Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting- A TOS Review

I was given the opportunity to review Peterson Directed Handwriting

I wish I had known of this program about five years ago. Perhaps it would have made the difference. We were given the opportunity to have a training session with the folks at Peterson which really helped us to figure out where to start. Originally I was to review the 'print' materials but I was given a chance to change to the 'cursive' because of the struggles we have in handwriting. Andrew has already developed some really poor habits. We have many fish to fry and he loves to when he does that I don't correct how he holds his pencil or positions his paper. I just let him go to town. For me that is 'non-screen' time where I get a break. (Most other break times include a screen of some sort.) I decided to ask to move to the cursive because I knew it would be a gigantic struggle to start from scratch with printing and they were very accommodating as they want success for your child.

As just a SMALL example of a 'static struggle', we were recently discussing capitals and lower case and when when you use them. This was the same time we were reading The Fourth of July. Andrew says, "I am doing writing independently. I don't need to make certain things capital or lower case because I am an independent writer." Going back to square one for printing was not going to happen...however... he has expressed interest in cursive. I wanted to 'capitalize' on that.

I decided however, before even tackling this, that I would try to work on one of the basics of the Peterson Directed Handwriting method: writing while you state what you are writing. Both the print and the cursive give some 'games' to play that help guide the child in development of proper habits. Peterson Directed Handwriting bases much of what it does on 'muscle' memory. So while you are learning the different strokes that make up letters, you say them out-loud. You can find the full information on how this method is taught by going to some of the presentations here which are free.

This is a teacher intensive program but I am a hands on teacher and so that worked for me. We spent much of this 'trial period' just doing the first step of 'Illustrate and describe" while air writing strokes. We also practiced with short pencils on a piece of paper on the wall. I had to make this somewhat 'fun' because handwriting is such a chore.

I like that this program works on muscle memory. Andrew has learned to 'draw' his letters. I can write my name in cursive and he can 'copy' it. This created angst in the past also, because if he didn't 'copy' his copywork correctly, he'd get upset. I think this method takes a more graduated approach. With cursive, we can go to square one and maybe make some good habits.

There are various prices for the products. You can find a variety of products and packages here. Each cursive book is $29.95 and you can find pricing of other products via the above link. There are many other additional items you might find useful with this method. You can see other's reviews on this product by clicking on the top banner.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was given a complimentary copy of the Peterson Directed Handwriting materials. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Tim @ Families Again said...

Great review. Makes me want to pull out my Peterson stuff and give it the old college try once again!

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