“These are a few of my favorite things!”
Do you remember that song from The Sound of Music? Well, today I’m going to talk about a couple of my favorite things. My first favorite thing is history. I know I have talked about this before but we really do love history around here. It began with my parents. They would take us to wonderful historic places like Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Plymouth Rock, etc. I also had the great pleasure of being a teen during our countries Bicentennial in 1976 so that helped stoke my love of history. I have tried to pass that on to my children and, thankfully, do to some excellent curriculum, books, and, of course, vacations to some great historic sites ourselves, my kids have developed a love for history as well.
Another one of my favorite things is Memoria Press. My first experience with this great classical curriculum company was when we first began to homeschool John Allen, my oldest, I decided I wanted him to learn Latin since that was the basis for many language. That began his love of Latin and our love of Memoria Press. We used one of their Latin curriculums and John Allen excelled. We have used several things of theirs over the years. So, what could be better than a history curriculum from Memoria Press? Well, that’s what we got! We were blessed to receive The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set.
These two awesome sets actually consist of five books and a set of flashcards. The first book that I want to talk about comes from the The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set. The whole set is actually based on H. A. Guerber’s historical works by the same name. I love original historical books that were written before the time of rewriting history and political correctness. This is an honest portrayal of what really happened in the early days of our great nation. Original written in 1899 this 211 page combination of these two books is divided into 85 short stories that cover “Our Country so Long Ago” all the way to “The Spanish-American War”. The stories are well written and interesting. In fact, it’s books like this on which I based the history curriculum that I put together for our two autism spectrum boys. This book fits in marvelously with the other books that I’ve been using. My kids have learned so much by using old historical textbooks such as this.
The two other books that come in this set are The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Student and Teacher Guides. These 32 lesson books cover all of the chapters in the original H. A. Guerber textbook. Each Lesson has four sections. The “Facts to Know” section covers several events, items or people that a student should know about and memorize. Such things as William Penn, the Seven Years’ War and The Statue of Liberty are included in this section. The “Vocabulary” section simply has the student define different words that may be new to them in each story. Section 3 – “Comprehension Questions” ask questions about the different stories that the student must answer in two or three sentence. Finally, the last section, “Enrichment”, has the students locate different historical areas on the map, list things on a timeline or other chart, and then do some other activity such as write a journal entry or memorize a particular poem or document. My kids love doing this type of work because they love history and this is something that they can exceed in. Often I will ask them the questions or vocabulary definitions because they have difficulty with small motor tasks, but really there is not much writing at all in the student workbook and each lesson is only about two pages long. The Appendix in the back has the maps, charts and documents that are referred to in the lessons. The Teacher Guide has all of the same things that the Student Guide has but has all of the answers filled in. It also has four tests that cover about 8 lessons each that can be given to the student.
The 200 Questions About American History Set includes a Student Book and Teacher Guide as well as a set of flashcards to drill students with. This set is exactly as it is named – 200 Questions About American History. They are 200 important questions that all students should know. It is a complement set to the H. A. Guerber set and most of the answers are taken from the H. A. Guerber textbook. In the student book, the chapter where the answer is found in the Guerber book is given. There is also a helpful chart at the beginning of the book that lists where the answers can be found. The one difference between this set and the Guerber set is that this set goes beyond where Guerber ended. For the historical events beyond The Spanish American War it is recommended that you purchase Volume 4 of Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. Again the Teacher Guide includes everything the Student Guide includes along with the answers but also includes seven tests that can be given throughout the year. The flashcards are very handy in reviewing the 200 important events. My boys really excel by using flashcards in their learning and these question on one side/answer on the other cards are very helpful.
These are definitely going to be used throughout our course of learning American History. As I mentioned before they go along fantastically with what we are already using. We are very pleased with them.
To find out more about The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set just click on any one of the highlighted texts above or check out the social media links listed below. Some of the other Homeschool Crew Members reviewed other items from Memoria Press and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!
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