History Story Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

History Story Books 

Homeschool Review Crew

We love history in our home.  Not just in our homeschool, but in our everyday reading material as well.  That’s why we were so excited to be offered some history story books from Carole P. Roman to review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew.  We received three titles in the mail to read and love.  Our package contained If You Were Me and Lived In. . .The American West: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Viking Europe: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, and If You Were Me and Lived In. . . Ancient China: The Han Dynasty- An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time.

 

Carole P Roman Blog
 

If you can’t tell, there is a bit of a theme throughout these three books.  We have three different places and periods of history to read and visit.  A big factor for us in choosing books is to hold them up against the standards of Charlotte Mason.  Are these books teaching us?  Or are they merely telling us something made up and entertaining us?  I feel that these history story books are what we would call “living books” and help to teach history as well as culture.

How to Use History Story Books

For us we like to read the books for pleasure first.  Something in the book will normally stick out as interesting or exciting and garner their attention.  That’s when mom takes over.  We then delve deeper into whatever that is.  What caught their interest?  Why do they love a certain time period or practice or custom or culture?  Take their interest and make it into a learning experience.

The If You Were Me and Lived In series from Carole P. Roman definitely fits the history story books theme as they are full of information about the cultures and time periods.  They give you information that just a history book might not.  And of course, it’s not dry reading but fun and interactive.  These books work best for ages 4-9.  They’re a longer reading book but not so long as to be a history book.  Each book contains a glossary in the back to help with any words that might not be familiar.  The drawings in the book are amazing and I love the attention to fashion detail.  I’m a bit of a fashion of old times lover so I took particular interest in those.

 

Books by Carole P Roman

Viking Europe

This book is 76 pages long.  We were able to read this aloud in less than an hour.  I did read this aloud to my children as I have a few who cannot read on their own yet.  But, I also have some big kids that stole these books as soon as they were out of the package and read them through quickly.  Viking Europe is a time period we chose because my children love all things Medieval.  Boats and swords and vikings oh my!  It’s the stuff of little boys dreams!  My boys are 10, 9, and 9, well and a 15 month old as well but he’s more into tractors and trucks right now.

Now that we talked about what my boys expected, this book does cover the typical sea faring Viking but also talks about how they made villages and farmed as well.  Plus the class system that the Viking Norse people had in place during and around 870 AD.  I loved learning about the clothing of the period while my children were more interested in what they ate and of course those ships!  The distinction of not only owning two shirts but wearing two shirts at one time.  Oh my.  We’re quite far from that today.

My boys were the first to pick up this Viking book and took particular glee in telling my almost teenage daughters all the not so fun things that would have been their daily tasks.  Oh and the whole married at the age of 15 business to help prosper the father.  Not sure we’re going to be adopting that tradition anytime soon!  I did appreciate that the Vikings respected their women and that a wife could divorce her husband for abuse or cruelty.  

 

Books by Carole P Roman

American West

Let’s visit the American West!  54 pages long and full of wonderful information this book is going to keep your little cowboys and cowgirls entertained.  In this book we’re focusing on the mass immigration of 1843 to points out west.  Particularly this book has children being around 12 years old and moving to Willamette Valley, Oregon from Ohio.  Because we reenact the Civil war which was merely twenty years past this date we do know a lot about the clothing and customs of the time.  However, I’ve never even been to Oregon so reading about the land and lifestyle out there is informative.  Oh and to travel by wagon!  We have had the pleasure of riding in a covered wagon but only for a mile or so.  I can’t imagine travelling that way for miles upon miles all day long.  

The jumping off point for all the wagons travelling west was Independence, Missouri.  This is literally within two hours of us and we’ve been there multiple times for just visiting friends and also doing reenactments.  It’s a great way of making the history story books just a little more real for us.  Of course, my girls did take offense to the sister being called whiny and getting to ride in the wagon.  They assured me that they would have walked and are not whiny.

A large shock was had by all at the amount of acreage that one couple was granted.  Our main characters family was granted 640 free acres.  That’s a lot of land.  We live on a farm that is 63 acres and think it’s a good sized amount of land.  I cannot imagine having 640 acres to explore and build on.  My boys of course are now making their own little “house” in our timber using the instructions given in this book plus some more details that we found through our research.

 

Books by Carole P Roman

Ancient China

The book that we were sent as a surprise is about Ancient China.  We haven’t spent a lot of time studying the ancient civilizations except for Egypt so this was mostly new information to us.  This history story book is 76 pages long and full of all kinds of interesting information.  The time frame is 150 AD.  Some fun facts we learned were about the Silk Road and how the silk trade made a whole new class of people within the merchants due to silk being such a commodity.  The Han dynasty lasted four hundred years making it one of the longest lasting dynasties.  It was also a very important dynasty for Ancient China.  Because of the progress and government being formed it is often called the Golden Age of Ancient China.  Paper and porcelain both came from this era.

Because this book focuses on the children of a doctor they are fairly well to do.  It then delves a bit into the other ranks of class and how they would live as well.  Other take aways are fun things like chicken being the staple dish.  My girls found it interesting that colors had such significance and that they would have been married in a red dress versus white.  The lay out of the house is very unique and I for one can’t say that I would enjoy it.

Learn More

Make sure you go to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out all the history story books reviews.  There is a vast range of books that were reviewed so I’m sure you can find at least one or two that you’d like to learn more about and check out.  You can also find Carole P. Roman on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and good reads

 

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American History Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

American History Study

Homeschool Review Crew

As we’re working through our school year I decided that we needed to add in more history.  Who can go wrong with history?  It’s a favorite subject of ours and we really haven’t covered a lot of American History lately.  Enter Memoria Press to the rescue.   We received two products from them to review that pertain to American history; 200 Questions About American History Set and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Set.

 

Memoria Press
 

I was so excited when these came in the mail.  My kids gave me a look though.  I think they saw more work for them and less excitement.  That didn’t last long.  They soon were over at the box with me asking questions and wanting to know if they could take parts and read them.

About the Curriculum

Since we received two sets let’s talk briefly about each.  Both sets are meant for grades 5-8.  I think this is spot on and have been using them with my two who are doing 5/6 grade work.  Now the cards that come with the 200 Questions about American History Set are super fun and all my kids love looking at those.  They’re all learning so much just from reading and chatting about the cards.

Now about 200 Questions about American History Set.  It is a great set compiled of the teacher guide, student book, and the flashcards.  We have loved working with this set.  Created to work with The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic this ties in very well.  It can also be used with The Story of the World Volume IV.  We use The Story of the World as well but are only in book 1 so can’t tell you how well they work together.  I can say that there were some questions in here that I didn’t know so this is a very thorough course!

 

200 Questions About American History Set Grades 5-8
 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic is also a set.  It comes with a text, teachers guide, and student guide.  This is the newly revised second edition. The text you receive is a combined version of the books by H. A. Grueber.  Memoria Press edited and combined them for this current text.  This covers the start of America with the Native Americans up through 1898 and the Spanish American War.

Both sets work together and provide great coverage of American History for your student.  The student books are meant to be used by one student so additional student books for additional students.  They’re easy to purchase through Memoria Press and shipping is fast. 

 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set

 

Our Thoughts

My kids loved this.  We’ve used other Memoria Press products before and have loved them as well but this is our first time trying out their history.  

As a way to add the younger kids into our school we would read aloud our history portions for the day.  The text by Grueber is not dry and dull so they all loved to listen and learn.  Without doing the actual questions my other kids are learning a lot about American History too.  Sometimes I would do a few of the questions that weren’t too difficult with the younger ones too outloud. 

We loved learning more about American history and loved all the mapwork.  No map comes with this, but normally homeschoolers have a plethora right?  We used one that I had on hand so we could map American expansion.

I have found as a parent that we’ve thoroughly covered some time periods and not as thoroughly others.  My husband and I met reenacting the Civil War.  I’ve been doing this since I was 7, so obviously my children have grown up doing it as well and know a lot about that time period.  They don’t know as much about the Colonial time period so I’m glad to have these two resources that thoroughly cover this period!

Learn More

Learn more about the two American History sets we received as well as the other Memoria Press products that were up for review by going to the Main Crew Review blog and checking out all the reviews that are linked up.  You can also find them on facebook, instagram, twitter, and pinterest

 

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Learning US History Through Food {TOS Crew Review}

Kids love food.  It’s a known fact.  People love food.  Food is integral to our cultures and our lives.  My kids recently have been learning US History through food with Eat Your U.S. History Homework.   This is a book in a series of Eat Your Homework books by Ann McCallum Books.  

 

Learning US History Through Food
We received a hardcover version of the Eat Your U.S. History Homework book.  It retails for $15.95.  It is also available as an ebook but this is definitely one I’d recommend as a hardcover version.  After all you’re going to be in the kitchen with it!  The illustrations are catchy and engaging and it’s written in such a way that even the smaller of our children were enthralled.   Learning US History Through Food has never been easier or more fun or yummy!

Ann McCallum is the author of the three Eat Your Homework books(history, science, and math) as well as others.  She currently is a high school teacher in Maryland.  The fun fact my children and I loved was that she started her teaching career as a teacher in a one room schoolhouse in northern Canada.  One of our favorite literary characters was a school teacher in Canada(Anne of Green Gables) which immediately made this book and author one step up in their minds!

This book is different than what I thought it might initially be.  I thought we were going to connect recipes that we know and eat now with recipes that were eaten back in a certain time period.  For instance, we eat Shepherd’s Pie and they ate that during the Revolutionary War.  Or we love to eat Sutler’s Beans which is a Civil War era recipe.  But it’s not!  Instead we’re introduced to mainly new recipes that my kids are not familiar with.  Therefore, they get a new memory of a new taste and can associate that with a time in history.  It’s really quite brilliant!!

 

Learning US History Through Food
I did have to do some tweaking to the recipes.  As a mom of a large family I often had to double or triple the recipes.  I also am a mom of a food allergy family.  This means that I had to replace the wheat or gluten in the recipe with a gluten free version and replace any milk products with milk free versions.  It’s something I’m used to doing so it was not hard for me, but I did want to mention that the recipes are not all allergen friendly.  

The time period that this book covers is prior to and including the Revolutionary War.  This is great because it means(to us and hopefully to the author) that a sequel or two are in the works.  After all, there is still quite a bit of history to cover!

The book is geared towards ages 7-10.  You really want them to be old enough to read and do small acts in the kitchen.  I being the mom that I am with 9 kids ages 10-2 had a lot more help in the kitchen.  I designated one child as our recipe reader.  We then would give each child one ingredient to measure out(if there were enough ingredients) and other jobs such as mixing or pouring, etc could be assigned to different children.  Then we picked one recipe that an older child got to prepare on their own(with adult supervision) and then teach the rest of the kids about the dish and why we were eating it.  As I stated before, this book and the concept of learning US history through food is brilliant!

We have one main complaint about this book.  It’s not long enough.  Seriously.  It only contains six recipes so we only were able to discuss six time periods.  I stated above that there is hope for a sequel since only a small section of history is covered and I hope that this will be done.  Then all the different books and time periods could be compiled into one large book.  This mama would for sure buy it!

A fun tidbit, but all of these recipes can be cooked over an open campfire!  We reenact the Civil War and plan to cook several of these again over the campfire when we are out and about at our events.  We already did a recipe similar to the Colonial Cherry Berry Grunt and can’t wait to give it a smoke infused taste.  Yummy with homemade ice cream!  We tried the Independence Ice Cream in the book.  It was super simple of course and very good.  We did decide though that we’d stick with our hand crank at events.  Makes a whole lot more!!

If you’d like to learn more about the Eat Your Homework books or see some of the other great offerings that Ann McCallum Books has please check out the Main TOS Blog for the link up.  Several of our bloggers received different books and are sharing their thoughts.  You’ll see more of the Eat Your U.S. History Homework as well as Science and Math and two other books.  Ann McCallum Books currently does not have any social media sites for me to send you to, so please make sure to check out their website in my first paragraph!  We’re loving learning US history through food and hope you will too.

 

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American History Unit Study for Elementary Ages #hsreviews

Golden Prairie Press Review
If you’re like me, you love history.  I want my children to love history as much as my husband and I do, so I put a lot of thought into which curriculum we choose.  Recently, we reviewed Golden Prairie Press.  They have an awesome American History Unit Study for Elementary ages.   It is Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum and it is great!   Okay, so you don’t have to take my word for it, keep reading and decide for yourself!

Golden Prairie Press Review
This history curriculum is geared for grades 1-6 though older ages can use it as well.  Within the digital file you will find two sections on each subject.  The first section is for younger grades 1-2 with larger font and a more basic overview.  The next section is for grades 3-6 and is more in depth with smaller font.  This is a 30 week history.  We received the complete history set which includes:

  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1 e-book (lessons for the 1st half of the year.)
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2 e-book(lessons for the 2nd half of the year.)
  • Historical Skits e-book(nineteen skits from the time of Columbus to World War II)
  • Sing Some History Audio Download(Hear some of the songs that are mentioned in the book)
  • Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 Audio Download(An audio collection of original speeches, poems, sermons, and documents that are mentioned in the book)
  • Additional Materials Downloads (Printable timelines, instructions and entertaining videos, color artwork, coloring pages, and much more. 

The full curriculum is available to purchase for digital download for $98.99.  These come in MP3, zip, and PDF files.  You can then use them online or print them off.  I prefer to print off the two sections of the book so that I can have them in my hands for planning purposes.  I’m a very hands on type person when it comes to books.  I want to be able to touch them and mark them up if I want to.  It’s kind of hard to highlight my computer screen!

Golden Prairie Press Review
 

American History is so important for our children to learn.  It’s our history and heritage as a country.  However, most of the time history curriculums are dry.  They don’t hold a child’s interest let alone leave an impression on them that will stay with them.  This is where the good and the bad in terms of American History curriculum are separated.  For us, Golden Prairie Press has created an American History Unit Study that we consider to be a good one!  A keeper if you will.  As a history buff, I’ve tried several history curriculums.  While my kids might have been okay with most, and maybe even paid attention and retained s0me of the knowledge, they were just lacking.  I did not approve.  I wanted an all intensive curriculum that would engage my children and make them want to go back in history.  I wanted them to question and actually be fully involved in their school.  

This is what the Digital Downloads Heroes and Heroines of the Past does for us.  It’s makes my children want to learn.  It makes them want to do more than just that days history lesson.  We have history recreations going on in our yard and in the bedrooms.  I also discovered that you have the option of purchasing the curriculum with a print book as well.  You can see that by going to THIS PAGE.  If I were purchasing the curriculum, I would purchase it with the print books instead of printing them off myself.  

We used this curriculum as our complete history.  So it was being used 5 days a week.  We just stopped the history we were doing(I wasn’t that impressed with it, but it was what we had) and implemented this new curriculum as our main history.   It took over.  We used it daily for the review period and well, we’re still using it daily!  A sample of our day in history would be we do a lesson a day.  We read  the lesson, then we use any of the extras that might go along with our daily lesson.  And then the fun begins!  This is where we either use the skit that is in the extras or we make up our own!  My kids love to reenact things(might have something to do with us being Civil War reenactors) and this is such a fun history to reenact.  I find we spend twice as long on our history lessons, but we retain almost 100% off the lesson!  

If you’d ask me if I recommend this curriculum for your American History needs, the answer would be yes.  I do also want to mention that a few other books are mentioned in the lessons and you are asked to read and reference them.  You can purchase them through the Golden Prairie Press website or simply borrow from the library.  The only difference will be that the books through Golden Prairie Press have been revived a bit.  A main one that is mentioned is Ten Girls From History in which the creator of the curriculum has removed a few chapters and edited the version she sells to make it more child friendly.  

Like what you’re learning?  Want to learn some more about this curriculum before you purchase?  Please take a moment to jump on over to the Main Crew Blog Post and check out all the other Crew reviews.  There are several and we all reviewed the same products so you are bound to find someone who thinks along the same lines as you do and see what their reaction was.   You can also check out Golden Prairie Press on Facebook.  

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