Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blend Math, Art, History and More with NatureGlo {A Review}

When I first heard about the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle by NatureGlo's eScience , I was excited at the possibility of reviewing it, since I appreciate when learning is integrated instead of compartmentalized , seek avenues for my children to connect math (and other "subjects") to the real world , and have learners who do not always do well with conventional studies.  Since the creator and instructor of the program Gloria Brooks was a teacher who stepped away from the classroom and developed her own unique style of teaching flavored by educational philosophies including Montesorri, Charlotte Mason and child-led learning, I was even more interested to see how the courses would play out in integrating science, math, history, culture, literature, and the natural world.

Admittedly, when we signed up for and began a free trial class, my excitement waned.  The style of presentation - basically screenshots of slides with voiceovers - just did not appeal to my middle child nor me.  We thought, however, premium content must be better, and, with high hopes for a truly unique and stellar online learning experience awaited our review log-in information, which we decided would be used mainly by my twelve year old, with the rest of us learning alongside him as we desired or had time.

When our log-in information came, we were a bit frustrated with the password system, since it required us to choose a password far longer and different than any my children had previously used or been able to remember and the system for resetting forgotten passwords was low.  We experienced a few other computer glitches early on, too, which we contacted Gloria about.  Thankfully, she was prompt in responding and making suggestions which helped solve the minor issues.  Thus, she impressed me with her attention to customer inquiries. 

After that, we were off and running with few problems. I sat with my oldest and my other children to do our first lessons with 
MathArt  focused on Ancient History.  
Three of the four of us found the raw recorded lesson portions a bit long and lacking.  However, we all enjoyed other portions of the class, and I have amusing memories of my younger two children dancing to the cultural music played during one part of the course.  I also appreciated the time and effort that must have gone into Gloria curating a rich array of learning resources and links to integrate together.

Gloria has done this for all four 6-week courses in the bundle:

  • Math Connections in the Real World
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures
  • MathArt in Arts & Sciences
    MathArt: Pattterns in Nature

These courses can be attended live or viewed as recorded lessons (which our review was for) and include videos where Gloria acts as a remote instructor, reading points from slides and periodically sprinkling in dialogue. She encourages live students to interact using their microphones and drawing tools and, when viewing the raw lesson footage, we can hear and see all interactions.  I found this to be a less-than-best use of time, since I felt we could glean the same information in a much cleaner format, with Gloria's face showing as she taught portions of the lessons and without so much raw recording dead time, distractions, etc.  For, of course, in live lessons, one expects pauses, tangents,volume fluctuations, etc,, but, in y opinion, these have little place in recorded lessons.  A bit more editing could go a long way in streamlining the live recorded lessons for students viewing their recordings.

Other portions of the lessons included reading, optional hands-on, activities, quizzes, interactive online activities and more.  Plus, links and general guidance was offered for supplementary resources to give wider perspectives on topics and go into greater depth. The level of difficulty and interest of these resources varied, and since the course is meant for ages 12 and up, which is a fairly wide-range, I would love to see Gloria add notes or ratings about their difficulty levels to help students and their parents better understand which of he any curated resources might be most suitable to hop down bunny trails on.

The courses are fairly easily to navigate. Once you click on a course, an expandable menu on the right side of the screen lets you see the individual portions of each lesson in the course.  If the lesson has not been taught live, there is limited information.  If it has, there is more, allowing you to click through any feature of each lesson to go directly to related activities, so you can progress in a linear fashion, or just hit the parts you are most interested in.  You can also check off which lesson portions you complete and click a button at the bottom of each page to go into next activities.  That makes it easy to see when specific lessons/activities are complete and to move on.

Within all the offerings is a wide array of cross-curricula material in the form of videos, links, quizzes, study guides, slide shows, pdfs, and moreEverything in a course interconnects, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in self-paced learning.

Undoubtedly, Gloria is passionate about providing students with a wide array of materials to inspire their curiosity and passions while connecting what is typically single-subject learning through an online unit-study approach.  In my opinion, she hits the mark to some degree, but still could use some honing of the recorded product to make it more appealing and time-effective for children like my middle child and for parent like me (who typically like to learn alongside children.)

I do think, however, that, even its current form, 
MathArt has merit and could be ideal for students who have a passion for connected learning of math, art, and more and ample time to sit through recordings, dive into activities on and offline, and hop down bunny trails of further learning.  So, I encourage you to check out the free trial class (on Beluga Whales) to see if the courses might be a good fit for you.

My twelve-year-old son - our main reviewer - had this to share:

My mom told me we had a chance to review the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle by NatureGlo's eScience, so I asked her to show me what it was online.  We looked around the NatureGlo's eScience website and signed up for a trial class.  I decided I wanted to try it.

When we were accepted for the review and first got our log-in information, we were frustrated by the password system and still think it needs to be fixed to allow you to do easier to remember passwords.  Once we got past that, my brother, sister, Mom and I did the first lessons of Math-Art in Ancient Cultures together.  My brother liked it.  So did I.  So, I have been using it by myself since, and, often, my little brother walks over, watches me, asks me questions, and learns with me.
The courses are meant to take six weeks, but, because of password problems, power outages, sickness, and a million other things, I have not completed the Ancient Cultures course yet.  I have gotten 61.11% finished and earned some achievements, too.  You earn achievements by finishing lessons.

Because the course is a pre-recorded classes, I can do it anytime around problems.  That's a good thing.  A bad thing is that I WANT to do it live, because then I could answer the questions and stuff and interact with the people in the class.  The materials in the pre-recorded class are interesting, but I would much prefer them live!
To use MathArt you log on, go to your course, then click on the section you are on, and, then, do the lesson.  The lessons include different parts depending on what is being taught.  Some parts are:

  • videos of the teacher and students during their live classes where you mostly see a screenshot of the teacher's computer and very rarely people's faces.  I do not like this.  I would like to see who is talking.
  • videos from Youtube and other sites that the teacher presents related to the class.  These are things you could find yourself, but it is very convenient to have them all there and the choices are usually good.
  • downloadable things like study guides.
  • DK Find Outs and other website sections that you could find on your own, but that are conveniently brought to you through the class.
  • other web resources and project activities for further learning.

I have found most of the materials helpful and interesting.  I like the videos that tell stories the best.  I sometimes learn from the teacher talking to the students, but sometimes I learn more from doing things myself.

Before taking this course, I had studied a lot about European, Mediterranean, and Colonial cultures, wars, and history, but had not done much Asian or Native American.  So, in this course, I have been adding to my learning about Greeks and learning more than I had before about Asian people.  For example, I learned about how Indian people used spears for hunting and about how they made grid cities.
My mom told me these courses are supposed to teach me math and science in unique way.  I find they are mostly about math and art and have almost zero science.  The math in this course is almost always geometry and is presented in different ways loosely connected to the topics of lessons.  For example, they talked about a Greek guy and there was a thing there about how to fit a pole in a trailer on a truck.  It was about Pythagorean theory and the guy was Pythagoras.  Another example is that I had to do a boring thing about shapes and Platonic Solids related to ancient Greek math.  So, I don't think this course is the best approach to math or science, but I do think it is good for art and I find it interesting overall.
Since this is a review program, it is worth me investing time in it, and I will keep doing after the review, since it is interesting and free.  I am not sure I would spend a lot of money on it though, because a lot of the stuff can be found in other places and because the Ancient Cultures class is mostly just showing you art and making you do a little math connected to cultures.  There are better, more efficient ways of learning about math, science, and art. 
Still, I think some would like this course.  It teaches a lot about culture and organizes many resources into one easy to use program.  The teacher seems to enjoy the subjects and teaches through discussions with kids and resources on the website.  Her style gives you some information and shows you where to get more.
MathArt's Ancient Cultures is an okay course some kids can enjoy.  It is good for parents because they don't have to help their kids do it.
Learn More

Each 6-week MathArt  class currently sells for $149, with a 4-class Bundle offered at 10% off, or $536.40 for a year.  The classes are taught from a nuetral worldview (non-religious) and integrate multiple subjects into single online unit studies with hands-on options, too.

NatureGlo's eScience can be found on social media at:

Seventy Homeschool Review Crew families tried out  Find links to all the reviews by clicking through the banner.

If you're looking to combine art, music, history, and a bit of science with live or recorded classes, MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle might be for you.  Be sure to check out their free trial classes to get a flavor for how the courses work to see if they are a good fit for your family.

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Parenting Made Practical {A Review}

Ever have one of those days when you could use extra encouragement and practical ideas for helping your beloved children shine as respectful, responsible ones?  I know I certainly do, and that is why I was happy to review What Every Child Should Know Along the Way and 
 Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think from Parenting Made Practical.

What Every Child Should Know Along the Way by Gail Martin packs a ton of practical ideas for parents of preschoolers through college-age children into a slim 151 pages.  I began reading the book when my children, then me, were hit with the flu and, immediately found myself recognizing so many of the truths in it and becoming further convicted of the importance of teaching my children practical life skills and encouraging habits of virtuous living.

"The Twelve Rules for Rising Delinquent Children" shared in the introduction seemed quite apropos to me - and my husband when I shared  it with him - regarding our thoughts on what we do NOT want to do with our children and what we see far too many parents doing these days.  In fact, the list struck us so much, that my husband brought the book to share the list at a dad's group meeting he was going to while I stayed home to nurse our children.  Meanwhile, I reflected on some of the many ideas and verses shared in the book's chapters on:

  • practicing family devotions
  • cultivating family unity
  • acknowledging and using gifts and talents as tools given by God for serving Him
  • developing character

Later, when I got the book back, I read through the chapter on manners, recognizing some manners my children have already mastered he practice of, but far ore we need to work on.  Then, I dove into the meat of the book - the part I was most looking forward to having on hand - the chapters on practical life skills and personal safety.

These chapters provided detailed lists of skills and knowledge children from ages 2 on up might master.  As I read the lists, I mused at how my children had not mastered some of the skills suggested for kids younger than they are, and, yet had mastered other skills suggested for much older children.  I also began noting what skills I wanted to work with my children on next.

The need for "up next" skills only became amplified the following week when my children recovered from the flu and I went down with it. As I laid on our couch plagued by aches, high fevers, and lightheadedness while my children prepared food, did dishes, brought me drinks, or simply sat with me, letting me know they understood how horribly I felt and wanted to help, I 
became extraordinarily grateful for past efforts in training my children up.  Their kindness and help truly strengthened me despite my physical illness. 

However, all did not continue with gratitude and great kids.  
As my bout with the flu wore on from days to a week - my children's attitudes and ability to happily help plummeted.  We are all very unused to me being down so long, and, I realized just how much training my children (and I!) still need as we grow in godly living.  Thus, once I recovered, I placed What Every Child Should Know Along the Way on my bedside to be at the ready whenever I needed a map - or even just a verse from Scripture - to guide our next growth steps.   I also found myself sharing ideas from the book with several mom friends who asked about what chores would be good for their children to begin mastering at what ages and explained just how helpful I have been finding this easy-to-use guide as to what children need to know and are capable of learning at what ages and stage.

Honestly, What Every Child Should Know Along the Way is one of the most practical, packed yet easy to use, resources I have seen for parents seeking:

  • Scriptural references for teaching children about character
  • how-to's about etiquette.
  • detailed lists and charts of practical life skills for children from toddlers to college age.
  • concrete ideas for teaching children about personal safety - from "stranger danger" to electricity to swimming, hiking, biking, motor vehicles, animals, and more. 

Of course, because all families and individuals within them are different, not every single point in the book will ring true for everyone, but all point,  believe, will help you decide what you want - and need - to teach your child at what ages so your child can succeed in this life and, God-willing, enter into eternal life.  Homeschool mom and author Gail Martin truly has compiled a handy, on-point resource for practical life skills and personal safety, weaving faith-based ideas right in alongside more mundane needs.

In fact, there is very little in the slim and practical 
What Every Child Should Know Along the Way that I did not appreciate save a few minor typos.  However, I make errors and typos all the time, so I can definitely forgive the ones I found in this book, especially since the book offers such a plethora of sound lists, practical tips, helpful ideas, and pointed Scriptural references.  I have already recommended the book to a number of local friends and, now, recommend it to you, too, should you be looking for a concise yet complete Christian resource to guide you in teaching your children practical life skills in every stage of life.

Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think, a 53-minute video for parents of children ages 5 and up, came as a bonus surprise in my package from 
Parenting Made Practical, and I am glad it did.  For, with two tweens in our house, boundaries are often pushed, and with them, proverbial "buttons" are, too.  As buttons get pushed, I admit, my husband and I sometimes depart from being the steadfastly calm, loving, and relational parents we desire to be and slip into "mean Mom and Dad" mode, reacting to our children's choices and behaviors with ineffectual lectures and lousy parenting habits.  Thus, Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think became a welcome "parenting retreat" for me, guiding me to get back on course with more effective parenting practices.

The first time I began to watch Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think, I sequestered myself in my room with my laptop after a hard day in the parenting trenches and immediately recognized that the video was created by real parents with real tried-and-true ideas to share.  For, although the quality of the video was fine for my laptop screen viewing, it was not filled with big company bells and whistles.  Rather, it was simply a recording of Joey and Carla link - a husband and wife team - offering a live audience sound explanations about why lecturing children does not work and giving their audience (and me!) practical ideas for what to do instead of lecturing.

As Joey and Carla offered wisdom as parent educators who have served families for over 25 years, they tied in Scripture, hints of humor, and relatable anecdotes. They also brought home certain points using slides that are paralleled by the FREE study notes documents they offer on their website.  Plus, Joey and Carla's daughter joined them on stage a couple times, so Joey and his daughter could offer demonstrations of ineffectual lecturing and purposeful questioning.  Though a bit "canned", these demonstrations were useful in helping me to hear and visualize what works and what does not work.

Now, of course, no 53-minute video can offer all the tools parents might need to permanently change their own behavior nor that of their children.  However, Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think certainly offers key takeaways that can be applied with ease and effectiveness.  Among them are:

  1. Teach expectations explicitly.
  2. Get to know your child's temperament
  3. Do not get into power struggles with your child.
  4. Keep asking questions that will make your child think at a deeper level, dealing with the issues as opposed to simply symptoms.
Of course, all these takeaways are packaged with further details and practical tips, including 10 questions a parent might pose to a child instead of lecturing and a list of phrases parents should not accept as answers.

Now, I admit, the first time I watched Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think I did not glean everything I could from it.  In fact, I dozed off a few times.  However, I can also attest that my drowsiness had nothing to do with Joey and Carla's presentation.  Rather, it had everything to do with far too many late nights and early mornings for me coupled with a challenging parenting day.  Thus, when I was more alert, I watched the video a second time - and that was when the simple genius of Joey and Carla's tips for questioning in lieu of lecturing really crystallized in my brain and went into my parenting toolkit.  Indeed, the very next day, my oldest child pushed limits and buttons several times, and, instead of lecturing, I began questioning.
As might be expected, my tween son attempted to derail my questioning and respond with wishy washy and unacceptable answers.  At that point, I did not raise my voice, revert to lecturing, or anything.  I simply asked him to leave the room and come back when he was ready to answer the question I asked.

My son ended up having to leave three times before he chose to answer my questions honestly, and, then, admitted he knew what he had done was lacking in virtues and that he needed to name what he had done to his brother, ask for his brother's forgiveness, and offer his brother amends.  Now, this sibling reconciliation technique did not come from Joey and Carla's video - it is something we have long used in our house - but the ability to get to the point of reconciliation without loud lecturing on my part or huge drama on my son's part was a direct result of my applying techniques and language gleaned from Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think.

I just love when I am able to invest a brief period of my time into a parenting help and to come away with distinct ideas and tools that can be applied to my present parenting.  Since this has been the case for me with Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think, I do not hesitate to recommend it as a helpful resource for parents like me that need practical ideas to move themselves away from lecturing and into practices that allow them to discover their children's areas of need and motivate their children to make right choices in the future.
Learn More

Parenting Made Practical offers a variety of books and videos to “encourage and equip parents to practically raise obedient, respectful, and responsible children in today’s world," such as:

Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think Book

Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?

Navigating the Rapids of Parenting DVD

Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think DVD

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate...What Works? DVD & Workbooks

What Every Child Should Know Along the Way

Eighty Homeschool Review Crew families read or viewed some of these.  You an find all the reviews by clicking through the banner.

You can find Parenting Made Practical on social media at:

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 11, 2018

3 No Prep Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Since late January, my family has been been facing wave after wave of crazy times - the flu, a belly bug, crazy wind-and-snow storms, job loss, and more...  Thanks be to God, there have been plenty of blessings among the challenges, some of which have added to the busyness of life - such as our homeschool co-op starting again (with me teaching two classes and coordinating the entire co-op) and the children competing in a Destination Imagination competition (with me as their Team Manager).  So, I'd by lying if I said I am not a bit tired.  

Good tired.  

Thankful tired.  

But, nonetheless, just plain tired.

Thus, as I look at the calendar and see that St.Patrick's day is not even a week away, I cannot even conceive of putting together anything akin to celebrations and lessons I have for this feast day in the past.  I just don't have the mental brain power or physical energy to do so right now.  So, instead, I plan to keep things simple this year by:

  • putting out some saint candles
  • making only one or two of the festive foods we've had in the past
  • reading Saint Patrick stories in any of the many saint biography books we already have in our home 
  • leading the children through a chat related to St. Patrick
  • challenging the children to write a story about St. Patrick from a specific point of view
  • and, since St. Patrick is patron to engineers, we will likely do a small engineering/design challenge, too.

If you'd like to no-prep Saint Patrick's celebration, too.  Please feel free to borrow these ideas:

Read and Chat

After reading about Saint Patrick in one of our many saint biography collections, the children and I will chat, using questions and thoughts such as:

  • What happened to St. Patrick when he was a boy? What would it feel like to be taken from your home and forced to work alone all the time?  How do you think Patrick felt?  What would you do in his situation?
  • It would be easy to feel lonely or fall into despair in the situation Patrick was in.  How did he avoid despair?
  • Sometimes, when we are in tough situations, it is hard to remain virtuous.  What virtues and strength of character did Patrick show while in captivity?  Would you have similar patience and faithfulness?  Would you be able to pray for six years even when it seemed your prayers were not being answered?  Can you think of a time your prayers did not seem to be being answered?  How did you respond?
  • After Patrick escaped Ireland, he returned home, but, then, realized he could not stay there.  Why?  What happened in his life?  How did he respond and how would you have responded?
  • How does the story of Saint Patrick show us that God speaks to the “least" of people and that any of us may be called - and equipped - to share about God at any time?
Creative Writing

Since all of my children have been enjoying creative writing lately, I will suggest that we each spend three minutes brainstorming events and miracles related to Saint Patrick's life and collecting a word map of ideas together and, then, 17 minutes working on stories that take a snippet of Saint Patrick's life and retell it through the eyes of a fictional contemporary to Saint Patrick.  (Three minutes, then 17 minutes, because Saint Patrick died on March 17.) This might mean we tell of his capture, his time as a shepherd, his escape, his ministry.  Or, we might choose to focus on one the many legends that describe miracles that protected St. Patrick or proved the power of the one true God to the pagans he sought to convert.  

Engineering/Design (and Teaching) Challenge

Saint Patrick is patron to engineers, since it is claimed that he was instrumental in the construction of Irish churches and has been credited with teaching the Irish to build arches of lime mortar.  

Legends also tell how St. Patrick taught the people of Ireland about the Holy Trinity using a shamrock.  

With these two ideas in mind, I will ask the children to choose up to seventeen items from our instant design challenge box (straws, paper plates, address labels, paper clips, etc.) and, then, to spend three minutes designing and constructing a self standing teaching tool that contains an arch shape and can be used to explain something about our faith to others.  Then, this done, I will ask them to spend up to three minutes using the tool they created to teach a point of faith. 

I have no doubt they will come up with interesting creations and ideas.

Other Saint Patrick Ideas
More St. Patrick's Day Ideas

If you'd like other ideas for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, you may wish to click through to some of these:

Saint Patrick, pray for us!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

When a Good Thing Gets Even Better {A CursiveLogic Review}

Have you been looking for a logical and effective program for teaching cursive to your child or an engaging way to brush up on handwriting yourself?

CursiveLogic can have you covered on both accounts with their the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive coloring book. 

I was first introduced to CursiveLogic a few years ago when my oldest child used their simple, successful, and logical program to better master cursive.  I was pleased with his experience, and, therefore, delighted to hear about an opportunity to review the Quick-Start Pack and cursive coloring book as I knew my younger two children would benefit from them.

My youngest child has been dabbling in cursive, and the time seemed ripe for a stronger focus on it with him.  So, we've spent the last six weeks or so using the
CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack, which includes:

  • 6 month access to a CursiveLogic Online Seminar presented by Linda Shrewsbury 
  • a 112-page, consumable CursiveLogic workbook written directly to the student.

First, I watched the video seminar, which took me less than an hour.  Since I was already familiar with CursiveLogic, viewing the seminar was not filled with "ahhs" and "oohs" for me.  However, it did offer me a worthwhile refresher on how and why CursiveLogic works.  In the seminar, Linda offers tips and tricks on how to to maximize your success as a teacher and your student's success with handwriting.  She also clearly explains the why behind each of her suggestions, truly offering concise and pointed insight into the CursiveLogic method.

Then, my youngest and I dove into the 112 page workbook, which, I noticed had been wonderfully improved from the original CursiveLogic workbook my oldest used.  Among the improvements are:

  • larger fonts and new graphics in the introductory pages, which make the workbook even more user-friendly for children.
  • new page ordering, which allows students to simply flip through the pages on one side of the book to complete lessons before flipping the book over to flip through the second half of lessons, which is handy as it prevents the need for constant flipping of the book every time a page is turned.
  • color-coded corners, which help students remember which half of the workbook they are working on.

  • large finger-writing practice pages so students can trace the stroke shapes with a finger easily, beginning to put them into muscle memory, before ever picking up a writing utensil
  • new lesson notations that denote which pages of a lesson are for which days of it.  
  • more practice pages to help students get letters down.

The new workbook design maintains the simple, logical teaching approach of the original book and also keeps the smart, top spiral binding so students can simply flip pages to keep working on a flat surface and won't be flustered by bindings, whether left- or right-handed.   It divides cursive learning up into 10 lessons:

    1. Orange Oval Letters
    2. Second Letter String
    3. Third Letter String
    4. Fourth Letter String
    5. Uppercase Letters
    6. More Uppercase Letters
    7. More Uppercase Letters
    8. More Uppercase Letters
    9. More Uppercase Letters
    10. More Uppercase Letters

Teaching Notes, 3 P's for Excellent Cursive, and more are also included.

To use the workbook, my son and I typically sat down together with me getting him started on a lesson portion and him completing lesson work for 10-15 minutes a time.  Since we complete skill learning in short, targeted segments, we ignored the suggested pacing or Lesson/Day as noted in the book and just progressed at the speed each day brought us in our short sessions together.  Thus, we have not completed even half of the program yet, but are making painless (though sometimes slow because my youngest tends to be a perfectionist with his cursive writing) progress.

He had this to say about his experience thus far:

I like Cursive Logic, because it is teaching me how to write beautiful, perfect cursive letters.  At first, Mom taught me how to use it and now I use it mostly on my own with Mom nearby.  I copy letters and then write below them.  I chant "over-back trace-a, over- back trace-c,..." in my head and, sometimes out loud. 

The book makes it easy to learn letters, because it gets them in my muscle memory.  I don't like that I cannot write perfectly yet, so I erase a lot.  I am getting better.  I keep under the midline now and also don't have floating letters.  When I write cursive, I have learned to slant - make running letters. 

I want to keep using this until I learn all my letters very well. The book itself is easy because it lays flat and groups letters.  It's learnable!

My middle child - who is still gaining strength in cursive, enjoys adult coloring books and, immediately upon looking at what the The Art of Cursive's description online said, "I'll do that!" -  was delighted when our cursive coloring book came in, and I said it was "all hers".   I was equally pleased, because my daughter longs to accomplish skills-based work on her own, but, due to learning differences, often needs me for anything involving reading and writing.  However, this cleverly designed book offered her independence, cursive practice, and - happily - fun!

I gave my daughter free reign to use the cursive coloring book whenever she wanted during our lesson times, and found she also sometimes used it during her free times.  She had this to say about The Art of Cursive:

The Art of Cursive is an adult coloring book.  In the first few pages, you practice your cursive.  Then, the rest of the book has quotes for cursive practice and coloring pages with tons of cursive letters in the pages. 

I think the bird page, which is the very first coloring page is cool.  It was actually harder to color in though than some of the other pages. 

The coloring pages are a mix of abstract and more realistic designs.  I daresay the most realistic is the dandelion page. 
The book is great for lessons when you need a break between other lessons and it is a fun coloring book.  I'm ten and I enjoy it. I think other kids and grown ups would enjoy it.  My little brother wants to use it, so I am going to let him do the dragon page. 

I like how the cover is partially colored, too.  At first I thought the purple was water damage and then I realized, "No, it's actually meant to be like that.  It is half colored in.  It looks cooool!"  The designers of this whole book must be creative!

Why CursiveLogic Works  

In our experience so far, the CursiveLogic workbook lends itself to cursive handwriting success because:

  • letters are grouped by shape into four basic "families" that are named alliteratively and make up the entire alphabet, which helps my son learn and remember more than one letter in the same sitting.

  • similarly shaped letters are taught together, greatly simplifying the learning process for my son through logic.

  • letters that share a common shape are strung together, which I have noted helps a child's muscle memory as much as his mental one.

  • color-coding and "catch phrases" are used to help children remember the different shapes in multi-modal way (visual, kinesthetic, and auditory) - something that works for my son.

  • real words are used straight from the first lesson, showing children they can write in cursive right away - a great motivator for my youngest who wants to do things like his big brother.

  • there are repeated opportunities for students to trace, write and link words, making practice progressive and purposeful.  (My son, at first, wanted to skip some of the practice and did.  Quickly, though, he realized the value of the practice and returned to complete whatever he had skipped.)

  • top spiral binding, well-sized tracing fonts and plenty of space on the bank writing lines make the workbook user-friendly.

Likewise, the coloring book takes handwriting to the next level while also accessing the creative, artistic side of a child's or grown-up's brain, allowing stroke practice and creativity to merge.  Moreover, the quotes chosen for the book are lovely - from saints, presidents, artists, inventors, and more.  So, the book makes for perfect low-key, enjoyable copywork, too! 

Without question, the CursiveLogic method is a well thought-out one that lives up to its name, by making learning how to write in cursive logical and simple.  Begun as an effort to teach an adult student with learning disabilities how to write cursive with ease, CursiveLogic has developed into a series of tools that can help any student - young or old - succeed in writing script and, then, expand skills through enjoyable copywork and adult coloring.

Straightforward, intelligent and logically presented, the
CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack is a handwriting program I would recommend.  Clever, fun, and filled with copywork and beautiful designs, the The Art of Cursive holds great appeal, too.

A Discount for You!

CursiveLogic has been kind enough to offer a discount just for Crew Review readers.  From now through the end of March you can save 20% on the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack, which is the webinar + workbook combo by using the code CREW2018!

Cursive Logic New Edition March 2018 Discount 
Learn More
Find CursiveLogic on Facebook.
Purchase CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack for $49 and The Art of Cursive for $15.95.  

Or, purchase just the workbook, posters, and more.
Do you know a child or grown up ready to learn cursive using a well-designed, logical approach?  How about a child or grown up who wishes to brush up on cursive using a fun approach?  Then,CursiveLogic could be perfect! 
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