Friday, May 25, 2012

Living History Stories - A New TOS Review!!

I have always been a history kinda gal.  My original major in college was history.  I have loved that while homeschooling I can still learn along with my children.  That's one of the great things about homeschooling.  So when I heard about our latest review opportunity I was very intrigued ... a company who has compiled old history books and stories into collections.  Now that's a resource I'd love to have.
The Product:
Heritage History is classical in nature and takes a "living books" approach to learning history.  They have compiled book and stories of history into themed collections allowing your student to have a full and well-rounded study of World History starting a 4th grade all the way through High School.

These story-based CD collections come in five themes or libraries:

Each CD library includes biographies, stories about heroes and legends, historical literature, as well as comprehensive history texts.  This variety allows the student to learn at their own pace and level and enjoying history instead of just memorizing a slew of facts with no context, just for the sake of memorizing.
Also included on the CD's are study aids, historical maps, timelines, and summaries of the era of history being studied.  There are hundreds of pages of these resources included on each history library.  For more information on what is included in these study guides as well as samples you can go directly to that information by clicking here.

Heritage History has also set out their recommendation on how to apply their program through their curriculum guide.  This guide will show you a multi-year program which will cover most of Western Civilization.  In addition to the library collections above they also have a high school level study in both Early American history and Modern European history, but these two areas do not come as complete courses and do not have the extensive study aids the other 5 libraries, as of yet.

If that wasn't all I think you will love what I'm going to tell you next.  When you order the CD's you don't just get a printable version (high-def PDF version) that you can read on your home computer.  Each CD comes also in EPUB and MOBI versions so they can be read on any e-reader of your choice!  Isn't that just fantastic?!  You can learn more about the process of downloading the CD onto your electronic device here or on the CD itself and they have even given a sample of a e-book for you to download to your computer or e-reader or tablet.
And you are not going to believe the price.  Each individual CD collection is just $24.99 OR you can purchase the entire five CD set for $99.00 and save $25!  And right now they are having a Spring Sale where when you purchase 2 you get 1 FREE!!

Our Experience:
What I did first for this review was go in and read the lists of stories and resources on our CD - Young Reader's Classical Curriculum.  It is an introductory unit of Heritage History's Curriculum designed for elementary age student's who are reading well and on their own.  It will offer a broad overview of the major players and events in Western Civilization as well as be a great supplement offering additional living books texts to complement your current history program.

Once I read through them, I found stories that matched the era of history we have been studying this year.  Then I would allow Arianna to read the stories aloud to the family or in the very least to just Audrie.  Then we would have a discussion time about what they had read and remembered from their history lessons.
The Young Reader's CD is a large collection that has over 80 stories/books that have been categorized by many different ways - genre or by subject, summaries, or by series.  It does have a Study Guide, but it is much shorter since this collection is an overview of all history opposed to a summary of a particular civilization.  There is also a section for new users of the program which give an introduction, how to get started, and their recommendations on how to use this curriculum in your home.

Most of the books on the Young Reader's collection can be read in a short period of just 3-4 hours for a strong reader.  Because each book is a complete story they can be read in any order to fit your schedule.  The one thing with this collection is to read a selection from each genre and subject offered to afford a complete overview of western civilization.

My Thoughts:
I think this is an AWESOME curriculum both as a stand alone or as an added resource to help make history come alive.

I will be honest with you - we haven't read EVEYRTHING.  :)  That would be impossible.  I am so happy that we will have this for the rest of our elementary years to use for my younger children as well as allowing the older children to continue to use it as a resource.

Heritage History  is a great resource as well as full curriculum which will allow children to learn history in such a way that they will love it, not loathe having memorized facts about it.  I hope that I have interested you in more then a casual look at this curriculum and that you will take a look at other of  my Crew Members reviews since we all reviewed from the set of 5 libraries.  You can find Heritage History via email, and on Facebook.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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