Sunday, January 4, 2009

TOS CREW Review: Peterson Directed Handwriting

Peterson Directed Handwriting

Handwriting is just one of those subjects for me. Difficult. It comes naturally to some (like me, my mom always told me I had nice handwriting.) But to others, including 3 out of 5 of my children, it doesn't. One of those gifted children in handwriting, had a major brain infection, and now I have a very difficult time re-teaching her (but I am thankful I have the opportunity!) handwriting.

So I was very eager to try this curriculum. I wound up with We Write To Read - Grade One Home School Handwriting Kit. After talking with support for the curriculum, we concluded that I would just re-teach all of them "print letterform patterns."

So in the kit is:

We Write To Read for Grade One, Teacher Handbook - I struggle to follow teacher manuals and that is probably why my children struggle with handwriting. This manual is laid out with daily lesson plans to follow. Because my children are a little older, I did work a little faster then the daily lessons. These are nicely laid out with pictures and minimized children's work

We Write To Read for Grade One Pupil Book - this is used basically for the children to follow along with and to trace with their finger. No pencil tracing aloud here! Each page is topped with a large letter with directions on how to write the letter. Then there are some letters to copy on to paper. After introducing approximately 7 strokes, it was amazing how the numbers and letters just made sense. We wrote the letters in the air and recited the strokes as we did them. Rhythm is the key to learning to write the letter. We even made pictures on plain paper with the different strokes!!

Peterson Directed Handwriting Audio CD - OK - this was a little corny for lack of a better description. The songs are kind of "rapish" if there is such a word! We used this a few times to begin with, but not as much as I probably could of. I wasn't overly impressed by it. This includes all the levels on the CD, so this is a one time purchase.

Animated Letter Cards CD-ROM - This is a neat tool. You can see a sample of this on the website. It shows how to form the letters and their strokes. We don't do too much with computer games so anything will mesmerize my children!! This is plain and simple and to the point. I did like it and think it was helpful for grounding in the letter formation. They show both cursive and print so it is a one time purchase.

Two Finger Fitter Pencils - These were great. These are over sized pencils that are triangle shaped, just right for correct finger position. I have a child that struggles with pinching the pencil. This was great tool to help with the "pinches." I do own a mechanical pencil sharpener that is adjustable for different size pencils and this pencil worked fine in that.

Self Adhesive Position Guides that you can put at the top corner of your working area so the child knows how to position there paper for right handed or left handed.

This program was easy to implement and easy to use. The support I received from the company was great as well as the massive amounts of information available on the website, which is useful to anyone teaching handwriting. You can see samples of the handwriting there as well as samples of the CD-ROM. I did not use the cursive, but looking at it on the CD-ROM, I noticed is a "font" of its own. It does look a little different then traditional curriculums, however, we all eventually develop our own style anyway. If it is neat and legible that is what is important.

After learning the basic strokes, it became predictable to my children how to write the letters correctly. That is probably because they were a little older then the suggested age. But what is most important is that they are learning how to write their letters correctly and neatly. Which is ultimately my goal! Plus the curriculum is very inexpensive to use!

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