School has started and much fun is under way in The Kemp house. As we now have a 1st and 2nd grader to add to our wonderful school, the “basics” have been the key focus. By basics I mean, Math, Reading, Phonics and Handwriting. I have been using the same books and method with the boys as I did with the girls. with great success. I am known though for changing it up at any given moment, to my kids delight (but sometimes horror). So, when I was asked to review Peterson Directed Handwriting I thought to myself – “self, lets give this a try”.
My adventure with Peterson Directed Handwriting started with a wonderful online instruction on how to use the produce. My instructor Randy, who you can listen to yourself on the website, made each part of the program so clear and easy to use. As I listened to this I was thinking to myself, once again (can you tell I have lots of one sided conversations), WOW this is different, AND I finally understood how to instruct my child in handwriting.
The “movement-based strategy” is what sets this program apart from all others. The lessons consist of a 4 step process. The steps are Illustrate & Describe, Air Writing, Finger-Tracing and Write and Say. What I love about these steps is that they cover all learning styles which are a very rare find in one program. The E-book pages are easy to print and use at anytime. The only draw back is that you do need a colored printer, as the lines on the pages are done in green and red for easy instruction.
The method is very different and as it says on the website “The difference is the rhythm”. It seems to be a very fluid way of writing and my boys moved quickly through the lessons. The paper positioning guide was extremely helpful. I did not like the slanted method of letter writing, but that is just my preference. Each page was very easy to use and the instructions were clear.
I got a few “extras” to add to this writing program. The boys loved the “On Your Mark” game page. This page worked so well with our Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. The Get Ready for Writing & Reading pages were a great addition to help along my reluctant writing. With fun cutout shapes and line writing practice, it kept his interest without becoming monotonous.
The Peterson Directed Handwriting program is an E-Workbook based instruction program. They do have software that allows the child to practice their handwriting on a pen tablet with your PC, which is very unique. The instruction spans grades PreK thru 4 and an additional Advanced Cursive for Grades 5-8. The Homeschool Kit complete for PreK and K is $44.70. This includes Teacher Handbook, Student Text, Position Guides, Finger Fitter Thick Triangular Pencil, Animated Letter Cards CD ROM. There is a Basic Kit and other Student Books sold separately.
All in all, I am very happy with the product and see the benefit of the very detailed instruction in handwriting. I have enjoyed my time using the product and have taken away many useful tips. It you are looking for a program that lays “everything on the table” when it comes to handwriting, this is your program. With this guided program anyone (even my husband with his horrid handwriting) can teach handwriting with complete confidence.
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*these thoughts are my thoughts alone (and it is a good thing LOL) and I have received the product free of charge for review purposes.