Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Classical Conversations - Prescripts Cursive Passages and Illuminations: American Documents (TOS Review)

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In our homeschool my kids are required to learn cursive and one way which we use to reinforce cursive handwriting is with copy work. Recently, I was able to review a new product from Classical Conversations which combines both of these along with great content--the PreScripts Cursive Passages and Illuminations: American Documents.
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The idea behind the PreScripts Cursive and Illuminations, which is for ages 9-high school, is to help a student refine their skill at cursive writing by practicing cursive writing with longer, more meaningful passages. As the student writes the longer passages it helps them gain the muscle strength to take their child's writing from functional to an art form.

The PreScripts Cursive and Illuminations book can be used as a consumable or non-consumable book. If a student is still struggling with forming their letters they can use the book and trace over the writing in the book and practice the illumination in the book. If a child knows cursive then you can challenge them by doing the passage in a separate notebook page or blank paper.
A unique addition to the book is the illuminations that are included. So what are illuminations?
Illumination is an art form that dates back to the classical and medieval periods, when manuscripts were written by hand and each one was treated as a valuable work of art.
The illuminations range from simple to very ornate. The focus is on initial letters, but it is suggested that the student be encouraged to experiment and give it a personal touch.

Lesson featuring a selection from William Bradford's
 Of Plymouth Plantation.

The Prescripts Cursive and Manuscript takes their copy work from American documents and speeches. There is a wide range of topics which include such things as--Christopher Columbus' "Apologia", Patrick Henry's "Liberty or Death", The Declaration of Independence, George Washington's "Farewell Address", Ronald Reagan's "Inaugural Address", plus many, many more covering a wide range of people and events.

I had Destini work through this book. Since she has a good grasp of cursive she did her cursive lesson in a spiral notebook. Though she didn't care too much for the illuminations, she did like the copy work choices that were included. Since the illuminations seemed overwhelming to her, I allowed her to take a sheet of tracing paper and trace the illumination. When she was finished she cut them out and glued them into her cursive spiral and then she would do the copy work lesson.

Destini's notebook page from the William Bradford selection.
I found the PreScripts Cursive and Illumination a wonderful product for reinforcing her cursive skills. Each lesson is only a page long at most. Short enough to not seem overwhelming, yet long enough to give them plenty of practice in her handwriting skills. When we start up school in the fall I will have her continue in this since I noticed some areas in her cursive writing that can be improved upon.

The best part of the PreScripts Cursive and Illuminations book is the cost. For only $12.99 you can have cursive handwriting practice and copy work covered for the whole school year. Now that is a great deal!

Are you unsure of your child continuing in cursive? I highly recommend heading over to Classical Conversations and looking at the sample of PreScripts Cursive and Illuminations and reading through the first couple of pages about "How to Use This Book". There is some great information included in there on the importance of cursive handwriting and it will also help give you a better idea of the thought behind this excellent resource.

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