Calligraphy Lessons: the Palmer Method

By: Keith


The boys, and I, have begun learning calligraphy, and a few weeks ago I went on an expedition for teaching materials.  I thought they would be easy to find – but I was wrong.  I did find a handwriting workbook at Barnes & Noble which, for lack of a better solution, we immediately started using.  However, my suspicion was that it lacks incremental technique building exercises, that it is deficient in fundamental motor skill exercises.  I was right.  It became immediately clear the boys needed to first master the component strokes before attempting to produce whole letters.      


My Wife to the Rescue:      


I didn’t know quite what to do about this little penmanship issue.  The boys need quality lessons, but it’s a dying art; nobody teaches it anymore.  Enter Mely: “Hey! Look what I found!” And she produced this book:     


(Click over this image to read the book in Spanish in PDF format)    


Do you want your kids to learn the sort of calligraphy that impresses people?  The Palmer Method is for you! I’m so impressed by the lessons, and the general attention to fundamental strokes that I committed myself to learning right along with the boys.  The book we have is in Spanish, and it was printed in 1949. “But, Keith!” you say. “We want our own copy!”  You’re in luck because I happen to have found a scanned copy in English too.  To see the entirety of the books in PDF format click on the cover of the language you desire.  The exercises in both books are identical.  The only differences are some illustrations and the print date.  


(Click over this image to read the book in English in PDF format) 



Here is the first lesson we did together (from page 19):  


Alan’s Sheet (6 year old)      


Neil’s Sheet (7 year old)      


My Sheet (36 years old)       

15 Responses to “Calligraphy Lessons: the Palmer Method”
  1. PJ Mullen August 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    We learned the Palmer method in Catholic school. My dependence on computers and keyboards have dimished my opportunities to hand write, but when I take my time it is still as crisp as Sister Bernadette used to demand.
    .-= PJ Mullen´s last blog ..Toddler Haute Cuisine =-.

  2. Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father) August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Dude, that is awesome. At least I think so.

    .-= Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father)´s last blog ..Go Around Again! =-.

  3. Sarah August 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    Awesome, Keith. I love how similar your three examples are. :) Just added you to my blogroll-I am starting to get the hang of this blogging stuff!

  4. Que August 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Loved the sheets at the end. That looks about right!
    .-= Que´s last blog ..Another Year Better =-.

  5. Stefan August 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Very cool. My handwriting always the one sore spot on the elem school reprr card. Never really improved. You’re an inspiration for old dog picking up new tricks. Love the pics

  6. Luis November 28, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Hola, me gustó este post y estoy interesado en desarrollar la caligrafía palmer. Podrías darme algunos consejos para desarrollar la caligrafía palmer?

    Mis saludos

    • Mario González April 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      En Guatemala existe un m{etodo de caligraf{ia que es una adpatación del m{etodo Palmer, se llama Método de Caligrafía Comercial y su autores Jaime F Sanchéz. Lo novedoso que que se preocupa de desarrollar el movimiento muscular que es la base de ese método y todas las letras parten del movimiento muscular logrado a base de los óvalos.

  7. marcocat March 18, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you very much for those links!

  8. Brandon February 1, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    Darn, I don’t know Spanish, but it’s still useful…

    • Luisa Machado April 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Don’t worry, translate to English the instruccions, is very easy, and the book you have images w/it, the most important is understand the instruccion and match w/ pictures.

  9. Meredith Mellick January 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Wow, this is great! Thanks for sharing. I was able to download the Spanish version, but the link to English Palmer Method is broken. Would you mind reposting? Thank you!

  10. Luisa Machado April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Yo escribo con Caligrafia Palmer desde que era muy nina, a mi siempre me gusto escribir y cuando entre a la escuela de Comercio en mi pais natal Venezuela, adopte la califrafia Palmer como mi unico estilo de escritura y aun lo conservo, y tienen razon la base de la caligrafia esta en los movimientos, en la forma de sentarse, de tomar el lapiz entre los dedos, la ejecucion de los ovalos es muy importante, el metodo Palmer es unico, y si lo hacen en otro pais bueno que bien al menos copian lo bueno y ensenan a otros a escribir bien como debe de ser.

  11. Antonio July 19, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Muchas Gracias por compartirlo.

  12. Janet Ruiz November 15, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I could not promote to 4th grade if I could not write in “Palmer” (vs “cursive”) it was a requirment in most schools back then in Venezuela, where I was born, raised and educated.


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