Peterson Directed Handwriting is a unique handwriting program. Backed by loads of research, it uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching handwriting. We received the cursive program, in an e-workbook format, to try with Ben, who is a 4th-grader. I should disclose that Ben has already been using another cursive handwriting program for the past year.
This curriculum begins by using only air-writing movements, accompanied by chants that identify the strokes that form each letter. Once the strokes are mastered, they then move on to forming letters, continuing with the air writing and chants, followed by finger tracing the letters and eventually putting pencil to paper. Ben thought it was a little silly, but I think had we started with this program in K or first grade, he would have liked it. The other parts of the program that are very crucial involve pencil grip and paper position. This wasn’t too difficult for Ben. His pencil grip was appropriate, and being a lefty, he was already writing with his paper at a slant.
I found the program to be a bit labor intensive for the parent, especially for 4th grade. I don’t think I would have minded starting out with Peterson in the beginning, but I’m afraid both Ben and I are already pretty set in our handwriting ways for it to benefit him too much at this point. One thing I did really like is that the e-workbooks come with handwriting pages so you can print as many as you need. It’s a nice touch if you have a student who requires more practice than most workbooks provide. And since it’s not consumable, you can use it over again with other children. You can view samples of all the e-workbooks here.
You will find all of the products on their website. The basic e-workbook sells for $19.95. They also sell kits that include printed books, pencils, and animated ABC cards. The website has a narrated method slide presentation that will take about 20 minutes to view. After watching it, if you decide to give this program a try, I would suggest calling and speaking to Mr. Rand Nelson to find out which level would be best for your child or to ask any questions you might have. The program begins with printing at about grade K and continues with advanced cursive on up to about 8th grade.
You can read other reviews of this product on the TOS Crew blog.