Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting/Cursive Handwriting Review

Recently our family received the privilege to use a handwriting system developed by Peterson Directed handwriting. When you read the word "system" you might think complicated. That is not the case. The program offers a very clear, easy to understand narrated tutorial that explains the Peterson approach to teaching handwriting. Basically it is a system that teaches 6 handwriting sub skills that can be summarized in these techniques:

1. Illustrate and Describe
2. Air Writing
3. Finger tracing 
4. Write and say

Based on your child's level of handwriting this can all be done10 minutes. My son and daughter already knew the basic formation of the cursive letters of the alphabet. So I reviewed Cursive step1 and the moved into Cursive step 2 which is the appropriate level for them. Step 1 is more of an introduction, and step 2 goes into more mastery.
Also, you can still buy  individual products or kits, BUT, the Ebooks do replace the kits. We used the e-books, and were able to pull up the pages on our screen and print just the letters we needed to work on. If you use the program in this manner you would not need the wall cards or cd's. Essentially all you need is the ebook downloads. There are many optional products such as positioning strips, pens, pencils and grips. We did not use these products but I would certainly recommend the use of these items if you notice your child has trouble in these areas. 
Peterson Direct Handwriting workbooks are designed to make one book take a year in a school, but as homeschoolers, it would really only be a couple of months or so, depending on how often you use it. Mastery is the key so we are adjusting the pace to our skill level. We are still working on ebook 2 but there are a total of 4 e-workbooks. I would suggest that you go to the site and look at each book sample to help you decide where to step into the program. I would also suggest that you learn the skill techniques before buying a workbook at your child's level because this not just your ordinary handwriting workbook. For example, my children have learned the "incorrect" way to form their letters in the past and so were having trouble linking to form words clearly able to be read. By using the skills taught of 1) drawing the letter in air, 2) saying the scripted wording as they form the letters they have really corrected their individual styles.

A parent or teacher can purchase a copy with an individual license for $19.95.  The license fee is a one-time charge. You won't have to pay again next year. The company states "we are planning to offer improved versions and hope you will take advantage of the minuscule cost to keep teachers current as the technology improves."

In my opinion handwriting is a dying art. I think this is a great program to teach handwriting in a clear, concise manner. We are still using it and enjoying it.  This is definitely a program to check out. I think the website is flooded with information and samples so I would suggest listening to the tutorials, consider you individual needs then just look at those resources.

Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

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