Monday, February 20, 2017

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece my REVIEW of this Homeschool Curriculum

When I was in school, I don't remember learning much ancient history--American history, yes, but ancient history? not so much. This means as I am teaching my kids ancient history, I'm always on the lookout for good curriculum to help me out; I was happy to get the chance to REVIEW this product by Home School in the Woods entitled HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece.

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study

The "passport" in the title gives you a clue as to the theme of this study. It is as if you are a passenger traveling into ancient Greece. Different lessons are your different "stops" along the way. Each stop features different learning opportunities such as maps, timeline/timeline figures, readings, listening, lapbooks, and more!

Each day has an itinerary which lays out that day's fun adventures:

The student can do all or some of the events listed on the itinerary, all of which play into/reinforce the topic of the stop. (to give you an example of what I mean by the topics of the stops, for instance: Stop 3: The Archaic Movement, Stop 4: Greek Government, Stop 5: Athens, and so on).

Some of the activities for the stops are things such as:

Adding to snapshot moments (timeline): 

Audio Tour :  (8 great "audio tour" mp3's are included)

"Wish you were here" postcard greetings:  with a greeting on one side for them to read and a blank other side for them to illustrate said greeting:
The postcards actually have a cute border but I messed up in printing them :) 

Filling in locations on maps: 

Add to the newspaper Greek Weekly:

And many other activities, including lapbook projects, modeling projects, and more! 

In our family, this product was used with my 12 year old daughter.  She is quite creative and enjoyed the variety of projects that accompanied each stop.  She is old enough that she worked quite independently with the materials, doing the work and finding the information as well as keeping her materials organized.

This Home School in the Woods Ancient History curriculum  comes as a .pdf download or on a CD.  You will find what you need in these files.  The text, the itineraries, the instructions, all the masters for the activities:  pictures (timeline, etc), newspaper templates, maps, models, and more. There are instructions and parts to make lapbooks of this information as well.   You can also view photos of finished works of some of these projects.

The timeline figures are nice -- just color and glue onto their identified spots! that my daughter has used the materials, what do we think of them? Okay, I have to first of all qualify my remarks by explaining off the bat that we are not lapbook homeschoolers.  I have never made a lapbook, I actually had to look up and see what exactly a lapbook is.  It seems there are a great number of homeschoolers who do enjoy this way of teaching/learning.  We did not use this aspect of this Ancient Greece study--I just am not familiar with that so we didn't use it.  Suffice it to say that it appears that there is an opportunity for doing some pretty cool-looking lapbooking (from the pictures given with the lessons)
Don't be too impressed with me -- this is just a sample from the curriculum, we didn't make it :) 

I will also say that our "style" of homeschooling, and the materials we usually use are books and notebooks with the occasional print-out thrown in.  This curriculum is quite different than what I'm used to.  I was quite intimidated by all the printing that needed to occur and with all the papers and projects that were to be generated.

I also had a difficult time figuring out the directions at first -- how to even use the materials.

My daughter enjoyed the lessons.  She got a little frustrated with the maps, trying to find the places on the ancient maps, but we were able to google most of them (and later on I learned that in the image files on the .pdfs there were answer sheets!)  Some of her favorite parts were the postcards and the newspapers, and she loved the audio mp3's!

I felt like the information taught through this study was great, complex in parts, fun and engaging. There are such a variety of ways that information is learned that it can appeal to a large swathe of different learning styles as well.  I think it will hold a child's interest and help them to really think about what they are learning as well.  It is not just learning the facts, but interpreting them in ways (for instance, for the newspaper ads -- they have to use their creativity to express the information in terms of an advertisement).

So as far as a recommendation:  it's definitely not for me--give me a textbook any day!  I will bet a lot of you are cringing at that -- YOU are the people that this curriculum is written for!  I do like the material covered, and if you are not like me (self-admittedly basic me!) then I think you will enjoy teaching your students using HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece brought to you by

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study

AND guess what?  They not only have this great Ancient Greece study, they also have Passport studies for Ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance--and there is an Ancient Rome study coming soon!

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HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews

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