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Draw and Write Through History: Greece and Rome (c. 600 BC to AD 395)

By Carylee Gressman; illustrated by Peggy Dick
CPR Publishing

740 13th St.
Fennimore, WI 53809

Draw and Write Through History is a 63-page workbook that is just what the title says. Written to children ages 8 and up, the book begins with an introduction from "Professor Doodle," an annotated supplies list, and a Zaner-Bloser traditional-style cursive alphabet. After working on The Hanging Gardens picture, my 9-year-old budding artist says you should add a straight-edge to the supplies list.

There are four sections in the book: The Hanging Gardens, Greece, The Great Wall of China/Hannibal, and Rome. Full-color illustrations with title and date start off each section. Except for The Hanging Gardens, these pictures are then broken up into smaller pictures, each with specific drawing instructions. For example, the Greece section includes drawings of The Parthenon, a Greek soldier, Bucephalus, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. So there are four separate drawing projects in that section. There are 11 drawing projects in all, and each one has a short historical preface. A nice feature on the drawing of The Colosseum is an illustration of the three architectural styles of columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

Step-by-step drawing instructions, using two colors of lines, show which new lines are being added with each step. Some real gems are interspersed here: drawing tips, fun facts, and questions. Options are given in the directions catering to personal preference and individual skill level. Children should be encouraged to read the drawing text instead of just copying the drawing lines, because there is a wealth of artistic instruction included.

The copywork passages (one page per section) use the Zaner-Bloser traditional cursive style.

The table of contents refers to a page of "Children's Artwork," but that page has been omitted in the book. My children and I would have enjoyed seeing an exhibition of what others have drawn.

This book is part of a developing series. Homeschoolers who are following a classical progression through history will find this book an excellent addition to their curriculum.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2008

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