The following is a Schoolhouse Crew review from Classical Conversations.
I love the name of this series, like a prescription for better handwriting. PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing (for ages 5-10) uses Scripture passages primarily from the books of Proverbs and James to provide cursive writing practice first by tracing and then by imitating the writing as modeled in the examples.
Working on one page a day will make this resource last your child the entire school year. If you choose, the A through Z Bible verses can be memorized, too, however the writing assignments do not follow one translation completely. References are provided so that the verses can be looked up in full. Many punctuation marks have also been omitted to focus these lessons specifically on letter writing without that additional component.
When we started this program, my 9 year old son was already writing all of his cursive letters, but he was not attempting cursive words beyond his name without prompting. This product is one of the ones I viewed at length at our homeschool conference. Handwriting is not one of my son's favorite past times, but art is. We both like the way they have combined the two subjects.
The PreScripts program follows several concepts that I like to use in handwriting training. One of those is daily practice. Writing just a little bit every day provides the child with practice but with less frustration than stretching it out over an extended period of time in one day.
Actual letter formation is not taught in detail with this program. in fact there is no additional teacher's guide. Instead the complete alphabet is shared near the beginning of the book showing which direction each stroke should be copied. The words and verses to be copied are shared alphabetically with each letter again illustrated in the same way followed by practice of the uppercase and lowercase letter, a word beginning with that letter, then a verse beginning with that word. My son is still working on consistent sizing and spacing with cursive, so at times he ran out of room on the page before completely copying the passage. The 26 letter pages are followed by numbers (spelled out) through twenty and then "tricky letter combinations."
"The goal of the prescript series is for your children to master the skills of copying and writing in the context of the Biblical worldview, building on a second meaning of the word "prescript." a prescript can also mean a command, rules, or moral guideline." (p7)
Though I do like this resource, one criticism that I have is positioning of the spiral binding. While it is true that the spiral coil which is positioned below the writing area could encourage the child to properly elevate their wrist above the table, few children actually write that way. This only caused a problem for the pages printed above the spiral. The ones below the spiral, (most often the art pages) were more easily accessible. Because of this, this would make a great downloadable resource which could then be printed as needed with the convenience of printing additional pages if additional practice was necessary. As we were allowed to make copies for use in our family, we found that writing on the copied pages was much easier than trying to write over the spiral in the workbook.
The drawing component of this book is fine motor bonus. Following Mona Brooks instructions that are also used elsewhere in Classical Conversations, the basic drawing lessons included can even be colored if desired. Drawing and handwriting are so closely related that the combination is a perfect mix. My son completed the writing portion and then the art component, which helped turn these lessons into enjoyable tasks what he looked forward to doing.
"Using curves and dots, you can make lots of wiggly worms."
PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing is available from CC for $12.99. Other titles in the PreScripts series include Cursive Letters and Coloring, Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons, and Cursive Passages and Illuminations. Sample pages of each of the workbooks may also be viewed on their website.