This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
CALLING audience to order. Brief statement of what it is proposed to accomplish during the course of instruction. Assembling of the members of the class in front of the teacher, when each pupil, able to do so, should write a sample of penmanship, worded as follows : "This is a sample of my penmanship before taking lessons in writing" each signing name to the same. Pupils should be urged to present the best specimen it is possible for them to write, in order that the improvement made may be clearly shown when the student writes a similar exercise at the close of the term.
Specimens written, assume position for sitting and holding pen, full explanation being given by the teacher concerning correct and incorrect positions. Commence writing on the second page, the first page being left blank on which to write the name of the owner of the book. Let the first be a copy composed of quite a number of extended letters, containing such words as, "My first effort at writing in this book" Writing these words in the first of the term enables the pupils to turn back from the after pages and contrast their writing with their first efforts in the book, on an ordinarily difficult copy, thus plainly showing their improvement as they could not perceive it by commencing with the simplest exercise. Students are encouraged to much greater exertion when they can plainly see their improvement. Having covered the first page with their ordinary penmanship, let the class commence with Copy No. 2, shown on page 41, in the set of writing-school copies, while the teacher fully explains, from the blackboard, the object of the copy. Give half an hour's practice on position and freedom of movement, making frequent use of the blackboard in illustrating the principles for making letters. The blackboard is, in fact, indispensable to the teacher of penmanship.
Intermission of fifteen minutes. Criticism of position, explanation on blackboard of letter m, and practice on the letter by the class. Remarks by the teacher on the importance of a good handwriting, with brief outline of what the next lesson is to be.
Drill on position; criticism. Use a separate slip of paper for ten minutes' practice on freedom of movement for hand and arm. See that every pupil has the requisite materials. Explanation again of letter m as made in words mum, man, mim, etc. Thorough drill, and examination by teacher of each pupil's writing. Intermission. Writing of short words, with special reference to perfecting the letter m. Blackboard explanation of slope of letters, with illustrations showing importance of uniformity of slope, etc. Hints in reference to neatness, order, and punctuality, and encouragement, if the improvement of the class warrants the same. Love of approbation is one of the ruling organs of the mind. Nothing is more gratifying, when the student has done well, than to be appreciated; and the pupil is stimulated to much greater exertion, when receiving judicious praise from the teacher for work well performed. Prompt and early attendance of the class at the next lesson should be urged, and close by giving outline of next lesson. The teacher should gather and keep the books. Students may each care for their pens, ink, and light.
Drill in movement. Explanation of letter o on the blackboard, and letters in which it is made, such as a, d,g, q, e, etc., showing, also, faults liable to be made. Careful examination and criticism of the writing of every student in the class individually. Explanation of /, d, and p, on the board, showing probable faults, with other exercises at the discretion of the teacher. Intermission. Explanation of length, size, and form of loop letters, the class being supposed to be practicing similar exercises to those illustrated on the board. Explanation and illustration concerning the writing of all the small letters, representing on the board the principles upon which they are made. During the lesson, two hours in length, the students should always be engaged in writing, except at intermission, and while the attention of the class is engaged with the blackboard illustrations.
A few minutes' drill on freedom of movement. Explanation of position for sitting and holding the pen, showing faults. Illustrations on the blackboard of the fundamental principles for making capital letters, representing curves, proportion, shades, parallel lines, etc.; students practicing the principles on a loose piece of paper. Careful drill on the capital stem. Caution by the teacher that students do not write too fast. General practice on copies including the capital letters. Individual examination by the teacher of all the writing books. Intermission. Blackboard illustration, showing faults in the making of the principles; careful drill on position for sitting, holding pen, and freedom of movement. Representation by teacher of evil effects of cramped penmanship, and weariness resulting from sitting improperly. Earnest effort to induce every pupil to practice as much as possible between lessons, a premium being given to the member of the class who shows greatest improvement at the close of the lessons, and a premium to the best penman.
Five minutes' drill on off-hand movement, special attention being paid by the class to the position for sitting and holding the pen. Illustration by the teacher, on the blackboard, of capital letters from A to M, making each capital correctly, beside which should be made the same letter as the pupil is liable to make it, showing probable faults. Examination by the teacher of the writing in each book. Intermission. Urgent appeal by the teacher to students to secure the greatest possible excellence in writing, by practice both in and out of the school; showing not only the reputation acquired by receiving the premium in the class, but the lasting advantage resulting from always being able to put thoughts beautifully and readily on paper. Blackboard illustrations, giving the capitals from M to Z, together with probable faults. Careful drill by pupils on capitals, accompanied by examination and criticism of each pupil by the teacher pleasantly suggesting a change where faults are visible, and praising all where improvement is plain.