Category Archives: History

Heirloom Audio: Dragon & Raven Unit Study Curriculum {Review}

We recently reviewed Heirloom Audio‘s newest audio drama The Dragon and The Raven and LOVED it! So when Heirloom Audio asked if anyone was interested in reviewing their BRAND NEW unit study curriculum that corresponds with this audio drama – I couldn’t say “YES!” fast enough!

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I was excited when it arrived in the mail and I could get my hands on it and see exactly what it was with my own eyes. And … as typical for Heirloom Audio … they didn’t let me down! This study guide (as I’ll call it) is 8-1/2 x 11 and 117 pages. The pages are made of something slick and durable (I have no idea about paper so I’m not exactly sure what it is). It is full-color and VERY NICE. It is spiral bound which works WONDERFULLY as you are going through the different things with your kids. (As an added bonus, they sent us a “Live the Adventure Homeschool Adventure Family Planner” which is 79 pages of space for homeschool scheduling, meal planning, lists, book lists, and more.)

As a mom of boys, this is right up our alley! (I know girls like the audio production – based off reviews – so I’m sure they would like this too. But I’ll be posting as a mom of boys, which is what I am.) It covers so much it is amazing! Basically it covers all areas of the audio production in further detail – which is all about Medieval Times. So, if you are looking for something to supplement your Medieval Times learning – this would be it! (And, honestly, it might be enough to be an entire curriculum for this time period, depending on how much of the booklet you do.)

So, it covers:

Feudalism, Vikings, Writing, Weapons, Music, Storytelling, Latin, Poetry, Court Systems, Games, Ships, Mercy, Art, Math, and more!

Whew! It is a lot, but it doesn’t FEEL like a lot (and that is a good thing, in my opinion).

Each “section” has a little bit of an intro to what it is discussing. It then has different activities you can do. Some are looking up vocabulary, some are games, some are writing, some are researching … again, all areas of learning are covered! It also has activities for older or gifted students! Each section is about four pages.

So, one of the areas we really enjoyed was learning about feudalism.

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For this one we decided to use our iPads to look up vocabulary online. It was a nice opportunity to use it for an educational purpose.

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They had a “Feudalism Candy Simulation Game” that we kind of turned in to a general learning opportunity that allowed us to touch and visualize what feudalism meant. Who does the most work? Who, in the end, gets the most money? And things like that. It was a lot of fun and a nice visual for learning. We love fun ways to learn! In this, the peasants had 10 coins and had to pass 8 of them up to the Knights. The Knights had to pass 6 up to the Nobles and the Nobles had to pass 4 up to the King. (Although a smaller representation of reality it helped to really solidify what we were discussing.)

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Some questions they wanted us to answer:

Did “Learn the Adventure” meet your expectations? I would say, “YES! but … it not only met, but EXCEEDED my expectations!”

Would “Learn the Adventure” be a helpful addition to your teaching? I would say, “YES! Oh my gosh YES! There is NO DOUBT this is a teaching help!!” If so, how? It helps guide through many different subjects within the Medieval Times. It helps focus attention on important things, events and people. It offers suggestions of additional ways to learn as well as websites and other resources for additional learning.

For future editions of “Learn the Adventure”, would you add or subtract anything? I would say, “I definitely would not subtract anything. I would like to see more specific references within the guide that pertain to the audio drama as well as a little more specific instructions with the games. But overall, 99% of it I wouldn’t change a bit!”

Now, one thing I do not know is how much this will cost … so, I cannot share anything about that.

Thank you for this wonderful addition to your already amazing audio dramas Heirloom Audio, really, THANK YOU!

Here’s praying you enjoy the journey of learning!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Review ~ Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring

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We had the blessing of reviewing a brand new product just released by Diana Waring called “Experience History Through Music“. We received physical books and cds for both Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We received the cd and ebook of America: The Heart of a New Nation.

All three books share a short history lesson (several paragraphs to a couple pages) for each song written within the book. In the back you can find the sheet music! For our family, we read the history story then listened to the cd while using the sheet music to sing along. They are quick and simple and focused…fun ways to learn about our history. This would be VERY APPROPRIATE for Charlotte Mason type learning which we LOVE!

Our personal favorite of these three is “America” only because it had the most songs of which we were already familiar — but we LOVED them all! Although we really liked America, the other two were extremely educational as well and we found ourselves saying, “WOW! I never knew that!” to so many of the stories. Also, it is REALLY amazing to see how much songs tell our history if we listen to the right ones. Something I honestly never thought of before listening to these. I LOVE that!

Each story contains at least one black & white photo to help with the lesson. We really enjoyed SEEING a real-life picture to illustrate the story and song. Just another “simple” yet very effective way to learn history. Although they are black and white there is GREAT DETAIL in the pictures…they are a VERY NICE addition!

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The cds are approximately 40 – 50 minutes of folk music. Now…in case you aren’t “in to” that type of music…DO NOT close your mind to these. Our family doesn’t “do” this type of music either but we still enjoyed these! That is what a lot of “the music of the time” was therefore it fits perfectly with the themes and stories of the books.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading my post titled Diana Waring “Miracle Story” as it tells some of the history about how these came to fruition FINALLY (it truly is an astonishing story!).

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Here is a little bit about the author, Diana Waring (these are picked out by me, for this post, from an “author interview” we [the Launch Team] were provided):

How did you start writing history books?

The very first book I wrote WAS a history book—an earlier version of “America.”  As I have shared in the back story, when a friend suggested that it would be beneficial to attend a homeschool convention—and the only way I could afford to get in was to become a workshop presenter—the idea of marrying American folk music to American history seemed like such fun that I had to write a book!  (And help create the folk music recording!!)

One thing often leads to another.  Doing workshops on making history come alive using music exposed me to the notion that there are many other wonderful ways to make history come alive, like literature, geography, the Bible, science, art, architecture, cooking and more.

All of this melded together when I started teaching my own children world history in 1992.  There were so many things I wanted to know about how events recorded in the Bible impacted the ancient cultures of the time. . . seeing the “secular” civilizations through Scripture and better understanding Scripture in light of those civilizations.

I was SO excited about what we were learning that I started telling others at homeschool conventions. . . which led to the History Revealed curriculum (20 years in the making). Nine books in that series (plus nine sets of audio CDs), plus two of the three American folk music/history books (and CDs) make a grand total of 11 books on history that I have had the opportunity to research and write!

Goodness!  I had no idea when I started homeschooling that I would learn so much.  🙂

Of all the songs in the three new books, which songs are your favorites?

I LOVE “Ho for California” in Westward Ho!  Somehow, this one became my favorite. . . I remember the day we drove across the Sacramento River as a family, on our way to a homeschooling event in California, singing at the top of our lungs, “Then, ho, brothers, ho, to California go.  There’s plenty of gold in the world we’re told on the banks of the Sacramento. . .”

“Gooey Duck”  was, by far, the most popular song that we performed in our concerts.  There is something so catchy about this song!  Also, as I was writing the originalWestward Ho! book, I chatted with my grandfather about gooey ducks (giant clams).  He chuckled and told me that though they were plentiful in Puget Sound waters when he was a lad, they were SO ugly that people avoided eating them unless they were desperate.  That has tickled me ever since. . .

“Sweet Betsy From Pike” is another favorite, included in America. It is such a singable ballad, and full of humorous possibilities.  It was a delight to sing it on the recording!!

Which of the songs in this series of books resonant the most with your life and why?

As a musician and storyteller, I love the possibilities of telling stories in music—ballads are an incredible art form.  “Old Settler” and “San Juan Pig War” are the two that I most enjoy singing for others, as they tell such memorable stories. . .

And, I love “Sweet By and By.”  We used to end our “Yankee Doodle Tells A Tale” concert with this song, and it never failed to bring me to tears. . . singing of our “bountiful Father above.

What value do you see in students learning America’s folk songs?

How many opportunities do we ever have to actually DO what our ancestors did?  As a real and normal part of our lives?  You and I live in a world that is vastly different than the time period represented in America, Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And, yet, we can still sing and enjoy the very same songs they did, we can taste a tiny bite of history through the medium of folk songs, and we can experience America through it’s music!

Plus, it’s part of our American heritage.  It’s part of our history.  And what could be more fun than learning history through songs you can clap to, stomp to, and sink your teeth into??  🙂

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All three of these are incredible additions to ANY family! OUR FAMILY WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE! They are appropriate for all ages and run $18.99 per book/cd set…but for JULY 2014 ONLY you can get the set of all three for only $50!

You can see a list of songs within each book by looking HERE and scrolling down.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway we have going on which offers a set of these books/cds as well as almost $700 worth of other homeschool items! Check it out HERE. Giveaway ends Friday, July 4th so head over now!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

 

Diana Waring “Miracle Story” {History Through Music}

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As a member of the “Diana Waring Launch Team” I am VERY EXCITED to share this story with you. It is a story that she shared with us. My heart just BURST as I read her words. Due to that, I would like to share them with you…here is what she shared about the soon to be released “Experience History Through Music” book / cd sets:

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Sometime in the mid 1990s, the partnership that had produced “America,” “Westward Ho!” and “Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” decided that it was time to let a “real” publisher take over. So, we signed contracts with a company that was quite large in the homeschooling movement at the time. We were excited to have others taking over the day-to-day details, as I had moved from the Portland area to South Dakota, and this was going to make things so much easier for us all.

However, when this business went bankrupt in the late 1990s, something happened that was past my comprehension. I still don’t know why, but when they declared bankruptcy they simply threw everything in the dumpster—including our masters. When I heard this, it utterly devastated me. These wonderful projects were gone, and to reproduce this again seemed too hard without the audio masters. Between having to start over from scratch with all of the images and graphic design and having no audio masters, I thought the entire project was gone forever.

People would ask us about them from time to time, as they had read about them, or heard of them, or had owned the original cassette tapes, but we always told them sadly, “I don’t think they will ever come back into print.”

Then, several years ago, Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse contacted me to see if we might have any remaining stock of this product. She had heard of a family who had gone through a fire and lost everything, and her company was trying to help them rebuild their lives. I guess that the mom specifically talked about these American folk music in history books/audios, and this prompted Gena’s call to me.

I contacted the former partner who owned the recording studio to see if he, perchance, had somehow saved the audio files to digital. At the time, “T” was quite busy with other things, but he told me that he thought he might have saved a FEW songs. Since it didn’t sound promising, I thought it was probably a dead end. And I was sad all over again. It seemed like such a waste of a really fun product, that families had thoroughly enjoyed for years! And, of course, these were the first books I had ever written. . .

Why I tried again two years ago is a mystery to me. I just took the notion to contact T once more and ask if he had discovered whether or not he had saved any of the songs. This time, as we talked, T realized that there were possibly some ways he could “pull out” the recordings from the antiquated DAT machines. However, he was in the midst of some medical issues, and was not sure how much time he would have to devote to the project.

It took two years. And then, suddenly, I had an email in my inbox. The songs had ALL been digitally restored, remastered for CD, and were ready to go!! I could hardly believe my eyes. After fifteen years, these products were going to have a new life.

I can hardly describe what this means to me, personally. But, maybe I can share with you what happened a few months ago to illustrate. Our business phone rang one day, and a woman began excitedly talking to my husband. As he heard what she was saying, he suggested that I would like to hear her story directly. When I took the phone, this is what she said:

“Diana, I met you fourteen years ago at a convention. When I told you that our family absolutely LOVED ‘Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder,’ you told me what had happened when the publisher threw your masters away. You asked me to pray that somehow it would all be restored. . . And, I have been praying!! Each time I walked by the cassette tape, I was reminded to pray. . . for FOURTEEN years!!”

She went on to say that she had just read on social media that the products were coming back into print, and she was so excited to see that her prayers were finally being answered. Together, we shared a few tears and a few amazed words of joy at what was taking place before our very eyes.

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I absolutely LOVE this story…and it feels so wonderful to be able to share it with you!

If you are interested in learning more about these soon to be released book/cd sets…there will be a Facebook Launch on Tuesday, July 1st. Join us! [And be watching for my soon to be coming review!]

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Schoolhouse Review ~ Golden Prairie Press #hsreviews

Golden Prairie Press ReviewWe had the opportunity to review Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History by Amy Puetz offered through Golden Prairie Press. This is an all encompassing History curriculum recommended for grades 1 – 6 (but can be used for older grades too). This consists of six different items: the history books in part 1 and 2, additional materials, historical skits, sing some history and listen to some history…all are ELECTRONIC (but books can be ordered as printed items).

The author, Amy, is a HOMESCHOOL GRADUATE!!! Isn’t that cool!?!?!

Golden Prairie Press ReviewHistory book 1 has 388 pages, History book 2 has 408 pages – that is almost 800 pages! WOW! These are “the meat” of this curriculum. Normally the 1st Grade lessons have about one page of reading and the 3rd – 6th have about three. There are normally pictures involved (some black and white, some color). At the end of each lesson you will find a few review questions, writing topics, geography and some fun things to do. The lessons do indicate when you should refer to the other resources so you know when to use what and where. Each lesson also offers a memory verse. Often times historical art will be used to learn from as well. The answers to the review questions can be found at the back of each book.

The Additional Materials file contains twenty fun things to go along with some of the lessons – stories, pictures, songs, timelines, craft helps, etc.

The Sing Some History file contains twenty songs performed by either the Peterson Family or Fairchild and Harris (instrumental).

The Listen to Some History consists of twenty different things read by someone. For instance, the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence. Overall there is over four hours of listening available.

The Historical Skits ebook consists of 50 pages covering nineteen skits from Columbus to WWII and call for three to ten actors. This would be fun to use if you have a large family or in a co-op situation!

This is a very fun way to explore history for elementary grades – it covers a wide variety of ways to interest the students and get them involved in learning…what we homeschoolers LOVE! This curriculum involves fun learning not only through the text and exercises but also through games, cooking, crafts and experiments.

This is a sample of one of the many craft type things you can / will do with this curriculum. They are simple and easy to do (patterns provided!) using everyday common items found around the house. (It is also stressed that you do not have to do ALL of everything offered…you are to do what works best for your family!)

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For us, this program worked REALLY well as the lessons are short and the additional things that add to learning are fun and offered my active son the opportunity to “get up and learn” (how he learns best). We obviously did not have P write out the writing topics but they are things that can easily be “narrated” so as to make sure there is understanding of the topic without the writing.  For us, as we do Charlotte Mason type schooling with P, this curriculum fits in quite well…short, requires attention, then exploration.

You can view a sample of the History Book HERE…it shows you how “simple” this is but yet how in depth it covers.

Overall we LOVE this program and would recommend it to others. The only downfall in my opinion is the cost for this curriculum. It is $98.99 (which I feel is a bit expensive especially for ebook curriculum). You can get the books in printed form for the same price but they are only offered in black and white. Although we would normally prefer a printed book over an ebook, the black & white pictures would be a downfall.

Read more Golden Prairie Press reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

 

 

Crew Disclaimer

It's here! It's here!

Our box of next years curriculum arrived yesterday and WHAT A JOY! Now I understand all the excitement I’ve heard others talking about. I mean I had some idea because we’ve ordered different things (individually) but they more often than not were used and were just a very small part of something I was piecing together.

THIS. THIS.IS.AWESOME! An entire curriculum (well, mostly) – ALL BRAND NEW – a small glimpse of heaven. 🙂

If you read my previous post, 2012 – 2013 Curriculum, you know we decided to go with My Father’s World and we purchased the Preschool Package:

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And Ancient History & Literature (for our then 10th Grader):

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I personally had to HUG these two booklets (literally!) [they are the lesson plans and the supplement; aka a bunch of the work I have been doing the last several years…already done…amazing!]:

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And then…the most fun was had:

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It’s funny…it was pretty hard to make a final commitment to spend that kind of money but I knew it was the right thing to do so I pushed the “purchase” button pretty easily. And there was never a moment afterward when I regretted it (as we were waiting for it to arrive). Sure signs of the right decision.

But the joy on everyone’s face when it arrived…was final confirmation that we are doing the correct thing.

Along with this curriculum we will be using: MUS Algebra, Apologia Biology and Rosetta Stone Spanish. (I just found out that Rosetta Stone will be having a special sale at an upcoming expo – yet another sign from the Lord that He is providing for our needs!)

I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a school year – I pray it goes as good as I’m thinking!

Have you used MFW? If so, what was your experience? Have you purchased an entire years curriculum, new, all at one time? Please share!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

It’s here! It’s here!

Our box of next years curriculum arrived yesterday and WHAT A JOY! Now I understand all the excitement I’ve heard others talking about. I mean I had some idea because we’ve ordered different things (individually) but they more often than not were used and were just a very small part of something I was piecing together.

THIS. THIS.IS.AWESOME! An entire curriculum (well, mostly) – ALL BRAND NEW – a small glimpse of heaven. 🙂

If you read my previous post, 2012 – 2013 Curriculum, you know we decided to go with My Father’s World and we purchased the Preschool Package:

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And Ancient History & Literature (for our then 10th Grader):

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I personally had to HUG these two booklets (literally!) [they are the lesson plans and the supplement; aka a bunch of the work I have been doing the last several years…already done…amazing!]:

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And then…the most fun was had:

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It’s funny…it was pretty hard to make a final commitment to spend that kind of money but I knew it was the right thing to do so I pushed the “purchase” button pretty easily. And there was never a moment afterward when I regretted it (as we were waiting for it to arrive). Sure signs of the right decision.

But the joy on everyone’s face when it arrived…was final confirmation that we are doing the correct thing.

Along with this curriculum we will be using: MUS Algebra, Apologia Biology and Rosetta Stone Spanish. (I just found out that Rosetta Stone will be having a special sale at an upcoming expo – yet another sign from the Lord that He is providing for our needs!)

I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a school year – I pray it goes as good as I’m thinking!

Have you used MFW? If so, what was your experience? Have you purchased an entire years curriculum, new, all at one time? Please share!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

TOS Crew Review ~ Latin Alive!

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We had the opportunity to review Latin Alive! (for junior / high school students)…

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…and here is what we think of it…

WONDERFULLY, AMAZINGLY, AWESOME!!!

The Lord truly saw a desire within our family and filled that need with this!!  We tried a different Latin curriculum earlier this year, and decided to put it off until next year.  We also had the opportunity to review another Latin item that was more of a supplemental piece.  The supplemental piece worked better for us than the first curriculum but it wouldn’t have been enough to really work with.  So, when we got this curriculum, I was SO EXCITED to open it up and check it out!

 

Let’s just say WE WERE NOT LET DOWN!

 

We were provided the entire Latin Alive! 1 Bundle that included the student book, teacher book, instructional DVD & CD set.  As someone new to Latin – we *HIGHLY RECOMMEND* the instructional DVDs!  Karen Moore is the instructor on the DVDs and she does it very well!  She is funny and doesn’t seem to have any funny quirks or little irritations.

I am actually literally doing this with ds14 and we are both GREATLY enjoying it!

 

For us, we like this program because it does exactly what the name says – it brings Latin alive!  It shows how it is still seen and used A LOT still today, and how a lot of the English language came from Latin.  This curriculum is not simply looking at Latin words – although it is definately that – but is is so much more as it shows you why you are doing what you are doing and how it applies to today.

 

Would we recommend this product?  YES!!!  Without one inkling of hesitation!  My thought: run quick to your nearest computer and buy it NOW!  *grin*  The bundle we received sells for $139, and in my opinion – is worth every penny!!!

 

They also have Latin curriculum for the younger ones…
K – 3rd: Song School for Latin
Then there is Latin for Children A, B, C

 

They also have items for Spanish, French, Greek, Bible, Poetry, etc.

As an added bonus, check out Headventure Land – from the site:

FlashDash is a speedy quizzing game, that tests your vocabulary skills in your language of choice. Chart Challenge tests your knowledge of important charts, such as conjugation tables, in a jigsaw puzzle game. In both games you race against the clock to reach your high score, and to see if you can beat the other students’ high scores!

For more information or to order, contact:
Classical Academic Press
3920 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Toll Free: 866-730-0711
Phone: 717-730-0711
Fax: 717-730-0721

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

This product was reviewed as a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew…I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. Everything stated here is my own opinion. You can see the direct posting with the TOS Homeschool Crew and what my fellow crewmates thought by clicking HERE.