Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting E-Workbooks ~ Review

I have to admit when I found out I was going to be reviewing a handwriting program with Aiden I was not excited.  Aiden, who is almost 4, is still in the process of learning all of the upper and lower case letters and my prior attempts at having him trace letters and numbers have not always been successful. 


After starting Peterson Directed Handwriting with Aiden I actually got excited about teaching Aiden handwriting!  This is not like any other handwriting program I have used. 

What makes Peterson Directed Handwriting so different from all the other handwriting programs?  It focuses on training your muscle memory to make letter strokes instead of doing it visually, like tracing letters on paper.  Peterson Directed Handwriting uses a four step process to teach handwriting:

  1. Illustrate & Describe (Introducing the Movements):  Using large visuals, specific movements and action words for each stoke needed to form the letter or number.
  2. Air Writing with Action Words (Gross Motor Patterning with Rhythm):  Making big strokes in the air along with action words.   The key here is to do the movements and chant the words at the same time.
  3. Finger Tracing with Action Words (Fine Motor Patterning with Rhythm):  Using printed pages a student writes with their finger, guided by their voice.
  4. Write & Say (Execution with Rhythm): Using a pencil on unlined paper first, then lined paper as a child gains practice and control, they write.  The goal is to be able to use their voice and chant the actions as they direct the pencil.

How We Used Peterson Directed Handwriting:

The E-Workbooks I received did not include lesson plans, only practice pages.  I used the four steps above to create my own lessons plans. 

I started out by writing the letter or number one on a dry erase board.  I used different colors, as shown in the E-Workbook, for each stroke needed to make the letter/number.


Aiden would erase the strokes and we would say the action words together.  I ended up writing the letters over and over for him to erase the strokes. 


We then moved on to air writing with the action words.


and finger tracing with action words.  We spent some time working on the correct way to hold a pencil ~ although when I tried to take a picture he started holding the pencil really tight!


Finally we wrote with a pencil and said the action words.

Truthfully I did not spend much time on this step since Aiden is only three.  This is something I will continue to work on during our school year.

My Thoughts:

Although this program may not be for everyone it works for Aiden ~ my little hands on learner!  The E-Workbooks I received were for K and 1st grade ~ a little advanced for Aiden.  If the budget allows I would like to purchase the Home School Kit Complete for PreK and K. 


  • The E-Workbooks can be downloaded and used immediately.
  • They are non-consumable so you can use them with multiple children.
  • If you need more practice on certain letters just print the page again. 
  • The cost ~ each E-Workbook is $19.95.
  • Free online support.


  • You don’t receive lesson plans with the E-Workbooks.  Some subjects I like to research and come up with lesson plans ~ handwriting is not one of them!

To find out more information visit the Peterson website.  It has TONS of great information!

 This product was given to me for review purposes. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.



Julie Coney said...

great review. I liked it to. I agree, lesson plans would have been nice....

Jo Ann said...

This sounds so close to what I'm what looking for, but without lessons plans I don't think it's for me. It has my attention though. :) Samuel learned how to write a few letters by a watching a movie that used action words, so that's what I'm looking to find. Thanks for sharing!

Julie Coney said...

JoAnn, I think there are lesson plans available, I would contact Peterson directly and ask. They have lots of scope and sequence information on their website.

Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

Peterson has a great homeschool kit to teach PreK and K for $44.70. It includes EVERYTHING you would need, including lesson plans.

Related Posts with Thumbnails