Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Hey, UK…Hey, EU!

EU and Union flags outside the European commission

The news is out: When the second edition of my book releases this November, it will be available not only in the States but also in the UK and the EU! It will be distributed to booksellers there by Perseus. I’d received many questions regarding distribution and I just found out today, so I wanted to share. =)

I’ll Tumble for Ya


I’m on a social-media whirl this week! Well, I’ve always loved reaching out via social media channels, but there were a few I hadn’t yet embraced. That’s all changed! A few days ago I joined Snapchat (thetudortutor), and today I’m fresh onto tumblr.

I hope I’ll see you there, over there, and everywhere!

I’ve Snapped!


Well, not in an angry way. ;)

I now have a Snapchat, so if you’re on there, come on over and follow @thetudortutor!

All Things “Teaching”


Did you know that the “tutor” in my title is a nod to my background in education? Aside from all the yummy history boards on my Pinterest page, I have a board devoted to my passion: education! There are ideas for fellow teachers regarding classroom organization, lesson tips and techniques, lighthearted teaching memes, quotes, and more. Go have a great time digging in over there!

Ready for Elizabeth — 1558


Much chatter here in the U.S. about showing that a woman can, indeed, rule.

That’s already been done, and has continued since. ;)

Coming Your Way in 2015!


Voilà! The first official promo for the second edition of my book, with expanded content and illustrations by Lisa Graves (aka, The History Witch), releasing in November. Stay tuned for updates!

(Meanwhile, don’t be shy: Make sure you’re getting all the latest and greatest from me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.)

I’m Barb, and I Support Cursive Handwriting Education


I shared the above photo I created on all my social media channels yesterday (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest), with the following caption:

“Learning cursive (joined-up writing or handwriting in the UK) is on the decline in the States, due to the implentation of the Common Core Standards in most states, as well as the erroneous belief that cursive writing is useless and antiquated in the modern world.

On the contrary: Research has shown that cursive writing improves brain development, hones fine motor skills, sharpens categorisation skills, and teaches the brain to integrate visual and tactile information.

Without cursive training, kids won’t be able to read historic documents (let alone communication from older relatives!), won’t be able to take notes efficiently, won’t even know the joy of enjoying a hand-written card. I teach my own kids cursive at home, and feel strongly that it should be implanted in the school curriculum once again.”

The feedback has been tremendous! I wanted to approach some concerns that came up, especially on the thread on my Facebook page and on pages where it has been shared, so here we go…

“Sure they can read historic documents…There are text versions.”

This is like saying “Why learn a foreign language when there’s Google Translate?”

“You mean historicAL.”

I mean both! This holds for historic documents such as the Declaration of Independence, and also for historical documents. For example, last weekend our family visited Culpeper, Virginia, which holds quite a bit of US Civil War era history. In the town’s museum, our 12-year-old daughter was able to read a 19th-century letter from a soldier to one of his relatives, describing the conditions in the area and events happening at the time.

“Reading historic documents just isn’t that important for most kids/people.”

That’s why I mentioned not being able to read communication from people who do write in cursive, not to mention the many other educational benefits listed in the original caption (above).

“It has nothing to do with Common Core.”

To restate the first paragraph of the original caption, “”Learning cursive (joined-up writing or handwriting in the UK) is on the decline in the States, due to the implentation of the Common Core Standards in most states, as well as the erroneous belief that cursive writing is useless and antiquated in the modern world.” While cursive writing may have been pushed aside in some places before Common Core came about (and yes, CC does not mention cursive at all: that’s precisely why it’s not considered a part of the CC curriculum), at least eight CC states to date have made cursive mandatory in schools, including California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.

“You’ve misspelled ‘handwriting;’ there’s no ‘u’ in it.”

Oh my goodness, enough of this. The flow between my w and r may render the distinction fuzzy. However, rest assured that I know how to spell it and that the w is the letter that’s there.


*There are some fantastic articles to be found, making the case for cursive. Check out the following articles:

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades – The New York Times

5 Reasons Cursive Writing Should Be Taught in School – Concordia Online

Brain Research and Cursive Writing – David Sortino

* While, as an educator, I much prefer manipulatives to digital educational enhancements, I don’t mind sharing these apps which can add to a child’s learning of cursive writing: Cursive Writing Wizard by L’escapadou, Intro to Cursive by Montessorium, Cursive Writing by Horizon Business Inc, and Zaner-Bloser Handwriting by Zaner-Bloser Inc.

* To see wonderful examples of Tudor signatures, please see this board on my Pinterest page.


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