As regular readers will know I do love a bit of tradition. I went to a very traditional school as a child and firmly remember having to do lots of handwriting and grammar exercises in English class and I think that's why the Ladybird book of Handwriting appeals to me so much.
The book starts off with explaining how the pen (or pencil) should ideally be held and then introduces a series of preliminary exercises to help children gain confident control over their "writing instrument" in preparation for actually forming letters with it. It then launches into letters – grouped as clockwise and anticlockwise letters initially, then by their base movements and finally in alphabetical order.
All the above is with lower case letters, but capitals then follow along with exercises featuring christian names which is seen as an ideal way of linking together the two cases, whilst also remaining grammatically correct.
After showing how joining strokes work the book also addresses double letters and how they should be formed.
The book concludes this section with a series of handwriting exercises which include everything from well known rhymes and grammar aide-memoirs to vocabulary extension exercises. The final part is then looking at how your writing style and pen hold has to change further if you use a "chisel-edged pen".
I'm sadly guessing that handwriting is no longer taught in this way. A shame, but I guess there's nothing stopping me seeing if I can neaten up my own handwriting by following their instructions.
This book was the only book published in series 684 – also called Handwriting – but a book with identical contents also appeared in the Learnabout series (634) in the same year, just with a different cover.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thank you!
I am sure I used to have this book – or one very similar. I’ve noticed since spending more time online typing that my handwriting has gone to the dogs. Must rectify that and write more!
Mrs C says
I agree and I worry the nice handwriting is a dying art now the school pupils type so much more. Makes me a bit sad.
I think we used to have this one too! It looks like a lovely book, I don’t know if they still teach handwriting but I would love to be able to write like that. I do remember when we were taught ‘joined up’ handwriting at school. Annie is right though that handwriting is used less and less these days, I only really write things on the calendar and in shopping lists now! I’ve joined in this week with a festive offering http://www.jenniferslittleworld.com/2013/11/ladybird-tuesday-christmas-customs.html