Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review: Zeezok's Presidential Penmanship

When your kids practice their penmanship, doesn't it make sense that they practice with something worthwhile? Scripture, famous quotes, and excerpts from great literature are often sought out by busy homeschooling moms seeking for something worthy of carefully scripted words.

Now the work is done for you with the Presidential Penmanship series by Zeezok Publishing. Presidential Penmanship is a supplemental handwriting program for first grade through senior high. Easy printable worksheets contain the words and writings from America's founding fathers and presidents, exposing your students the foundational morals and government principles of America, all while practicing penmanship.

Presidential Penmanship is available in 6 different writing styles:
  • AB style (similar to A Beka), DN style (similar to D'Nealian)
  • BJ style (similar to BJU Press)
  • DN style (similar to D'Nealian)
  • HWOT (similar to Handwriting Without Tears)
  • Italic style (similar to Getty & Dubay Italic)
  • ZB style (similar to Zaner-Bloser)
Individual grade levels are available as eBooks or all levels can be purchased at once on CD. I was provided with the Italic Style Complete Program on CD for review.
The passages to be copied are structured by grade level, starting with thirty-six quotes on founding principles and character qualities for first and second graders. Below is a sampling of various passages for some of the grade levels.

Grade 1
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~T. Jefferson

Grade 3
The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. ~James Madison

Junior High
The philosophy of the schoolroom in on generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. ~Abraham Lincoln
Not only do the selections provide the beginnings to government and civics study, but the passages are perfect for memorization work as well.

Click here for an 88-page sampler of all levels.

When my kids were first learning to write, finding appropriate passages always took a bit of time locating and then copying in my own hand passages to copy. I eventually resorted to purchasing consumable workbooks when my daughter was first learning. Of course, when my son started learning, the purchase of more workbooks was required. I'm typically not a fan of digital products, but if any product has an advantage over print, it is handwriting materials.
  • You can use it over and over with multiple children.
  • Sloppy work? Just reprint the page for a redo!
  • Twelve years of material on one disk.
  • No more half-used workbooks! Print only what you need.
It is important to note that the CDs do not teach the strokes for each style with repeated practice of individual letters, but are meant to be supplemental practice. My children do not write in Italic and I therefore couldn't put this product through the "kid test", but I can see how this would be a welcome addition into our homeschool if we did regular handwriting practice in this writing style.

If you are tired of searching for material for your children to copy during writing practice, Presidential Penmanship from Zeezok will certainly inject a huge dose of convenience into your homeschool. Individual grade levels are available as eBooks for $9.99 or a complete program can be purchased on CD for $39.99 ($15 savings). Many other materials, including historical fiction and the Great Musician Series, are also available from Zeezok. For more information or to make a purchase, visit the Zeezok website.

Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew's blog to read more reviews on this product and others.

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew in exchange for my honest review. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.

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