Monday, August 30, 2010

There is more than one way to teach handwriting.


I recently had a great opportunity to meet with Rand Nelson from Peterson Directed Handwriting.   He is so personable and completely willing to answer any questions and he offers online training. 

I received the cursive E book versions.  He gives you the basic strokes needed to learn all the letters, you then have your children learn, practice and refine these strokes (movements).  Then you move onto letters in the same format, learn, practice, refine. 

One cool thing about this company is that they can teach you handwriting on the computer. 
You need a computer and a Wacom Tablet.  They sell a software version called PDF By Hand.  Which really looks like a fun way to learn. 

An amazing thing about Peterson is that you can see ALL levels of the e-books here before you purchase any of them.  Which is really pretty convenient.  I mean how many companies let you completely see their material before purchasing? 

I received the Cursive E-books, however, they sell such a wide variety of products.  They even have complete pre-bundled kits per grade level.  Here is a sample of the 1st grade Homeschool kit.  They sell anything and everything you could want to teach handwriting, such as pencils of different sizes, pencil grips, position guides, teacher guides, workbooks, wall charts, even live personal training sessions!

At first their website was a little overwhelming to me.  It is just so full of information, but after a couple visits of varying lengths of time, I know realize what a valuable resource it is.  Whether you purchase their products or not, it is just a wealth of information.

While Emily already learned her cursive letters she had mentioned to me that she would really like to improve her handwriting.  I thought what an opportunity.  This is just the kind of product for that.  It does not just teach how to write the letters, it teaches how to train your muscles to write legibly.  Emily loved this handwriting, because she could see a big improvement after just a few times of practicing.  I have secretly always wanted to improve my handwriting as well, so I was going to give this a try for myself.  This is not a rigorous program, it only takes 10 minutes a day, consistency was key for us.  5-10 minutes a day every school day.  And we noticed a difference rather quickly.
Emily’s side by side pictures of the roll top and round top strokes.
Day 1                                 Day 5
DSC03160  DSC03161

Alyson’s side by side pictures letter “t” “i” “s” “u”
.DSC03158 DSC03159

I could tell a difference in both of our handwritings over time. 
There are four levels of cursive.  Each book talks about technique and each stroke used.  What I did was print off the stroke pages every day.  (Yes, that was alot of paper, but it worked.) And each day we would also practice a letter.  I have heard of other people laminating them, or putting them in a sheet protector and using dry erase markers to cut down on printing and paper costs.  We chose not to do that, because we wanted the feel of the paper and pencil as we worked on our handwriting.

The first book is for beginners, it introduces you to the letters and the strokes

The second book is more of a letter/stroke refinement book.

The third book is even more refinement.

The fourth book it perfecting your handwriting.

Each E-book for a single homeschooling family license is $19.95.

To see what other crew members are saying check out our crew blog!

{I received these handwriting E-books free of charge for my honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are mine.  Your experience may be different.}

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