Friday, February 19, 2010

TOS Review: Presidential Penmanship: BJ Style Complete Program

At the beginning of January I received a CD disk in the mail for a handwriting product. Whoa - I thought! My son does not like lots of writing at the best of times so what is going to say when he sees this to do every day for quite a few months.

I presented the idea to him one day and showed him that it is just a little bit a day and then on the 5th day you can do your best handwriting of the week. The "BJ Style Complete Program" CD of Handwriting is a supplemental handwriting skills program for 1st grade through senior high based on writings and quotes from America's founding fathers and presidents. "BJ" is similiar to BJU Press. Through the 4-5 weeks of exposure to these quotes of great men my son has realized that his handwriting can improve and it can be interesting and not boring copy work either. The producer of this product is called Zeezok Publishing or The Book Peddler.

I have included some samples of his handwriting when tracing and copying phrases from George Washington and John Adams. (picture on right side above.) After 4 weeks (we are now in the 4th quote week) his handwriting has improved somewhat and I am sure with continued perseverance on both of our parts, he will have neater and more presentable handwriting by the end of the year.

The student uses this program on a daily basis, tracing over the quote initially and then on Day 5 they are expected to write the quote on their own. The quotes can be printed out weekly or monthly whenever the parent has time to organize their students work. The Week 4 quote I would like to share with you.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people."
- John Adams

I think as he is writing these quotes he is thinking more about what is being said, especially if it is repeated. The student may learn these quotes like they learn Bible verses and then can give them at a recital for example.

This CD covers Grade 1 through senior level of school. The quotes will obviously differ in difficulty as the student is more advanced. Grade 1-2 have quotes that are reasonably short. Grade 3-4 students will learn cursive quotes from some of our nation's Chief Executives, as well as passages from speeches by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln and more. In 3rd -4th grade there are 108 skill-building lessons for practice three times per week for 36 weeks. Fifth graders will be writing longer passages with more content that are giving them a historical and interesting view of our past leaders. The CD's come at a cost of $39.95 for the complete program on CD (1st grade through Senior High), or individual grade level can be purchased on CD for $9.99 each.
The TOS Homeschool Crew has been sent different CD's to what I have reviewed and the reviews are on the TOS Crew Review Blog. You will see them here at this link:
The website for Zeezok Publishing/The Book Peddler is here :
They have many other historical books and CD's available on their site too. It makes for an interesting hour of browsing around actually. I like this way of learning. Yes it seems like I like all the products that I have reviewed but that is not true. I like products that really work for my family. This supplemental handwriting course is able to be used with many children over and over again and can be printed out on an 'as need' basis. As I said before on the website there are samples to look out and print out to try out on your students whatever age they may be.
I have written the above review as I was sent this product to use in my family homeschool and to give a written opinion on how it worked/did not work for me. I have not received any financial remuneration for this review.

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