Peterson Directed Handwriting – It’s All About Rhythm Baby {review}

Next to how my children hold their eating utensils, how they hold their writing utensils is right up there as a very important skill. I guess you can tell it’s quite fun living with and learning from me. There is something about holding either wrong that reminds me of one using the English language incorrectly when speaking. Yep! I’m a ball of fun.

We practice handwriting everyday and not only concentrate on hand stroke and hand placement, but also the placement of the paper on which they write, and on their finger grip {evaluate your child’s position skills}. In the past, I never thought about using a curriculum for handwriting, but was recently introduced to Peterson Directed Handwriting (PDH) which reinforced some of the steps I’ve been using while teaching my children to write, but also revealed some other areas where improvement could be made.

After years of research, the conclusion from PDH is that pencil trace and copy is an ineffective way to teach a child fluent handwriting skills. Instead of handing the child a pencil and a paper full of letters to trace, another approach should be taken, which relies more on recorded muscle memory to help guide rather than depending upon “visual feedback,” which is what trace and copy promote.

When you try to recreate or trace and copy, the concentration is more on the recreation of the letter rather than actually learning the strokes that are required to make the letter. More time is also wasted because the student is working hard to make sure he completely traces over all of the lines he is copying.

In plain terms, memorization is great, but unless you know the steps (or they’re a part of you) that will get you to where you are going, then it may take you a little more time to arrive and you might be just a little bit confused once you get there. You will make it, but it could have been a smoother ride.

PDH “develops the recording” of writing the letter in the child’s memory by having him complete the following steps:

1. Illustrate and Describe.
2. Write In the Air and Say.
3. Finger Trace and Say.
4. Write and Say.

Peterson Directed Handwriting is a practical and affordable program that brings attention to a subject that often is forgotten in the education process. Most people figure that a student’s handwriting will improve somewhere along the way and along the way often leads to highschool and then to college ending with a student whose handwriting is marginal at best.

As I mentioned, handwriting has been included in our school for a while. I like the 4-step process PDH uses and whether or not you have started your children in the study of handwriting or have yet to begin, this program is one that will definitely make their lives (and yours) a little easier while learning this subject.

Peterson Directed Handwriting is available for instruction in manuscript and cursive handwriting. Pricing for handwriting material begins at $19.95 and depending upon the grade level of your student, varies in pricing. If you would like to learn more about this writing program, then immediate assistance is not only available by telephone, but also through online chat. You can get an idea about how this program is taught and used from this tutorial.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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