Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting - Cursive Handwriting Review

I was given the opportunity to review several new E-books by Peterson Directed Handwriting.  They developed these E-books to help teachers take advantage of technology in their classrooms. They are perfect for the homeschool community as well.   I enjoy the ease of storing E-books as well as the ability to print out exactly what I need, as many times as I need it.  I was chosen as a member of the Cursive Handwriting Review team, and received Levels 1-4 to review.  Other Crew members reviewed the use of this PDF software with a Wacom Pen tablet, and other members received Print Handwriting Material.  Please click here, if either of those materials are of interest to you.

The PDF by Hand E-Workbooks are available from the Peterson Directed Handwriting website.  You will need  purchase the license to print out their materials, and that only costs a meager $19.95 per level. This cost is a ONE time fee, not a yearly subscription.  You could use this product with successive students for that one time price per level.   Included with each level are Instructions, Blank Lined practice paper, Fluency Tests, Basic Movement strokes, Reading Puzzles, Letter Practice and much more.  I have been using this program at Level 1 and 2 with my Third grader, and having the ability to print exactly what I need, is so much easier than having to write in a bulky workbook.

Before we were given this product to test in our own home schools, we were all able to meet with Rand Nelson, the Director of Training, for Peterson Directed Handwriting.  We met with him over the web, and received a tutorial on how the Peterson Directed Method is different than the tracing methods that are widely used today.  Mr. Nelson explained to us their movement instruction and how it develops a recording of muscle movement in your child's brain.  Most tracing programs, teach your child to draw a letter, not understand or develop a pattern to create it.  Muscle memory, not the eyes, should be responsible for guiding fluent movement of a pen or pencil across a paper.

Now, if you were to say....  "sure you like the program, you had a personal training session!  They aren't going to do that for little ole' me..."  I would answer, "quit being Eeyore, and go look at their site! They will too do it for you!"   Teaching and training people is at the heart of this company.  They not only want you to purchase a great handwriting system from them.  They desire to educate you, and be there to answer your questions.  They offer "meet live now" sessions right on their homepage, open to visitors to ask a question.  They periodically hold online training, you can sign up to be notified of the next class.  They have personalized training available for purchase  ($35.00 ) as well as a Online tutor service that could lead you to a Formal Endorsement Certificate ($75.00) if you wish more in-depth understanding.  There is also a free 20 minute presentation on the Peterson Method, click here to view it. 

I have had the opportunity to use this for a few weeks with my son.  He looks forward to his lessons in Cursive Handwriting...  (and this was NOT the case with the workbooks we used before... )  He says it is easier to talk the lines onto his paper, and he enjoys the rhythmic movement, and exaggerated muscle memory exercises.  I recommend this product to homeschoolers of all ages.  You can begin to teach cursive in Kindergarten with Level One, and with older students you can improve proficiency and proportion with Levels 2-4.  Go to their website, look around, and consider using the Peterson Directed Method as your handwriting curriculum this year.

Remember, don't just take my word for it.... read what other homeschoolers have to say about this product on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

**** Disclaimer****
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product in exchange for my unbiased, honest opinion, humble as it may be.  No other compensation was given, which is fine, because I enjoy living in a one income family.

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