Monday, August 30, 2010
Review--Peterson Directed Handwriting
Recently I had the chance to review a handwriting program called Peterson Directed Handwriting. I decided to use this program mainly with the 3 year old that I watch because he is just beginning to show some interest in print, and has the least exposure to different handwriting methods, so I thought that trying this program with him would be a great opportunity.
Peterson Directed Handwriting has several unique products, including handwriting tools for those just starting out through advanced cursive workbooks. They also sell different pencil grips, pencils, and other writing tools that will aid in teaching your child to write beautifully (including a software that allows handwriting practice on a tablet connected to your PC). You can view their products here. For this review, I was able to access 3 e-workbooks. I started my student on the very first one, meant for beginning handwriting. A complete handwriting kit for Pre K or K is priced at $44.70, and comes with a variety of tools to help your little one learn to print. You can access their website to browse products or contact them via phone: (724) 837-4900.
What I liked:
--Peterson Directed Handwriting is unique in that it teaches the child names for each stroke (tall down, small down, slide right, hook, etc). The names, along with the motion of the hand as it finger traces or writes provide the child with a mental image of how to write each letter. I found that my little charge really responded to the names Peterson Directed Handwriting gave him, and was able to remember the name along with the stroke quite easily. Of course, given his age, I only introduced two basic stroke names that are used in many of the letters of the alphabet.
--Excellent customer service. The staff at Peterson Directed Handwriting are available to you all the times to answer questions and help any way they can. I had a question about my older son's grip, and they were very prompt in recommending a product to me that would work for my little guy. If customer service is important to you, then Peterson Directed Handwriting is definitely a company you would like.
--The workbooks are available in an electronic format. I love that I can reproduce the pages as often as needed and use them with multiple children. This is a great cost saving advantage.
--Their website is full of information, tutorials about their products and advice on teaching handwriting. When you browse around their site it really shows how much they care about teaching children how to write, and how much thought they have put into their product.
Overall, I think this is a great program, and one that is very well thought out and researched based. Of course, it's important to remember that learning to print is a skill that can only take place when a child is developmentally ready. No program can make a person ready; they must be ready before moving through any handwriting program successfully. This was something I had to keep in mind when trying this product with the three year old I watch. He is not highly motivated to write (yet), nor does he show many of the physical signs of readiness. He needs more time developing his fine motor skills and attention span before I would continue a program like this with him. That being said, I think Peterson Directed Handwriting is a great program for children who show all the signs of readiness and are eager to learn to write.