just one letter to the child's name or sentences they dictate, or anything! I think the real benefit here is the ability to customize the text to practice words or phrases or sentences you want, or to do simple repeating of one letter if your child needs extra practice with that letter.

Other reviews on StartWrite did a great job explaining the bells and whistles and they are great reviews and accurate so I won't repeat them here. (i.e. directional arrows or not, colored lines or not, etc. close-together dots or faint and farther apart or not...)

StartWrite allows a one day free dowload to try from their website with no strings attached.
It doesn't get much better than a free trial offer to see if you like it!