Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Classical Conversations: PreScripts Cursive Letters and Coloring

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Looking for a cursive curriculum? Well, the Schoolhouse Review Crew has been reviewing several cursive books in the Prescripts Series from Classical Conversations. Classical Conversations founded by Leigh Bortins, homeschool mother of four, is built upon three M's:
  1. Mission: "The purpose of education is to know God and to make Him known."
  2. Model: "Combines classical learning and a biblical worldview."
  3. Method: "In CC Communities, parents equip parents."
All of Classical Conversations' programs represent the three stages of classical learning -- grammar, dialect, and rhetoric. Mastery of facts during the early years is of greatest importance which gives students a strong foundation on which to build.

Both of my boys began cursive in second grade without any issues, so I figured my daughter would be ready to start then, too. She wasn't. She's always struggled with writing neatly, and beginning cursive last fall was causing too much frustration for her and me. So, we stopped.
I planned to launch cursive again this fall, but we ended up starting a little sooner when I saw Prescripts Cursive Letters and Coloring up for review. It looked like it would gently introduce cursive, so with my daughter's blessing, we signed up!


This 121-page, spiral-bound book uses finger tracing, pencil tracing, and copying to introduce children to the building blocks of cursive writing and drawing. Tracing and copying build confidence and cultivate fine motor skills while the coloring pages add variety.


The first few pages start out rather simply with children tracing lines, circles, angles, and curves.

After that children begin learning the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order. Children learn how to write both the uppercase and the lowercase of each letter. For each uppercase letter page, children trace a large letter with their fingers before tracing smaller versions with their pencils. There is room between each letter for children to practice writing that letter on their own.

After each uppercase letter page, children can practice their drawing skills by tracing and coloring the different stages of an illustration. Examples of illustrations include turtle, crab, fish, jellyfish (pictured below), pumpkin, ice cream cone, carrot, vase, etc.

Lowercase letter pages follow the same format as the uppercase letter pages. Following each lowercase letter page is a picture for children to color. Coloring pictures feature a photograph, a piece of artwork, or a public domain image that portrays a significant historical event or person from medieval to modern world history. "Most drawings represent a memory peg image from Classical Conversations® Multimedia Classical Acts & Facts™ History Cards." A few examples include Eastern-Orthodox cupola, Russia; King John Signs the Magna Carta (pictured below); Imperial Crown of Austria; Josef Stalin, Library of Congress; First launch of a Trident missile, etc.

Cost: $11.99
Sample pages (includes the first 19 pages)
How We Use It
My daughter practices cursive 3-4 times a week. Typically, she works on one letter per day which includes both the upper and lowercase letters, drawing practice, and coloring. Before she begins, I show her how to write the letter on our dry erase board, and then I watch her trace the letters with her finger. After that, she completes the rest on her own. Before moving on to the next set of letters, I go over her previous work with her.
I really like the simplicity of the first book in the Prescripts series. Even though my daughter was just a few weeks shy of turning 8 when she started Prescripts Cursive Letters and Coloring, it's been perfect for her. The drawing and coloring in between cursive writing adds interest and breaks up the monotony of writing.
She's almost half way through the alphabet, and while neatness is still a struggle, she's enjoying this experience much more than her first one. We are both more relaxed, so I am very thankful for this gentle introduction to cursive. I plan to have her finish this book before moving on to more advanced cursive. If I didn't already have a cursive program, I would definitely order the next book in the series, Prescripts Cursive Words and Drawing.
If your child is ready to begin cursive or is struggling with a current program, I highly recommend Prescripts Cursive Letters and Coloring for ages 3-7. For more advanced writers, consider the following books reviewed by other Crew Members:


1 comment:

kewkew said...

I will definitely keep this in mind when my daughter is a bit older, she is only 6 now and I think it may be too early.
Thanks for the great review.


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