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An Elementary Writing Curriculum

Review of Prescripts Writing Book From Classical Conversations

I've never been much for stressing about handwriting in our homeschool. I've used copywork pages in the Charlotte Mason style to help the kids practice legible writing. I've never focused on teaching cursive, to be honest. My older kids have picked it up.

We're using My Father's World curricula for this year, and it is recommended that 3rd-5th grade students learn cursive if they don't already know it.

I had the opportunity to review a handwriting book from Classical Conversations. It is called Prescripts Cursive Letters and Coloring: Medieval to Modern World History. This was a perfect choice for us because we are studying Middle Ages this year in our history cycle.


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Of course I had heard of Classical Conversations, but I didn't know that they specifically had curricula to sell. This book sells for $11.99 and is recommended for ages 3-7.

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Upon my first look at the book, I was taken by how beautiful the book is. The very cover just makes me want to use the book. That isn't unusual for me. I love books. But my younger girls felt the same way! They were both super excited after they saw the book.

This Prescripts book- one in a series of several- is meant to be a gentle introduction to cursive for young children. My girls are older- 9 and 7- but they don't have great handwriting anyway and they had never learned cursive; so I decided to choose this younger book for them.

The book consists of pages with the cursive letter at the top and lines and spaces for tracing and writing and a color sheet at the bottom. The color sheets are themed color sheets from the history of the Middle Ages through modern times.

The first few pages were all about tracing lines and shapes. I let the girls do all of those at once because they are older and are used to copywork. If you were using this with a younger child, you could go more slowly and have the child do only one page at a time.





After the first few pages of shape tracing, the cursive letters are slowly introduced in order- uppercase, then lowercase- with plenty of room for tracing and copying each letter. Numbers on the letters to be copied help teach the basic strokes of forming that letter.



The color sheets at the bottom varied. Occasionally there was a picture for the students to trace. This helped them practice different strokes. And sometimes there was the history themed page with a brief caption at the bottom. I liked to point out the picture and read the caption with the girls as we made the letter at the top. I was pleased to see that it drew their interest, and we were able to have discussions about the picture. I love this cross-discipline approach!



Again, I sometimes let my girls do more than one page at a time if the uppercase letter and lowercase letter were not difficult. With younger children, you could easily follow a plan of one letter and one color page per day. There is a brief "How to Use This Book" at the beginning, but it is mostly an explanation of beginning cursive, leaving it to the parent to decide how to schedule the pages.

This book was very good for my girls. The slow and easy introduction to cursive was just right for them. There was not too much tracing and copying on each page to make it laborious. And they really enjoyed the color pictures.

Some copywork has been tedious for them in the past and has certainly not been a subject that they preferred learning. But they were both eager to work in this book each time and asked for more when we were through.



As I said, the book is beautiful. Even my thirteen year old daughter was taken with the beautiful color pages and asked it I would buy her a book, so she could do the color pages!


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I plan to purchase an additional book so that each girl can have her own and keep on with this as we begin our regular school in the fall.


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 You can read what other Schoolhouse Crew reviewers thought about this and other materials from Classical Conversations by clicking below.



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