Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting

It's time for another installment in my Product Reviews for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I was not paid for my opinions (still looking for that paying job...)

I was selected to review Peterson Directed Handwriting.

Here's how to find them:

I specifically looked at Handwriting for 2nd Grade - $15.05 for the set.

Their products are very homeschool friendly, available as downloadable Ebooks. This was a feature that jumped off the page at me right away. I love being able to print what we need, when we need it, and multiplied by as many times as I need it! A very economical choice for families.

I must say, Handwriting is not a favorite subject in the "Bentz Academy for Gifted and Talented Students"... But, it is one that we have been in need of assistance with for some time. Unless all your children are planning on becoming Doctors (we have several in our family, so this is said in love...) You probably need some help with it too!

Peterson's approach is what makes it so unique. Instead of focusing on "drawing" the letters, you teach your child several simple strokes with a corresponding voice chant, which make up most of our letter formation. But, the goal of this program is not to just draw the letters, using your visual processing... It it to create fluency with legibility.

One thing I found particularily helpful with this program was the throughness of explanation. I must say, I had never really focused on handwriting as a process - more of an outcome. This program breaks the teaching (or coaching, as they call it) into very managable steps. Directed practice using the child's voice to create rythym and fluency is a whole new approach for us.

The program comes with everything you need, but if you want additional information, more help with how-to teach this approach... The website is full of helpful and useful items! Even an Information Directory with links to many training videos that you and your child can watch together.

All together, this is a very comprehensive Handwriting program. But, in my opinion, even more than handwriting is being taught with this method. Cognitive processing in every area is increased with their approach. They claim improved spelling, grammar and reading as well. Based on experience going back to 1908 - I'd say they can back up the research.

I can't say that Peterson Directed Handwriting moved our handwriting up to the "favorite -subject-of-the-day" spot.... But, it did give me some very specific, measurable ways of directing my children's progress in this area.

Check out what the other members of the Review Crew had to say at