Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Presidential Penmanship - A Review

Product: Presidential Penmanship Complete Program (BJ Style - similar to Bob Jones Univ. Style) - CD

Price: $39.99

Company: Zeezok Publishing

Where to Purchase: Zeezok.com

Other Products Available: The Presidential Penmanship Program is available in 6 handwriting styles. You can buy the complete program for $39.99. Or you can purchase the individual grade levels for $9.99 each. But you will save a bunch by purchasing the complete set.

Zeezok has many other titles in various subjects available.

Brief Overview:

Presidential Penmanship is a supplemental handwriting skills program for first grade through senior high based on writings and quotes of America's founding fathers and presidents. (From back cover)

In-Depth Look:

I do not place a big emphasis on handwriting. I do expect it to be legible. But near perfect? No. So handwriting is not something that I have included in our homeschool curriculum. Once the girls learned their letters, writing was used for just that purpose...to write.

So doing copywork just for the purpose of improving handwriting wouldn't interest me much. I would consider it little more than busywork. (Just my personal opinion.) But in the past, I have read of families using copywork for other reasons also. Basically, the copywork was one way to fulfill Philippians 4:8 -
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (KJV)

Garbage in, garbage out is so true. And I, personally, don't want my daughters' heads full of garbage, or even twaddle. And so the opposite must also be true. For lack of a better term..."Good stuff in, good stuff out." That is my goal.

And I think that this program will help me expose my youngsters to the "good stuff".

"The Bible is the rock on which this Republic stands" - Andrew Jackson (1st grade)

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." - Thomas Jefferson (2nd grade)

"It is better to be alone than in bad company" - George Washington (3rd grade)

"Important principles may and must be inflexible." - Abraham Lincoln (4th grade)

"Think before you speak; pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your words too hastily but orderly and distinctly." - George Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior (5th grade)

"The foundation of our society and our government rest so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country" - Calvin Coolidge (6th grade)

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." - Theodore Roosevelt (Jr High)

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." - Gerald Ford (Sr High)

So, this is why I love this program. Twaddle-free. My daughters are reading and copying the words of America's Founding Fathers and past Presidents. They are getting a built-in history lesson, straight from the sources that were there when it happened.

About the actual copywork:

Grade 1 and 2 learning manuscript copy 36 quotes.
Grade 3 and 4 learning cursive copy 108 lessons, three times per week for 36 weeks.
Grade 5 copies passages from George Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior", with an accompanying Scripture. 53 lessons.
Grade 6 has 108 lessons. The last lesson is the Gettysburg Address.
Junior High has 108 lessons. The last lesson is the Declaration of Independence.
Senior High has 108 lessons, including Lincoln and Reagan's Inaugural Addresses.

You can see several pages of the 1st grade italic style here.
Note that the higher grades (after 3rd grade) only give the quote and a space to copy it. They don't have the tracing practice. Also the higher the grade level, the smaller the writing area is (letter height).

My kids don't mind doing this copywork. My 5th grader takes her time and tries to do her very best. I start by reading the quote out loud; then, she tries to put it in her own words. My 2nd grader is learning to stay within the lines, just like she would need to on notebook paper.

To read other reviews, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this CD free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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