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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
A Treasury of Christmas Carols to Trace and Color


By Joy Marie Dunlap
LightHome Publications
www.LightHome.net

27695 Blue Diamond Lane
Romoland, CA 92585-9019
publisher@lighthome.net


This downloadable e-book is a multi-level penmanship workbook for all ages using 14 of the best-loved Christmas hymns, such as What Child Is This, and O Come, All Ye Faithful. Once you purchase the book, you are able to download it as an Adobe PDF file. To open the file, you must have Acrobat Reader, a free program easily downloaded from the Internet. After purchasing the e-book, you may use it for as many children in your family as necessary.

You may be asking, "How can a penmanship book be for all ages?" Here's how: The verses to the carols appear in both print and cursive as traceable letters about the size of wide-ruled notebook paper, which would work for children of any age who need to improve their penmanship by practicing neatness or fine motor skills. The verses also appear in solid print and cursive for more advanced children to do as copywork on separate paper. This book includes three blank copywork pages, in three different lettering sizes, to print as needed. These pages are decorated in a Christmas theme. I printed these three pages and discovered the only small flaw in this book. The lettering guides on these pages are very small (like college-ruled notebook paper), and two of the sizes are identical, and only a hairbreadth different from the third. These pages would be more helpful if they included lettering guides for all ages, such as a larger guide for early elementary grades, a medium size for middle elementary grades, and the smallest size for junior high or high school aged students. However, these pages are not necessary to the effectiveness of this book, as you could use your own paper, with whatever size of writing guide lines you choose.

Included in this book are 20 separate Christmas-themed coloring pages. Not just any coloring pages--beautiful coloring pages, the kind my 10-year-old daughter cannot wait to get started on with her full array of fresh crayons, markers, colored pencils, and gel pens! These are beautiful black-and-white line drawings with wonderful details. I would seriously consider buying the book just for these coloring pages alone.

I feel this book is a great supplement to use for occasional penmanship practice for older children as well as regular penmanship practice for younger children. I will definitely be handing a few of these pages to my 15-year-old to help him practice his neatness a bit. This book would be a great supplement to a Christmas unit study, especially because of the beautiful artwork and coloring pages. Please view the sample pages on the website; you must see them for yourself to appreciate how lovely they are.

As with all the LightHome Publications products I have seen, the graphics are wonderful and the pages are beautifully designed. The fonts used for the copy work are standard manuscript printing and standard cursive. If you can afford to print the pages in color, the illustrations are lavish and richly colored, featuring paintings by famous artists and lovely old-fashioned graphics. But they also print nicely in black and white, if you must.

LightHome Publications makes 21 different penmanship workbooks in many different subjects and grade levels. You will find penmanship books with prose, hymns, Scripture verses, famous quotes, and more--all with beautiful artwork and pretty pages. Visit the website and download sample pages to see for yourself how delightful these books are. LightHome Publications makes, in my opinion, the finest penmanship products I have ever seen. At the time of this review, this specific book was on sale on the LightHome website for $6.29 (regularly priced $16.00). I feel e-books by this company are an excellent value, as they are fully reproducible for as many children in your family who need them. Ever since I discovered LightHome Publications penmanship books, they have been the only penmanship books we use.



Product review by Camilla Anderson, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, August 2009


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