If your child/children were born with natural, beautiful penmanship, then you have my permission to skip this post. However, if you are like me and search for a handwriting decoder ring in the cereal box then this review might be just for you. (Just kidding about the decoder ring.) I was very excited when I was on the TOS Crew list that reviewed Peterson Directed Handwriting Print E-Workbooks.
I admit that I had let handwriting fall down the to-do list. I admit I had two children who really needed handwriting to be near the top of the to-do list. The timing of this review was perfect for us! So, sit back and let me share a bit with you.
Peterson Directed Handwriting is a company that has been around since 1908. They offer handwriting kits for classroom and homeschool, distance learning, supplemental items and the e-workbooks, which I reviewed. They also offer excellent customer service; I was greatly impressed by Mr. Nelson’s desire to answer my questions and assist in making this product a success for my students.
I was able to review the following e-workbooks:
Print Step 1 (Kindergarten)- $19.95 – Individual License
Print Step 2 (Grade One)- $19.95 – Individual License
Print Step 3 (Printing Fluently)- #19.95 – Individual License
(Individual license means for one teacher)
I used these products for 3 of my children; 4yr old who had never had official handwriting instruction, a 7 year old who formed letters incorrectly and an 8 year old who needed work on legibility. Here’s a little secret; I had all three of mine start with Print Step 1. With the issues the oldest two had, I felt they could benefit from starting at the beginning and I am so glad I did! Since I print the practice pages from my computer, they had no clue it was “kindergarten” work. I think, depending on the needs of your child, it could be use regardless of age. And they all looked forward to handwriting each day.
There are four steps to Peterson Directed Handwriting; this method focuses on training your muscle memory to make the strokes instead of visually guiding the strokes:
- Illustrate and describe: the letter strokes are shown in different colors and there are word phrases to indentify the stroke. Such as small down, roll around and slide; that is for the number 5.
- Air Writing: Use the arm to make big strokes and write the letters/numbers in the air while talking out the strokes.
- Finger tracking with chant: With the printed page, the child writes with their finger, while letting the chanting of strokes guide them instead of relying on visual.
- Write and Say: The page is broken into two parts; unlined and lined. The child practices first on the unlined then moves onto the lined where he/she can practice control.
The program is very easy to use. I just printed out the page I needed for the day, we would go through the four steps and that was it. I was concerned that my children would find the chanting a bit tiresome but it was a huge help to them. They would get into a rhythm quickly and I could tell a big difference in the handwriting very quickly. I found that my 7 year old was catching herself on incorrect letter formation during other work and making the necessary corrections. Fabulous!
I have to say that Peterson was such a blessing for my 7 year old. She often starts her letters at the bottom instead of the top and I always thought something was a bit off but could never figure out what. Her grip was all wrong! The way she was holding her pencil caused her to curve her hand to form her letters so it was easier to form them incorrectly.
There is no teacher’s manual included with the e-workbooks but that is not an issue at all. Peterson’s website has a plethora of information on their method and it is a simple, yet effective, method. For a mom of 7, being able to print as needed from the e-workbooks is a blessing to my homeschool budget. It is also nice when a child may need extra practice and I can just print out more for them.
Peterson’s offers supplemental products such as pencil grippers, triangular pencils, alphabet cards and more. There is also a wealth of information on the website that is so helpful even if you are not using the Peterson Directed Program.
Now I must share the not so good stuff.
Peterson-handwriting.com can be a bit difficult to navigate. There is a wealth of information there, but sadly it can be confusing to find it. Honestly, if I had not been given this to review, I probably would not have used it as the website would have been a huge turn off.
The pages print in color. I do not have a color printer so the coloring of the strokes was not useful for us.
Personally, I dislike the three-lined handwriting pages. My children seem to do better with two lines.
Overall, I think Peterson Directed Handwriting is a great program worth taking a look at. If you have any questions, you can go here (click on meet live) to talk online with Rand. Or check out this 20 minute overview. You can even take a look at the e-workbook pages.
Make sure you check out what the rest of the crew has to say about Peterson Directed Handwriting.
***Disclaimer: As a member of TOS Crew, I received a complimentary copy of this product for review. No other compensation was made.