Having two young boys, I have tried out lots of different penmanship workbooks and methods. But it seems like no matter what curriculums I had tried, these boys of mine were content to continue on with their messy (often times illegible) penmanship.
One solution I found for my older son, was to start teaching him simplified cursive. It helped him to pay more attention to his strokes and enabled him to write for longer periods of time (and for me to still be able to read what he had written). My younger son, who is the only lefty in the family, is a completely different story. He forms all his letters incorrectly, writes so tiny you can barely read the words, and spacing? Forget about it!
But that was before we received several PDF Ebooks from Peterson Directed Handwriting to review. PDH uses a directed instruction approach that is largely based on movement. I wish I had known about this program when my boys were first starting to learn to write. What young child doesn’t enjoy movement? Anyhow, the program uses a cycle of development, practice, and application in order to engrain proper letter formation as a habit. The end result is legible handwriting with minimal effort from your child.
The first part of every lesson is to demonstrate the movements using word cues.The student then practices the movements using air writing, using the chants to develop a pattern of movement. The child is then ready to use the finger-tracing method to practice on paper. After the child is comfortable with these steps, it’s time for them to put what they’ve learned into practice by writing the letters as they say the movements.
I have noticed a HUGE difference when my son uses the word cues as he is practicing his writing. It helps him to focus on making the proper movements at the right times and to place his letters correctly on the guidelines.
I think it is pretty obvious to you at this point that we really enjoyed using this program, and it has made a huge difference in our homeschool. I just wish we had known about it sooner! Here’s the part where I share with you all the details of the program, and where you can get it for your kids:
- Products Received for Review: PDH Print Steps 1, 2, & 3 (in PDF format)
- Cost of product: Each individual “Step” is sold for $19.95
- Format: Full color – Non-consumable PDF files
- Skills covered: The program goes through 3 stages including print, slanted print, and cursive
- Age range: K thru Adult
- PDF by Hand E-workbooks (these utilize a graphic tablet and the computer)
- Print workbooks
- Position guides, pencils grips, triangular pencils
- and much more!