Aug 302010

Recently I was blessed to receive a copy of Peterson Directed Handwriting’s Cursive prorgram to review for our homeschool.

Peterson Directed Handwriting is not a new company.  It has been around since 1908.  I like companies that are well established and are able to adapt to the current culture.  You have to be doing something correctly to be able to stay in business that long, right? 🙂

I received five PDF files to download, each with individual licenses so I can print for our use.  They were the Cursive First, Step 2 Cursive, Step 3 Cursive, Step 4 Cursive and the On Your Mark Game.  With these, I can go and find exactly the information I need to teach when I need it, and I can print and reprint pages (especially helpful if you need to go over the information repeatedly with your scholar).  The files I received are at about a second grade level, where most public schools will start to introduce cursive.

Peterson is different than any other program for handwriting I have ever seen.  This is the first handwriting program that is more auditory based.  As you learn the different strokes for each letter, you say what you are writing.  Such as Loop Top and Sharp Top.  The program also utilizes different colors for the strokes to help with those who are more visually oriented, but this is mainly an auditory program.

The website for Peterson Directed Handwriting is full of very helpful information.  Do you have a left-handed student?  There is a special section for them here.  You can also order the Left Handed Writer, E-Book from their online store.  I wish that when I was taught how to write, someone took the fact that I was a leftie into consideration.  I was taught to just reverse what the right handed students were doing.  I honestly believe that my handwriting would be much nicer today if I had been taught how to write according to which hand I use.  My husband is also a leftie, and I’m sure he could have also benefited as a child as he has the strangest grip on a pencil I have ever seen.  So far, Bugs is a leftie too.  This information has been quite helpful so hopefully I will be able to teach her how to write better than her dad and I were taught.

I attempted to use this program with the Bugs.  She is my oldest scholar and is doing well in her preschool studies (I believe that cursive should be taught first after having taught other children cursive in several different grades before now.  The children who learned cursive first had an easier time learning to write that way than those who printed first, and they had much nicer handwriting.  However, that was my experience with it).  Bugs had a hard time being able to say the strokes as she was writing them and she was getting extremely frustrated as her fine motor skills are not yet quite to where they need to be for this level of instruction.  After searching all over their website, I did find a preschool program.  I am in the process of “tweaking” what we have though and it should work.

This program is great as you don’t have to teach the letters in any particular order.  First you teach the basic strokes, and then you can teach the letters in any order you want.  I like this as I like to have my handwriting to correlate with our phonics lessons for extra reinforcement of those.  This program can also be adapted to move at a pace that you are comfortable with, either faster or slower.  I don’t know about you, but rarely do I use anything without adapting it for our specific needs.  Peterson is really adaptable.

The customer service I received was very good.  Mr. Nelson gave us instruction online on how to use the program and was very througough.  You will be able to find help for any problem that you may be finding in your endeavor to teach handwriting, either on the website, through a PDF, or with the live help options. I was very impressed and pleased with all the assistence that was available should I have needed it.

To purchase the files I got, you can go HERE.  The cost for each of the individual licesnes (which is all you would need for homeschooling) is 19.95 apeice.  You can also purchase other items like triangular pencils, grips and paper positioners through this site.  They have everything you might need to teach your child how to write fluently.

I received a copy of the Cursive First, Step 2 Cursive, Step 3 Cursive, Step 4 Cursive and the On Your Mark Game with individual licenses from Peterson Directed Handwriting as a part of The Old School House’s Crew. for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation was received and all views in this review are mine and mine alone..