Saturday, July 06, 2013

Classical Conversations: PreScripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons {A Review}

Classical Conversations sent us PreScripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons ($12.99) for ages 7-12 to review. They have four books in their PreScripts series PreScripts Cursive Letters and Coloring (sample), PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing (sample), PreScripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons (sample), and Prescripts Cursive Passages and Illuminations (sample). 

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PreScripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons combine medieval to modern history, art work related to the history sentences, art techniques (composition, depth, point of view, light and shadow), and cursive handwriting practice (Zaner-Bloser). The book comes in a soft cover, spiral form which is absolutely perfect for handwriting.   

The first two pages are of the alphabet and the remaining lessons move into whole sentences. For each section, the student is to trace over the words and then write them on the lines provided below. 

 It is recommended that your child completes two handwriting sections a week with accompanying lessons. We stuck to this recommendation.

Additional materials required: The only thing you truly need for the lessons is a regular pencil. For the drawing sections, you could have your child use drawing pencils, colored pencils, and art erasers. We stuck with a regular pencil and eraser for all of it.

How we used it

Ceesa worked through one page a day. Sometimes reading, sometimes doing an art composition, and other times working on her cursive handwriting.

In my experience in researching Classical Conversations, a core belief is using rote memorization to remember important facts in history. While we could have focused on memorizing the sentences, we stuck to working on the handwriting component. 

Although I would note, we do lots of memorization for recitations and of Bible memory versus. I can't hold numbers in my head (I'm generally off on my own age by a year or two), so I don't expect my kiddos to remember them either.

What I think

Handwriting was always a chore for me and I remember telling my mother that her handwriting wasn't correct when it didn't match what I was learning. Sometimes I find myself laughing when I realize that my handwriting has begun to resemble my mother's writing. Without meaning to be my hurried, taking notes, jotting down something that I want to remember handwriting, looks so much like hers that I'm convinced that handwriting may just have something to do with your genetic make-up.

So while I want my children to learn the proper technique, I'm not a slave to perfect penmanship. However, I do subscribe to copywork being one of the best ways to teach spelling, so we always try to incorporate some throughout our school week.

PreScripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons is different than other things we've used because it combines handwriting with history and art. Those are Ceesa's two favorite subjects, so it is a natural fit for her. She had no trouble completing the passages or art assignments. I suspect for those that dread handwriting and love art that this style would be an excellent compromise.

Hitting several subjects with one assignment is also a bonus and really gives her something to sink her teeth into.

What Ceesa has to say
She said, "I really liked getting to draw the pictures. I like art projects. I learned about mapping. Mapping is where you draw blobs of shape and make pictures from those blobs."

Each writing passage stays the same for two pages. Ceesa would prefer different writing passages for each practice page. I would actually love more passages as well. For her, she could easily have read a passage and handwriting page one day. Then completed an art project and a handwriting passage the next. 

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Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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