Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting – Level K

I have had the opportunity to review a handwriting program by Peterson Directed Handwriting.  

th_PetersonDirectedHandwriting I primarily worked through the Kindergarten program called “Get Ready for Writing and Reading”.  The program is designed to affect your students’ ability to use symbolic language in all forms – and fluency is the consistent goal.  The strategy includes fluent movement as an objective from the beginning.  This program is based upon a strategy called a directed lesson.

The Peterson Method of handwriting is not workbook designed with trace and copy activities. It is much more than that!


The Peterson Directed strategy:

  1. Includes movement as an objective
  2. Frequent, brief training sessions – which are very nice for the student 
  3. Addresses more than the need to produce a legible replica of a model letter
  4. Teaches the child to focus, sit properly, and to hold the pencil so that movement can progress – I definitely learned something new here
  5. Teaches sequencing skills
  6. Leads the brain to process written language differently – thus improvement in learning activities

The parent will “direct” lesson activities using several easy techniques:

  1. Develop lessons - allow the child to internalize the movement sequence of the letter
  2. Practice lessons - allow the child opportunity to improve his/her letter formation
  3. Apply lessons - provide the child opportunity to use rhythmic movement as a tool for writing

You use a simple vocabulary to show the child how to move.  Chanting words in unison creates a rhythm. The challenge to move with the rhythm makes lessons fun, time efficient and far more effective than drawing 20 copies of an image.

Action words, color rhythm, and count!  Each has its place in a developmental sequence designed to automate the handwriting process and improve fluency as language skills grow to allow it.  The goal is fluent legibility and allow transcription to be automatic.

Below are a few examples of the exercise lessons for Kindergarten:


Our Classroom Experience: Peterson Directed Handwriting was much different than the workbooks we have been using.  I like the process of teaching the child letter formation through illustration, air writing with action words, finger trace with action words, then write & say.  This process was challenging at first for my daughter.  She did not like to walk through the steps because she “knew” how to write the letters and numbers.  But working slowing through some, I found that she was writing many of the numbers in the wrong sequence.  So she began working through one letter and number each day.   I really like the action words in all the steps. 

Things I liked:

  • The action words used to teach my child sequence
  • Four simple steps – illustrate, air writing, finger trace, ‘write and say’
  • Short lessons – which is excellent for my daughter
  • Inexpensive and thorough program
  • A Toll free number to call PDH and speak with a teaching specialist when any questions arise
  • Peterson’s website has resources like research information and practical ideas for teaching handwriting

My thoughts: 

  • PDH can be difficult program to understand and implement initially without the help of their Handwriting Specialist – who by the way has excellent customer service!
  • If I had to change one thing in the time I had to review this product, I would have purchased the position guide, teachers manual, pencils and a pencil grip.
  • The program is not flashy and it takes time to get used too – for both you and the kids – but it’s worth it because we have to write our whole life!


The homeschool kit for PreK and K includes: Teacher handbook, student text, position guide, pencil, and letter cards CD – priced at $44.70. 

The basic kit costs $20.80 which includes the teacher handbook with reproducible  pages for exercises , position guide, and a pencil. 

Some of their products are available in print and others are in E-Book format. Their products are for grades Pre-K to grade 4.

For more information check out the Peterson Directed Handwriting website  You may browse their products here.  Click here for pricing and to order.

See what The Old Schoolhouse HOMESCHOOL CREW is saying about Peterson Directed Handwriting.. just click here.



Disclaimer:  This product was given to me for review purposes free of charge, not to be returned to the vendor. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Curriculum Clean Out: Winners Announced


105 give-away entries!!

And the winners are….


Alpha Omega Horizons Health – Kindergarten

Michelle from Munchkin Farm


Spelling Workout B – Grade 2

Allison Blauser


Congratulations Winners!

For more great give-aways, check out Spell Outloud for the Expedition Earth: Journey Through God’s World give-away! This was designed and created by Erica from Confessions Of A Homeschooler.




Friday, August 27, 2010

MFW Adventures Wrap-Up for Week 3

IMG_0251 Mom, that’s it? Week 3 of My Father’s World Adventures is over! Well, all I can say is I’m not happy to end the fun!


Tune in next week for more!

Our week 3:

IMG_0196 Bible: Jesus Saves!  was the focus for our scripture reading this week.  We read in John 3:16 that …"If we believe in Jesus, we can live forever in Heaven..”  1Timothy 2:4 tells us that “God wants everyone to be saved and go to Heaven..” We also discussed verses about how Jesus will give us wisdom on how to “Live Like Him”. The girls narrated ways they could show others the love of Christ and I dictated them in our Bible notebook.

This was our fun art project of the week: Window art with the name of JESUS!

Items needed:  Wax paper, crayon shavings (not brown), 3” construction paper letters (JESUS), iron and newspaper.  Layer:  newspaper on bottom, top with 9” sheet of wax paper, then top with JESUS letters & crayon shavings (try not to get them on the letters), top with another 9” wax paper, then another sheet of newspaper.  Melt the crayons with a warm iron.  Add a colorful paper border around the wax paper window art (we plan to do the border this weekend)!

 History: Week 3 lessons were about Captain John Smith, Jamestown and IMG_0162Pocahontas.  We read about John Smith’s role in the establishment of Jamestown.  Jamestown received it’s name after their King James of England.  I think one of our favorite readers from MFW is the American Pioneers and Patriots stories.  We love how the stories are told through the eyes of children living in the time period.  I believe it helps my girls understand the tough time families encountered during that time period.   The girls were shocked that people had to bathe and wash their clothes in the rivers!  We also talked about sickness, lack of food, their lack of ‘comforts’ and dependence on Christ through their hardships.

We also started Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims as our read-aloud.

Book Basket:


Where American Began – Jamestown DVD.  This was good and age appropriate.  We only watched the Jamestown part.

Biography DVD– Pocahontas: Ambassador of the New World.  We viewed about 20 minutes focusing on her role in befriending the settlers.


Science: What can I say about Science with Air?  Just plain fun for the girls.  We learned (I did too) that air pushes!  Yes it does.  We are so used to it pushing against us that we do not even notice it.  Our favorite experiments were the Upside-down trick and the Collapsing carton.

Upside-down trick:IMG_0231

Items needed:

  1. Mug with a handle
  2. Flat piece of cardboard
  3. Water / sink

Fill mug very full of water, top with cardboard (snug), flip the mug as you hold the cardboard in place, make sure there are no gaps between the cardboard and cup, let go of the cardboard and see what happens! 

Have your kids predict the experiment results before you do it… then watch their faces!  Can you guess what air does in this experiment?

These are our Collapsing carton pictures.  As you can see another hit!


Join us next week for another Adventures Weekly Wrap-Up!

If you want to see what others are doing during their week or join Kris from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers in her Weekly Wrap-up – then head on over here. 

weekly wrap-up

How was your week?  Comment with your blog address.  I’ll drop by to visit!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Curriculum Clean Out: Spelling Workout B

Welcome to the Fall Curriculum Clean Out!

CurriculumCleanOutButton I love buying curriculum so much that I have a few extra to give away this week. 


Today’s item is from MCP – Spelling Workout B (2nd Edition). image 

It is the Spelling program for Grade 2. A $12.00 value! 

Give-away item includes just the student workbook.

 Click here to learn more about the program.

Details of workbook: Interesting and varied exercises provide more fun activities than plain rote learning! Based on a phonetic model, cross-curricular reading passages, high-interest writing activities, flexible lessons, motivating activities, fun riddles & puzzles will help students move from simple sound-letter relationships to more complex spelling patterns. The 36 lessons each focus on a spelling rule or pattern. Level B, Grade 2.

To enter to win:

  1. Post a comment below telling me you want to win - for one entry
  2. For another entry – post a comment that you subscribe or follow my blog

My give-aways will end on August 28th.  Winner will be picked and announced on August 29th and posted by 3pm . Please be sure I can contact you via email.  Winner will have 3 days to accept their prize (or I will have to pick another winner).  I will mail the book out via media mail upon the receipt of the winner’s address. US shipping only.

I am joining Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations. Click this link for more great give-aways! 


Monday, August 23, 2010

MFW Adventures: Wrap-Up for Week 2

This week in MFW Adventures we focused on the names of Jesus, Christopher Columbus and Science with Air.

IMG_0291 Bible:  We discussed the meaning of Jesus.  It is a Greek word that means the Lord saves. 

Using the Discoverer’s Bible, we discussed the fall of man in Genesis and God’s plan of redemption through Christ in Isaiah.

My favorite Bible time was when we discussed the names of Christ from Isaiah:  Wonderful Adviser, Mighty God, Father Who Lives Forever and the Prince of Peace!  My girls loved hearing who their Heavenly Father is and will always be!  It helped me reflect as well on how much the God of the Bible loves us!

History: Our focus this week was on the voyage of Christopher Columbus from Spain in 1492.   The girls love making his ships: the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria with foil, napkins, straws and play dough.  They sailed them across the Atlantic from Spain to America (Columbus thought he was in Asia).  Check out the Draw-Write-Now book 2 for art this week.  It includes drawings and copy work for Columbus.

Book Basket: Favorite book this week – ‘Animals Christopher Columbus Saw’. Here are a few more:

IMG_0048 IMG_0049 

Science: The focus this week for Science was to show how AIR is ALL AROUND US and what AIR CAN DO!

It’s simple: Just gather a few balloons, water, an empty bottle (really it’s full of air), paper plates, paper, a straw, and a few students ready to have fun!image We worked through a few pages in this book:

Usborne Science Activities: Science with Air

Nature Walk: Friday lessons with MFW Adventures encourages a Nature Walk for the children to explore the outdoors.

Well, my girls need NO encouragement to explore.  In fact,  I’m not sure the insects in our yard will be back next year… or lay their eggs within a block radius.  They are constantly be hunted and caught by a few pair of hands around here.

I printed a few Nature Study pages from Notebooking Pages.  The girls each collected one flower and insect from the yard.  They had to discuss in their own words the flower, petals, leaves, stem and insect – plus draw and color a picture or each.  They spent more time collecting insects than they did any other lesson from the day.  The joy of homeschooling – right?

How did your week go? 


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome to the Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop – Week 4: Day in the Life


NNTS blog hop What does our day look like? … I mean supposed to look like according to my handy-dandy “time-schedule” on paper?

We are entering our third week of school, so I can share with you what has been going on for the last few weeks.

Many of our lessons we do as a family because we are using MFW Adventures this year. Love it!

6:30am – I am supposed to rise with a smile, get some coffee and into God’s Word (gotta’ work on this a little better this week).

7:00am – Girls get up, eat breakfast and do morning chores.  IMG_9794

Here’s what we use for our chore system

8:00am – Daddy leaves - so we head down to the schoolroom

8:15am – Morning board, Bible reading and memory verses.  The girls LOVE morning board.  It is so fun for them and they do not even know how much they are learning: calendar, Bible verses, books of the Bible, coins, colors, number words, tally marks, the weather, copy work, and much more!  Check out our schoolroom and morning board here.

8:45am – The girls work on Explode the Code, All About Spelling, IMG_0252 MUS, CLE Language arts, CLE Learning to Read, and LLATL. I usually give my 5 year old another break in this time frame while I work with my 7 year old.  I use workboxes and grid cards to keep the girls and I flowing through our lessons.  Check them out here.


10:00am – 30 minute break with snack.  I get a mental break now. The girls jump around on the trampoline, get the mail, swing, and have a snack.  I get to set up for our science experiment.

10:30am – We begin MFW Adventures history and Geography.  We are studying Early American History and the 50 states this year. Check out our first week here.

11:00am – Book basket time.  The girls sit on the floor and IMG_0260 flip through or read the library books for history and science lessons this week.  I read-aloud to them as well.

11:10-11:40am – Science FUN!  And I mean LOTS OF FUN!  They always want to do more.  Nature walks, insect hunts, balloons, water, flowers and more!

11:40 ‘til noon – Art if they have the desire to sit still a little longer - I Can Do All Things and Little Annie's Art Book

Lunch at noon.  I try to pack our lunch ahead of time so we can just grab it from the frig.  There is not set-up or clean-up time.  It’s great if I plan ahead!  I pack our lunches in the Easy Lunch Boxes!

Play time! Play time and more time to play… much of the day… with some chores!

1:00 – Complete lessons from the morning if necessary (usually just my older child)

3:30 – Practice piano

4:00 – Read to mom as I cook dinner (most days that is)

Check out what others are doing with their DAY IN THE LIFE… Blog Hop here!




Curriculum Clean Out:Horizons Health K

image Welcome to the Fall Curriculum Clean Out!

I love buying curriculum so much that I have a few extra to give away this week.  So check back on Wednesday for another free item.


Today’s item is from Alpha Omega Horizons.  It is the Health program for Kindergarten.  It includes both the teachers manual and student workbook.

Horizons Horizons Health K Overview:

Knowing About Me and My Body (feelings) - Living in a Family - Getting Along with others – Knowing My Body (senses) – Taking Care of my body – Being Safe and more!

Click here to learn more about the program

To enter to win:

  1. Post a comment below telling me you want to win - for one entry
  2. For another entry – post a comment that you subscribe or follow my blog

My give-aways will end on August 28th.  Winner will be picked and announced on August 29th and posted by 3pm . Please be sure I can contact you via email.  Winner will have 3 days to accept their prize (or I will have to pick another winner).  I will mail the book out via media mail upon the receipt of the winner’s address. US shipping only.

I am joining Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations. Click this link for more great give-aways! 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Schoolhouse EXPO

It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

Save $5 per ticket! Pay only $19.99

Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.
Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr. 
Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Registration is NOW!

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.

If you cannot make the Live event,  then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!


You can visit either of these links to get more information.


I am receiving free Expo-To-Go tickets in exchange for promoting this wonderful event available to homeschoolers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MFW Adventures: Week 1

I am happy to report that we made it through Week 1 of MFW Adventures with smiles on our face. 

Here is what we did:

Bible – Arianna received her first Bible called the  Discoverer’s Bible NIMG_0291IV version.  She was very excited because she could call it her own and it was from her parents.  I was very excited too because she realized the importance of reading God’s Word.  It is written at a third grade reading level. It’s not a story Bible like the others we have around the house.  It is God’s Word that she can read each morning.  She has been enjoying Psalms 118 and Matthew 1.

MFW Adventures Bible time this year will take us through the names of Christ.  We looked up the meaning of the girls names and Jesus too.  I wrote each of the girls a personal letter on how their dad and I came up with their names.  They enjoyed learning which parent came up with their first and middle names.  I had fun reminiscing.

History – We discussed the meaning of each word in the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t even know the meanings until now!  That was fun!

Here’s a great link for a Pledge of Allegiance printable.

Our history lessons walked us through an overview of the 50 states and 7 continents.  We discussed a “rose compass” and general map reading.  The girls drove a car on the map, with their finger, and quizzed each other on which direction they were driving. 

We read about Leif Ericsson and the Vikings.  Leif was added to our History Notebook and Timeline.

If you have a better idea of how I can build a time line, please send me a link to your blog.  I just used hooks, paper clips, poster putty, and string.  It’s so not creative!

These are my “book basket” favorites this week:

IMG_0334 IMG_0335

Science: We are doing Apologia’s Zoology 1: Flying Creatures this week.   Our experiment was to create a cricket environment and determine which it liked best.  I will have that information for you soon!

How did your week go?  Comment on my blog with your url and I’ll check it out!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: Student Photo Week

We officially started school this week with big smiles on our face. 

The girls started Kindergarten and 2nd Grade this week.  Yes, they have smiles on their faces in these photos, but have no fear, the smiles did not last all week.  They soon ask … “Is it break time yet?” … or “Why does she get a break now and I have to work?”.  I know, I know,  I am the only parent who is asked questions like this…

Big sister worked on her language arts…while little sister had a puppet show

IMG_0303 IMG_0275

Soon we got down to business … more details on our first week of MFW Adventures to come.  I plan to do weekly wrap-ups of our lessons!

Are dogs allowed in your classroom?  Somehow one of our three daschunds make it down the stairs to hang out with us during class time!


Click here to check out others have to share during their Student Photo Week from the Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop!

NNTS blog hop


Related Posts with Thumbnails