Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Classical Conversations {Review}

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Classical Conversations is a company based in North Carolina which offers a plethora of materials for multiple ages. I have had several friends use their curriculum with raving reviews. I recently had the opportunity to review one of their products and am very pleased with it. I received one copy of PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing ($12.99). It is a spiral-bound workbook which teaches the building blocks of cursive. It also includes verses of Scripture, as well as activities for learning the basics of drawing. It is designed for children ages 5-10.
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I had Maya (age 6) use this workbook to begin learning cursive skills. She thought it would be too hard, as she has tried reading cursive and was not successful. This workbook moves through the alphabet first, then adds words and then sentences. The words and sentences come from the different Bible verses that are used. The drawing lessons start with very basic skills such as circles and lines and then moves to flowers, wiggly worms, and then combinations of curves and lines to make other pictures, such as dragonflies, jellyfish, etc. 

Honestly, I have gone back and forth on whether or not to include cursive writing in my homeschool studies. Over the years, I have read some who believe it is no longer relevant or necessary, while others believe just the opposite. Some say regular schools are no longer teaching it, due to everything being done on computers or electronic devices these days. However, I still write in a form of cursive (my handwriting is more of a combination of printing and cursive) and I believe it's important to learn to write it and read it. I found it interesting that in the midst of reviewing this product, I saw an interesting "conversation" take place on Twitter all about cursive. The woman I follow on Twitter is Elizabeth Scalia and she tweeted sadness over watching a court session of a recent high-profile alleged murder. The lady testifying admits to not being able to read cursive (you can watch here, if interested). Ms. Scalia then tweeted: 'There is beauty and individuality and history in cursive writing. Why do we not teach it anymore? Makes me ache.' And then she wrote an endearing blog piece on the loss of cursive writing. Find it here.

My conclusion is similar. Handwriting is important. It should not be swept under the rug or thrown out the back door just because most of us rely more on a keyboard to communicate these days. I want to continue to encourage my children to write letters, thank you notes and to journal, with an actual pen and on actual paper! This curriculum has been just the avenue for starting Maya on her cursive handwriting journey. It's a stretch for her and a discipline to sit down and practice it on a daily basis, but I believe she will benefit immensely from this practice. I recommend PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing.

The TOS Review Crew bloggers were given the opportunity to review other Classical Conversations cursive books, which you can read by clicking on the banner below.


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