Friday, July 5, 2013

Classical Conversations, PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing ~ Schoolhouse Review Crew

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What your student writes is as important as how he writes. ~ Classical Conversations

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 Cursive handwriting is a skill I want all of my children to learn and learn well. Not only is it a beautiful way to communicate, but as Classical Conversations also points out, there are many other benefits to learning cursive. One being that it helps with "manual skill and dexterity."

 (Definitely go to the preview of the first 17 pages of PreScripts: Cursive Words and Drawing, the level we are reviewing and read through the Note for Parents section. Also read through the information on PreScripts and watch the video found on this page! There is also a helpful faq's page, too.)

Classical Conversations has developed a cursive writing program called PreScripts that will aid parents (or older children may use this independently) in teaching this skill in an easy way that uses meaningful copy work. There are four levels to instruction, each a separate PreScripts book that stands on its own. Therefore, it's not necessary to work through each in order. Just begin where you feel your child would benefit most. Repeating a level is just fine, too. The first level, Letters, can be used with children as young as age 3.

Which Level Did We Choose and Why?

My nine year old looked through the levels with me and we chose the second level to review, Prescripts, Cursive Words and Drawing, which is recommended for ages 5-10. There are two reasons why we chose this level. First, she needs extra practice forming cursive letters, words, and sentences. The second reason is that this level utilizes Bible verses and the first chapter of James for its copy work. Practicing cursive through Bible verses is valuable to my little one (and me!).

I also like the way the letter formation is taught using numbers as a guide, along with tracing and copy work practice. The drawing activities are also a fun change of pace that helps with motor skill development. This curriculum utilizes the Zaner-Bloser method of forming letters. This is the cursive type I was taught as a child, and I like how the Zane-Bolser letters look, too. This is the method my nine year old has already been introduced to and simply needs work refining. PreScripts is spiral bound at the top (144 pages) which is another plus. This makes it super easy to slant the page that's being worked on in whatever way the child needs.

the photo below is from this same page
What are Lessons Like in PreScripts: Words and Drawing?
After a three page review of how to form the upper and lowercase letters from A-Z, Part I begins. In Part I, the format follows the example below. Each letter of the alphabet is introduced again with plenty of tracing and practice on the top half of the spiral bound page, with a word that begins with the focus letter, and then a Bible verse  to trace and then try on your own. My daughter was able to do most lessons independently. She usually worked on one cursive page and one drawing page per day in Part I. Once finished, we typically looked over her work together and discussed any difficulties she may have had with letter formation, etc. and also discussed or simply read together the Bible verse from the lesson.
The bottom half of the two page spread includes a drawing activity. My daughter loves having handwriting instruction broken up with drawing activities. (She doesn't realize each drawing helps to improve writing skills, and the copy work helps with reading and grammar rules, too!)
In Part II, after the letters A-Z are practiced as in the above examples, number words are introduced in the same fashion: tracing, practicing, Bible verse and now a drawing activity per two number word pages.

Part III  is titled Tricky Letter Combinations in the First Chapter of James. I adore the book of James. I am actually in the process of copying the whole book in my own, separate Bible study - not for handwriting practice, but for hiding it in my heart ~ another benefit of copy work! I am excited about discussing the truths in James with my little one as she works through tracing and writing the first chapter on her own!

In Part III, a letter combination is introduced using each verse, in order, from the first chapter of James. Each tricky, focus combination can be found in the copy work verse below it. After three pages of a similar format, a drawing exercise is introduced.

Examples of my nine year old working on Part I, Letter S of PreScripts: Cursive Words and Drawing

the drawing activity that accompanies letter Ss in Part I
Final Thoughts:
My daughter and I adore PreScripts. This has been a fun review. In fact, she chose to take her PreScripts workbook on vacation and joyfully practiced in it each day!

PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing (Age 5-10) is currently $12.99, spiral bound and 144 pages. Don't forget to check out the sample pages listed at the top of this review and read through all the great information on CC's website!



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