I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a great fan of Charlotte Mason and her teaching methods. When I got offered a chance to review something from Brookdale House I knew that I wanted to. You see, I reviewed the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive. This is truly learning Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way and I couldn’t be happier! Well, I will be happier once we get the entire series!!
With this curriculum, my kids are learning proper cursive handwriting as well as important lessons in ancient history. I’ve never been a fan of copywork that just has them copy the same word over and over and over. It’s boring. It’s dull. They’re not learning anything really. Oh yes, they learn how to spell that word and how to form the letters, but that’s it. They’re not getting any real lessons out of it. This is why I love the Charlotte Mason way of learning. You eliminate the “twaddle” and the stuff that doesn’t encourage learning or improve the mind.
While they’re learning about the proper way to form cursive letters, they’re also learning ancient history the Charlotte Mason way. It doesn’t seem like they’re memorizing rote facts to them. It doesn’t seem like they’re really learning at all! But they are! They’re memorizing passages of history that will stick with them through the years.
I received an e-book of the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive. The online cost for this is $22.95. You can also purchase a print copy of the book if you’d rather. Level 2 is for Grades 3-5. Level 1 covers grades 1-3. I chose level 2 because I have two children in 4th grade who are working on their cursive handwriting. I would now like to go back and get all the Level 1 and 2’s from all the different levels of history! My two younger children who are in preschool and kindergarten(ages 5 and 4) obviously aren’t quite ready for these, but my older six could all use them.
The e-book came as a 384 page PDF download. It’s broken up into an introduction section and then subsequent chapters. There are four chapters and each chapter has a different type of reading passage. Chapter 1- short stories, Chapter 2- extracts from primary sources, Chapter 3- poetry, and Chapter 4- folk or cultural tales. There are also Bible passages interspersed that you can use as well. There are some ancient mythology stories in here so you may want to skip those if you don’t approve. I personally love mythology and will want to teach that to my children but from a Biblical perspective.
Another choice besides which era of history you’d like to do is whether you want cursive or manuscript. I chose cursive simply because that is the type of penmanship my two in 4th grade are using. I wanted to give them more practice writing and READING cursive. You see, not many curriculums or books even these days use cursive and it can be difficult to find copywork that is cursive unless you make it yourself. Which, though I have done, it’s time-consuming and as a busy working mom of 9 children I don’t have the time!!
That is why we are in love with Brookdale House and their Writing Through History series. We started with the Ancient History because I love to take things along a timeline. The next era that we would then do is medieval, early modern, and modern. I’m already excited to see what those entail as I love history! You can see some sample pages from each book HERE!
To get a bit more in-depth, this course allows them to read historical selections, understand and be able to verbalize that back, write down a short summary of that, and then read a short model that they then copy down three times. At first it may take your child longer to read and comprehend what they’ve read if they are not used to reading historical type narrations.
After browsing their site, I’ve also found the Bible Memorization made easy that we’d like to try out as well. It looks like an easy way to help your children hide God’s word in their hearts for many years to come.
So our final opinions are that we love this. My kids were a bit not in love at first because I hadn’t made them narrate back or summarize very many things. This is great practice for them and I think they are really learning how to analyze and break apart works now. The copy work is good as well as it’s not just childlike phrases or words strung together. As the parent I heartily approve and as the students they are beginning to love it!! We recommend it and encourage you to give it a try. Ancient history the Charlotte Mason way has definitely been a hit in our homeschool!
If you’re interested in what we reviewed or something else from Brookdale House, make sure to check out all the other reviews on the main TOS Crew Blog. We were given several different choices of what we could review so I’m sure you’ll find something at your child’s level. You can also find Brookdale House on facebook, pinterest, twitter, and google +.