As a member of the TOS Homescool Crew, I received 3 e-workbooks to review from Peterson Directed Handwriting that are used for teaching printing (they also have cursive e-workbooks). My first thoughts about this program was that it was going to be wonderful. We had a great training session with Rand and you can easily tell that this man is passionate about handwriting.
If you haven’t heard about the Peterson method of teaching handwriting, then I highly recommend that you watch their online presentation that is about 20 minutes long. Basically, children are taught a chant for each letter (eg. the letter Z is “slide, slant, slide”), you then practice writing in the air, and then you use your finger to trace the letter on paper before putting pencil to paper. Before I continue with my reveiw I have to say that many handwriting problems are addressed and there is a ton of information on their website if you are willing to dig around for it (and I do mean dig as their website is not the most intuitive).
The e-workbooks that I received for this review are new to their lineup and I was very excited to get going with them since my dd is going through the phase where she wants to practice her letters (right now, that means specifically the letter H and i). Downloading was super easy and I thought that this was going to be sooooo simple. Then, I began opening up the files for printing and was thoroughly confused.
The step 1 printing e-workbook begins with the numerals and then proceeds through the alphabet, both upper and lowercase letters. Practice writing the numerals and letters is done on unlined paper. Step 2 introduces lined paper and the basic strokes of letters and numerals are covered. Numerals are learned first and then letters, but in this workbook there is a definite order to the teaching of both numerals and letters. Copying basic words is used in this workbook and this gradually progresses to copying whole sentences. Step 3 teaches the child to slant their words and includes more copywork exercises.
My dd loved the idea of having a “chant” for each letter and she also thought it was great fun to do the “air writing.” When it came to the finger tracing part of the instruction, I balked at how much printing I would have to do (64 pages in color) and chose to just print out a few pages for us to practice. We then would practice forming letters on our whiteboard and followed up on paper. I didn’t push my dd to do all of the “steps” in one sitting, though, since she is rather young. She easily remembered the chant for each letter that we covered and many times I caught her doing some air writing just for fun.
Although this seems to be a great fit for my dd, I felt that I could have used more handholding through this process. I am not sure why the basic strokes of the numerals and letters are not covered until the second e-workbook. Nor am I sure why the letters are introduced in alphabetical order in the first workbook, but by level of difficulty in the second workbook. Overall, we enjoyed this method and it makes much more sense to me than some of the other handwriting programs that I have perused.
Price: $19.95 per workbook
Pros: The method certainly makes sense and the support for this product is incredible. The font is pretty and the entire e-workbook is available online for you to preview before you buy.
Cons: The website is horrendous and there is not much handholding in the e-workbooks. Printing the numerous finger tracing pages.
Disclaimer: I was given a free download of this product as a member of the TOS Crew for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.