Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Handwriting ~ A Review

peterson handwriting

Recently, I had the chance to try out a “new to us” handwriting program ~ Peterson Directed Handwriting.  Peterson Directed Handwriting is a movement-based handwriting program whose goal is to teach fluent handwriting skills. 

The Peterson Method for teaching handwriting places emphasis on proper posture, correct paper placement, and gross motor movements.  On their website they provide numerous research-based articles that support the effectiveness of their movement-based approach to teaching handwriting.

Our Experience ~

Since my 3rd grader just began transitioning from print to cursive last year, I chose to use the Step 2 Beginning Cursive E-book with him.  In each of our daily 15-minute lessons we followed the 4-step process that Peterson recommends for teaching handwriting:

  • Step one ~ Illustrate and Describe (Introduce the movements)
  • Step two ~ Write in the air and say
  • Step three ~ Finger trace and say
  • Step four ~ Write and say

The Information Directory page of the Peterson Directed Handwriting website  contains a 15-minute narrated presentation which explains the “why” of this 4-step process, and detailed instructions on how to use this process to teach handwriting. 

My Thoughts ~

The Peterson way of teaching handwriting is very different from the way I’ve been teaching handwriting until now.  For example, my ds8 has always traced the handwriting model with a pencil when learning a new letter.  {Peterson Directed Handwriting advises that students should never trace a model with a pencil or crayon, instead they recommend that students finger trace the model.}  The Information Directory page of the Peterson Directed Handwriting website provides articles which explain why finger tracing is preferred over pencil-tracing

I must admit, ds8 found saying the action words out loud as he wrote the movement to be a bit awkward at first {step 4}.  But by the fourth lesson, it became more natural to him…and I could see that he seemed to be thinking more about the movements as he wrote the letters ~ and his handwriting did improve. 

After using Peterson Directed Handwriting for an extended period of time, I have found that there are some definite advantages to using their movement- based strategy, the most notable one being that ds8 seems to be more aware of the movements that his hand is making as he writes. 

I also appreciate the e-book format of this handwriting curriculum.  I sometimes found that I needed more than one copy of a particular page {so ds8 could practice a letter form or movement a bit more}, the e-book format allowed me to print the pages that I needed quickly and easily.  In addition, I can save money by using this e-book in the future with my younger children {instead of re-purchasing a new consumable workbook for each child}.

The cost of this 59-page e-book is $19.95 for an individual license {parent/homeschool use}.  I believe this e-book should provide enough material for one year of study. 

Visit the Peterson Directed Handwriting website to browse their numerous handwriting curriculum products ~ including more e-books for handwriting instruction from beginning print instruction through advanced cursive instruction, homeschool handwriting kits {on CD-ROM},  and supplemental tools for teaching handwriting.

Click here to see what my fellow crewmates are saying about Peterson Handwriting.

post banner

I did receive a free copy of this product in return for my honest review of our experience with this product.



Blog Design by: Relevant Designs