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.


  1. This is so funny! My husband is reading a book called "Nurtureshock" (it;s about nurturing kids creativity and raising them to be independent thinkers, hard workers) and was telling me tonight about something called Tools of the Mind and how it would be cool to incorporate that into our homeschool (this is our first year). This program sounds EXACTLY like what he was talking about...I guess God must have lead me here for a reason!! I am going to start following your blog..and look into ordering these books!


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