Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Handwriting Review

Recently I was given Peterson's PDF By Hand E-Workbooks For Cursive Writing to review. The Peterson method is based on 4 steps:

1. Illustrate and Describe
2. Write in the Air and Say
3. Finger Trace and Say
4. Write and Say

You can get an overview of the method by visiting the Peterson online presentation (click photo below)

The Peterson method focuses on muscle control and movement ---which is something my 8yr. old daughter has a little difficulty with when it comes to handwriting. I was excited to try this handwriting program with her to see if it would be a good fit.

I received an e-book workbook in PDF format. As an added bonus, you could also use a digital tablet to practice writing on the computer. I thought that was a cool feature since I'm a digital scrapbooker and just happen to have one. I knew that would also be a motivator for my daughter to practice.

As I guessed, my daughter was eager to practice on the computer. The problem was that she reverted to old habits (like holding the pencil wrong) because writing with a tablet pen was a new skill. I still love this aspect of the program, but would hold off or let her gain a little more skill using the tablet first before introducing it for handwriting practice.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time implementing this program in our homeschool. I have been using the same handwriting curriculum for over 8 years and the Peterson Directed Handwriting curriculum was very different from what I was used to using. Peterson is more structured and was a little too teacher intensive for me. Before starting, you  need to read all the tips, tutorials and manual to be able to teach it correctly. Though Peterson has a ton of useful information on their site, I felt like I had to work to find the information. My e-book did not include enough teacher background information to make me feel confident in implementing this program. The upside is that once you understand how to teach it, the actual teaching portion is not time-consuming. You can usually finish a lesson in 10-15 minutes.

The second problem I had was that it was an e-book. This could also be a positive because you can print the pages you want, but I think we would have done better having an actual workbook.  Peterson Directed Handwriting does have print books available, and we might have been more successful with the Homeschool Complete Kit rather than the e-book.

This curriculum would be best suited for a family just getting ready to teach their children how to write, or if you need to go back to the beginning with a struggling hand-writer. There is a set method and I do believe that if followed consistently will produce good handwriting. Rand Nelson, aka Mr. Pencil, provides excellent support and is very willing to answer questions and share information.

Peterson Handwriting Main Website
Peterson Directed Handwriting Store- prices vary depending on product and license. There are a lot of options available.

So even though this program was a little difficult to implement in our home, I did learn more about the handwriting process, why muscle control and movement are important, and how to correct some of my daughter's bad writing habits. For more reviews on several different versions of this handwriting program, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclosure: I was given this product for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Blogger Jodi said...

I think you did an excellent job of writing an honest and well-balanced review. Great photo to go with the review too!

August 31, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

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