My son's fine-motor coordination is not as well-developed yet as many of his peers. Will he have difficulty learning something new? I have considered italic handwriting because there isn't much of a transition from manuscript to cursive, but where his textbooks show examples of handwriting, it is traditional style. Any suggestions?
I also feel that five is very young for your son to practice writing skills. My daughters worked on the alphabet -- memorization, letter recognition, and later sounds and combinations, but neither were ready to practice handwriting at five. In fact, my eight-year-old has just now developed the dexterity and desire to write clearly and legibly. Don't compare your son to what other kids are able to do; some kids are verbally advanced, others are more physically competent. This usually has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather different levels of maturity (within a normal range, of course). By six he will experience a growth spurt. You can struggle and spend hours each week teaching him how to write his letters now, or wait a year or so and he'll grasp it in a few short weeks. Focus your energy and attention reading interesting, colorful books to your son every day, and help him develop a love for books and the written word. Then, at seven or eight, when he is more mature, his writing will take off so fast you won't believe it!