Monday, April 3, 2017

American History Middle School Curriculum by Memoria Press -- my REVIEW

What type of history does your family like to learn about?  I have one child who particularly likes ancient history, but all of my family enjoys learning local history...and American history, maybe because it reverberates with us somehow.  It is events that occurred relatively a short time ago.  It happened in places that we recognize and perhaps have visited.  It is our land, our heritage,our history.

My youngest daughter (7th grade) has recently been using a curriculum by Memoria Press which is called The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set, accompanied by the 200 Questions about American History Set.  I have not used products from this publisher before, and I will say that I am very impressed with these materials.

Included with the set of books that comes with The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set are a student text by H. A. Guerber, a student guide (workbook), and a Teacher Guide.
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set

My daughter could very easily use these books very independently, reading the chapter in the text and completing the accompanying workbook pages. These pages encompassed things such as facts to know, vocabulary, comprehension questions, and enrichment activities. The book also contains maps, charts, and important documents referenced in the lessons.

The teacher's guide also contains tests and keys to the tests and the workbook.

A great accompaniment to this book/workbook is the 200 Questions about American History Set. This set contains a workbook, teacher key, and flash cards.
200 Questions About American History Set
Grades 5-8

The chart in the beginning of this student guide coordinates the reading sections (from the Guerber book) with drill questions/timeline/quotes/Presidents questions. This allows the student to focus on these facts which are repeated by answering the question in writing in the workbook as well as going over those flashcards.

So...pretty basic, right?  Book, workbook, and a few extras?  Yes!  And let me tell you why I like this set-up so much!  We all realize that there are different types of learners, and some people learn more effectively in one way than others, right?  I'd also add that repetition makes learning easier and "stick" better!  This method combines all in a way that makes learning come quickly!  The student first gets the information through their eyes or ears (by reading it or being read to) and then they follow that with looking into the details of the lesson further -- looking up vocabulary words that relate to the lesson and thinking and writing about it answering the comprehension questions.  The enrichment activities allow the student to further dig into the material -- locating the lesson places on the map, adding the events to a timeline, adding the events to a chart, reading primary sources that relate to the lesson (for instance, the Mayflower Compact and more), and writing a journal entry as if written by someone from the time period/event.

The 200 Questions go right along with the readings/workbook and cover highlights from the historical period, including facts, dates, quotations and those quoted, US Presidents, and more!  Easy to use, cardboard, question on one side, answer on the other.

So many different aspects of learning!  Reading/listening, writing, writing more, processing, researching, locating on maps, orienting in time, as well as simple flashcard-type repetitious review!

Would I recommend this curriculum?  Yes!  Definitely.  The reommended ages for these lessons are grades 5-8.  My 7th grader is easily using this curriculum independently, reading the chapters and filling in the workbook.  She is enjoying the lessons and learning a lot as well.

We've also been using the drill questions as a family kind of as a game, going through them and answering/learning together.  My oldest child is planning to take the CLEP test in American History and these flashcards are really helping her to learn and review as well!

If you're looking for an early US History Curriculum for your middle-schooler, I would certainly recommend this one! Check it out!  The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set accompanied by the 200 Questions about American History Set.

Check out some other people's thoughts on these curriculum sets  as well as others by Memoria Press here:
First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

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