Homeschool Handwriting Curriculum - Free and Frugal Resources -

Summary: A frugal approach to homeschool handwriting curriculum for homeschoolers and preschoolers, elementary kids using these free or frugal homeschool handwriting curriculum and resources.   This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Do you have young ones who are ready to learn how to write?  

Do they show signs of eagerness like playing a lot with crayons, noticing letters and signs, or making lots of marks and shapes on paper?  Do they know the alphabet?

Today, I'd like to share my guide to handwriting, using simple frugal resources for the basics of handwriting, including:

- Introducing the A,B,C's
- Learning to write the letters 
- Simple copywork activities using your child's own words
- Practicing handwriting with Draw, Write, Now, link below.

You don't have to use an established or expensive handwriting program.  We didn't.  Instead we found two frugal resources for teaching handwriting.

TIP - Make writing meaningful to your child by using her own words whenever possible.  

Here's how we approach handwriting, starting with the A, B, C's.

1.  Introducing the A,B,C's

Using the Library - We introduced the ABC's through fun alphabet books from the library.  You know, those books that start with "A is for Apple", etc, with lovely photos to go with them.

The Big Book of Alpha Tales - This book has very funny stories for each letter of the alphabet, with mini books to make for each one. (Approximately $7.00)

Using Clay or Magnets - Sometimes we made the letters out of clay.  I also got my daughter a set of magnet letters for the frig.  These are readily available at the drug store.

I just put our set of magnet letters onto our frig, and my daughter loved rearranging them into little designs.  And through her play, she learned the shapes of the letters.

Next, she was ready to learn how to write her letters.

2.  Writing the ABC's with this Frugal Handwriting Curriculum

from MelissaAndDoug Storytelling Paper

We used a variety of activities to help her learn to form her letters....including:

- copying large letters onto the chalkboard
- practicing writing the letters in the air
- making letter shapes in fingerpainting
- even using pudding!  

I gave my daughter a lot of time to explore the shapes and learn her letters.  When they are ready start with the capital letters first, using this chart above as to how to shape the letters.  

But if your child decides to write them a different way, starting at the bottom instead of at the top, let it go if their letters are legible.

Once she could write the letters of the alphabet, we went on to copywork, using Story Paper For Kids, if you like.  This frugal packet goes for about 6 dollars and has 50 heavy weight handwriting paper for your use.  Or just goggle handwriting paper, and chose a free one with wide lines.

3.  Frugal Handwriting Homemade Copywork

Once my daughter could write her letters, I looked for some very wide lined paper, which had a blank space on half of it, for coloring and drawing.  

I found Story Paper For Kids very helpful. 
We always started with drawing first, then I asked my daughter about the picture.

 Often it was something that she had done the day before, or a favorite animal, or two.  Then she would tell me about it.  

I listened to her words, then I would write down a few of her 
words, so she could then copy them onto the lines on her paper.  

My goal was just that the letters be legible. The important thing is that my daughter was using her own written words to communicate. 

Here's a sample of beginning copy work.  My child first told me about the picture, I wrote down her words, then she copied them onto her paper. 

Neatness and goals:  Neatness and staying in the lines will come, but often it takes a lot of practice, and I suggest not focusing much on that, but instead on helping your child practice handwriting, using her own words. 

The writing sample above is excellent work for a young hand writer who is not struggling with handwriting.  It is going to be a messy thing for quite a while, which is to be expected.

Next, we moved on to practicing handwriting, using frugal books from Draw, Write, Now, which involved copywork with short stories.

4. Building Handwriting Skills 

I was delighted when I first found Draw Write Now.  When we opened the book together, we saw that each lesson included a shape or animal to draw, and a very short story to copy. 

Learning to draw these shapes was easy, with the step by step guide provided.  Drawing first helped her to relax.  The more relaxed your child is, the better they will write.

The Draw, Write, Now series is a homeschool handwriting curriculum that consists of eight books, each with a different theme, and all written at the same reading level, around 2nd grade.

I took my daughter to the nearby children’s book store and she chose Book 1 - On the Farm, Kids, Critters. It was full of her favorite animals to draw.

My daughter's handwriting greatly improved from doing this easy to teach program.....Click here to read more of my review.....of Draw, Write Now.

If you have been following my series on handwriting, you already are probably familiar with my post on fun fine motor activities 

These activities help to develop the small muscles of the hand, key for little writers.   If your child has trouble grasping her pencil, you might like to check out Fun Ways to a Mature Grasp, or Grasping Aids and Devices and the other posts I have on handwriting struggles.  Just click on "2e" and scroll down to find the handwriting section. 

This year, my daughter is a college grad writing essays, etc. But it all started with these simple, frugal resources for handwriting.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is a former O.T, preschool teacher and published author of children's stories.  She is mom to her 2e college grad whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early yearshigh schoolcollegeand is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind".  She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.

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