history curriculum review: the good and the beautiful history 1

Today marks several weeks of homeschool under our belts.  I’m pleased to share with you that The Good and the Beautiful History 1 is a big hit with me and the littles.  We have completed Unit 1 which comprises of Ancient History.  In this unit we covered Ancient Biblical History and Ancient Egypt through Modern Egypt.

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Pros:

Open and Go:

The teacher can simply open up this curriculum and get going.  Very little prep work is required.  I needed to make sure we had our Read-aloud picked out and ready.  I also had to buy some gold tape for our armband craft.  The craft was super easy and took us less than 10 minutes to complete.

Comes with all you need for maps/timelines:

This curriculum includes sheets you can photocopy for children.  The Big Book of History Stories has maps in the back.  If you do not have a map of the World at home, you can utilize the ones in the book or online.

All ages enjoyed the information and were challenged:

When you purchase this curriculum, you get a board game, course book, and book with history stories.  The course also comes with a PDF download with all levels of the Student Explorers.  The Student Explorers are separated into age groups.  I simply printed out the proper explorer for each child and placed it into a 3-ring binder.  Some colored pages while others researched topics outlined in their explorers and wrote reports.

My high school believed she learned valuable information in her independent studies as well as enjoying the “younger” group activities.

Chronological format:

I appreciate any curriculum that lays out history chronologically.  I personally find it confusing to bounce back and forth through timelines while learning.  This course is laid out in a fashion that combines biblical and secular history in order.

Ancient times through Modern Times:

Each history course offered by The Good and the Beautiful covers ancient through modern history in one year.  History 1 zooms in on Egypt, Moses, Ancient Britain, King Alfred, The Magna Carta, Joan of Arc, The scientific revolution, The French Huggunots, The American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, The Victorian Era, the history of flight, the Space Race and the end of The Cold War.

I absolutely LOVE that we are not getting burnt out on one time period. I think it keeps everyone’s attention, while making intentional pauses to dig deeper into area of interest people, and importance in history.

Audio recordings:

The course book comes with a link and password to unlock the audio recordings that coincide with certain lessons.  The radio recordings are a series of stories following a brother and sister whose aunt and uncle are teaching them in a fun way about history and time periods.  All of the kids find this to be captivating.  They usually color of get snuggly in the living room and listen, while I clean up the kitchen from breakfast and set up school for the day.

I love this portion of the curriculum because it gives me a break from reading, and the dramatization of the recording are done very well.  The stories depicted in the recordings solidify what we have learned in a creative way.

Cons:

Length:

This curriculum can take 30 minutes or an hour and a half.  I sometimes feel that it is taking too long, but we only do five lessons in a two-week period.  The curriculum suggests 2-3 lessons per week.

The time it takes varies, so if you run a tight ship or have appointments to get to, it may derail some of your daily goals.  We tend to just get everything required done first thing in the morning.  You could push the read-aloud, recordings, and student explorers to the afternoon if you need to free up your morning time or it feels too long all at once.

Not immersive

If you’re looking for something that will teach your kids everything about one topic, this isn’t it.  You may spend a month on Egypt and only a couple of days on The Cold War ending.  I’m okay with this format, but it may not be your style.

No emphasis of memorizing timelines or dates

Again, I don’t mind this,  I can always stress the dates and chronology if I want.  If you are searching for a curriculum that prompts you to teach these things, you will be disappointed.  That being said, the Keys of History game cards do have those things.  Children will learn in a more passive way.  History 2 does have a separate timelines book.

Overall, I am very much enjoying the open-and-go approach to this curriculum.  This is very nice for me, a working mom, to pick up where we left off and have no real planning involved.

I have had to look ahead to make sure I didn’t need to purchase anything for art ect.  There are very little projects that you won’t be able to do with standard household items and basic craft materials.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  Go check out jennyphillips.com to see if this history would be a good fit for your family.

What history curriculum or method do you love right now?

 

 

 

 

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mystery of history curriculum review

I posted here about all the curriculum we’re using this year.  We are continuing through Mystery of History Volume 1.  I’ll let you know right off the bat, we LOVE it!.  I had a request several months back for a review.  Now that we’ve used it for a reasonable amount time, I’m ready to give you my full review.

Please keep in mind, we haven’t completed the book.  I can tell the system of it now, and that every lesson follows the same format.  The simplicity of this curriculum is one of its greatest strengths.  If your child can read you don’t even need to “teach” it.  It’s written to the child.  The activities are short and common enough (no crazy shopping lists) for us to be able to complete them all.  The only thing I purchased was a sewing board for our timeline.

I love the timeline.  It folds up and fits in compact areas.  Timelines we had in the past never got put up because I didn’t like it all over my house.  We don’t have a school room.

So, here’s how it looks.

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Every three lessons, the timeline and memory cards are filled out.

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There are review tests and pretests.  These are short but impacting.  No over testing involved

 

 

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All the activities we do are filed in a binder, along with tests, and reviews.  The sections we have in our binder are categorized by geographical regions.

The curriculum’s flexibility  is wonderful.  This is designed for K-12.  One book of history for all grades!  You know I love a multi-leveled curriculum. This doesn’t disappoint.  You can make the activities as complicated or simple as you need to.  You can also turn each lesson into a week-long study if that’s what you like.  We don’t.  I usually have books for the week’s topics in every reading level.  They read more in-depth information on their own.  If I’m particularly unorganized or behind, I pull up online articles for the older kids to read.

I don’t say this often but, I can’t see myself ever searching for a different history book for our schooling.  I love that we can do this together, or I can plan out independent study as the kids get older.  There’s just enough written to cover it well, but not to bore them out of the fun of learning history.

We love!  Here’s a link for more information.  There are different volumes.  When you complete one you go to the next.  Then you can circulate them.

I have also done a YouTube video that goes through the book details.  Thanks for reading.  I hope this was helpful.  Please ask any questions you may have.  Have a great day of schooling those babes!