History is so much fun! Recently my oldest has really taken an interest in history too. He wants to know what happened and why; who famous people were and what made them do the things they did. The fact that we got to review Golden Prairie Press ~ (http://www.AmyPuetz.com), Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum was just most perfect in its timing. 🙂 This is great for grades 1-6, and can be used with older ages too.
The download includes the following materials:
- Heroes and Heroines of the Past – Part One (1000-1837)
- Heroes and Heroines of the Past – Part Two (1837-present)
- Historical Skits E-Book – 50 pages; 19 plays to act out 🙂
- Additional Materials – supplementary materials
- Listen to some history – an audio collection of speeches, poems and sermons
- Sing some history – sing along to some songs mentioned in the main ebooks
I love how Amy Puetz says “to really understand what life was like years ago, history must go beyond words on a page. Recipes must be cooked, games must be played, historical art must be examined, and crafts must be done. ” Certainly history is well taught, and understood, when it is an experience. The program is full of resources and tools specific to each chapter and topic. The Digital Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is $99.98 for the complete downloadable package. I do have to say I am I do prefer materials offline, especially with some of the cooking and crafts that require mixing and stirring – quite a mess. Besides there is nothing better than being able to curl up outside, or on the couch, and read together. A bit more challenging with digital materials. (There is a physical book which comes in black and white). But nonetheless this is amazing and so much fun too!
My personal favorite was the Listen to Some U.S. History MP3; an audio collection of original speeches, poems, sermons, and documents all mentioned in the materials. We have a “pocket” Bill of Rights as well as a US Constitution and Declaration of Independence; my oldest used to those to read along as we listened to these audios. He definitely had some questions too; it was an interesting exercise for us all. We did discuss these as much as we could; there were some days the lesson was an all day thing because there was just so much more my kids wanted to know. We actually brought out our Liberty’s Kids videos which my oldest has never cared for much until now.
My oldest really liked this curriculum, (he loves anything that has to do with heros and heroines). My boys loved the songs of too; as a family full of music lovers this was such a treat! My 2 and 4 year old both really took to the songs. I do believe in many things, music can be a powerful tool for learning. Tippecanoe and Tyler too has become the new nickname my younger son adopted for his brother (whose name is Tyler). My oldest son sings Battle Hymn of the Republic out front, sword and shield in hand; ready to do battle. haha And my two year old? She lines her ponies up and sings “All the Pretty Little Ponies…” Even I catch myself singing some of these songs throughout the day.
There are two sections for each lesson, one for the younger kids (1 or 2nd grade) and the other for older ones (3rd to 6th grade). We of course did the lessons for the younger grades. At the end of each lessons are questions (we discussed most, my oldest son took notes of some things along the way to try to aid in his ability to attend to the lessons). There are also activities (one that comes to mind is making a teepee – the kids love this – and another was making a viking ship with playdough) that were a huge hit, especially with my younger two. There are recommended reading materials also at the end of the chapter (as if I need more books to buy haha). There are also topics for exercising geography and writing skills, and of course the additional songs and sermons you can use too!
We are very much a history loving family and really enjoy materials like this that allow hands on learning. My oldest can have a very hard time focusing; most often I read to him and encourage him to narrate as we go along. However in most cases as I read; he would work on a project or craft. So we did bounce about a bit; there is such a difference though in his focus when he can be active in his learning. In fact we have been reading voraciously since we started, watching videos on explorers and the vikings especially. I love seeing the eyes get big, watching them lean in as we read; feeling a part of the history we are reading. It’s nice too because there is so much incorporated into each lesson ~ It stands alone.
This one guarantees none shall be bored with American History ever again!
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