For the past few weeks, we have been experimenting with the most diverse, activity-filled, exciting and educational history course in our homeschool! We have been thoroughly enjoying the stimulating and thought provoking presentation that Amy Puetz gives us in her history curriculum, Heroes, Heroines and Tales of Ancient History.
I received this curriculum in digital format ($98 ARV) which included the five following downloads. (A printed version is available also for the same price).
Heroes, Heroines and Tales of Ancient History Part 1
Heroes, Heroines and Tales of Ancient History Part 2
Ancient History Skits (E-book)
Listen To Some Ancient History (MP3-Download)
Sing Some Ancient History (MP3-Download)
This is a complete, year-long, history curriculum geared towards children in grades one through six. Part one includes 75 lessons for the first half of the year, covering Creation to Alexander the Great. Part two has 75 lessons for the second part of the year, covering 300 BC to 500 AD.
WHAT I LOVE
This is not your average, daunting, textbook filled with facts, dates and names that your children memorize to simply spew back to you on a test at the end of the week. Although some kids do well in those areas, history can be presented in so many different ways, so why not embrace it? This is exactly what Amy Puetz does in her curriculum. She uses a variety of methods to present the material in a way that is challenging for the older child but can also be understood by younger homeschoolers. I have been using this with my eight year old and nine year old but my six year old sits in and absorbs the information as well.
Different activities are distributed throughout the lessons and my kids are always excited when it is an activity day. Some of the lessons are more structured, which I like too. These lessons usually include a lesson and/or story followed by some questions or a writing prompt. My kids generally enjoy the lesson part of it but answering the questions, on paper, is not their favorite.
So....when the days come that we might be doing some cooking, or playing a game or doing a craft after the lesson, they think they are getting out of "doing" their work since they don't have to write anything. Little do they know how much they are actually gaining!
The extra activities include:
Examining Historical Art
Games of the Past
Cooking Up History
Singing Ancient History
Listening to Ancient History
Even though more and more creationist curriculum companies are rising out of the woodwork, what makes this one stand out is it's consistency, drive and passion to portray history from this perspective. Even though I've already been converted from the religious lies of evolution, there are still pieces of information and thought processes that still linger about that I don't generally pay attention to. The author fills her pages with bits of revelatory information that has sparked many conversations with me and my children about why, as Christians, we believe what we believe. It's been a great experience thus far and I'm thrilled to share this history with my children. For example, people's intelligence in ancient times. Evolution wants you to view our ancestors as cavemen, primates, trying to survive. I appreciate the constant evidence of a highly civilized people within these pages.
Be sure to note: this is not a Bible study, rather, it is studying history, while using the Bible as one of the textbooks. You are learning ancient history, alongside the Bible. The kids have loved this! They love being able to place Adam, Noah and others on a timeline and see how they fit into history. One day your child might be learning about Abraham and the next day about the Sumerians and how the two were connected. When learning about the flood, not only do you go over the actual account but several flood legends found throughout the world that surprisingly carry similar details to the biblical account.
Using Stories To Learn History
From Pandora's Box to Confucius, your children will be exposed to more information than you might think their little minds can contain! When presented in story form though, they tend to absorb it much deeper. This has been effective in keeping the attention of all three of my school-aged children. Usually the lesson is separated and includes one section for grades one and two and a separate section for grades three through six. I usually just read the higher level but for the stories there is only one section needed. I should mention here that some of the stories might not be suitable for young ones and in this case the author has noted this.
Since at first, my older children were having a hard time sitting down and doing the writing assignments, on those days I set an incentive in place. I got them each a composition notebook. I then set out a basket of reward stickers. Each day that there is a writing assignment in history, when they finish their work, they can pick out a sticker and place it in their book. It's the simple things.
I plan on continuing with this curriculum since it has been working out so well for us! See history at its best, Golden Prairie Press.
Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for this review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.