Tag Archives: history

Economics Class by Boundary Stone ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Economics is something that is beneficial for everyone to know. Understanding the process by which goods and services are created and traded/received is a fundamental part of our society and world. Boundary Stone has created an online course paired with an in-print book for a high school economics class.

Economics Online Course Bundle has several components – an online portal with videos, daily check lists, quizzes, reviews; a digital PDF teacher’s guide; a hardback textbook. The course also asks for two additional books. Access is for 12 months but the course is designed to be completed in one semesters with daily lessons.

The main text is Basic Economics, A Natural Law Approach to Economics. It is a hardback text written by Clarence Carson and Paul Cleveland. It is over 370 pages and contains the main information for the course. There are three sections to the course: The Framework of Economics, The Production and Distribution of Goods, and the Politico-Economic Systems.

The Framework of Economics discusses basic economics, natural laws and the impact on economics, government and some of the history, society and morality, and property. These ideas and concepts are all placed in a historical framework and this part of the text reads like a history book. Section II gets into goods and how we make or receive goods, the market and how it reflects society, money, inflation, pricing, and much more. Titles of chapters in Section III include Manorial-Feudal System, Mercantilism, Free Enterprise, Corporatism, Welfarism, and Communism.

The online coursework has a checklist for daily work to help keep the student on track and moving forward. It is a numbered list of what is to be read, videos from Paul Cleveland, some linked YouTube videos, some linked articles to read, questions to be answered, quizzes to be taken, or unit tests to complete. There are also activities that are added in sometimes.

The online dashboard has a lot of information to help students stay on track. The left hand side has drop down menus that allow you to click on your next lesson and head directly there or something you have previously completed if you need to do a review. The top section has a percentage complete for the course so you can see at a glance how far you have come. It also has arrows to simply move forward or backward one lesson. With a linked PDF of the text, online review questions, and a place to mark complete when you have done each of the numbered parts of the lesson.

I have found the text to be an interesting read, though I disagree with the general tone of a large part of the discussion. It has challenged me to consider what I have been taught, to do my own research and reading, and to think about some of the concepts and ideas presented. I would recommend a parent or teacher take a look at the text before handing it to the student so that they are well aware of the outlook of this program. I have learned a lot and will continue on through the book, though my students will not be using it at this time.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more reviews on the program from Boundary Stone.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Bible Unearthed by Drive Thru History ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Biblical archaeology can shed a lot of light on the word of God and help us understand the place in history of people and events. Drive Thru History® Adventures has been shedding light on the Bible through their videos for a while now. After the success of such series as The Gospels and Acts to Revelation (links take you to our reviews), the company realized that it would be interesting to share more about what goes on behind the scenes for Drive Thru History and feature archeaology.

We were given early access to a program series that Drive Thru History® Adventures will be releasing soon – Bible Unearthed. This program features Dr. Titus Kennedy, who is the main archaelogical researcher behind the Drive Thru History programs. Along with him, we meet Dave Stotts (of course) and Randall Niles, a writer for Drive Thru History. These three men take us through various parts of understanding the importance of archaeology and its impact on the Bible and history.

Bible Unearthed is accessed for us through the Drive Thru History® Adventures site. This curriculum site is a subscription site and requires internet access. The program is a 12 part series. Each video is supported by articles, worksheets, Bible readings, and suggested activities to help students understand the content and history. The videos run somewhere around 15 minutes each, give or take a couple of minutes. The course guide recommends each family decide how best to approach the curriculum and gives a possible schedule suggestion that covers one “adventure,” or video, per week and hits all of the included activities/readings.

The format for this series is very different from previous Drive Thru History videos, but that should be expected with a subject so very different from previous series. This is almost a relaxed discussion between 3 friends, with Dr. Kennedy taking the lead and giving the most information. As he is the archaeologist, that makes sense. He covers the following topics in the 12 part series:

  • What is Archaeology?
  • The Impact of Archaeology
  • Locating Archaeological Sites
  • The Life of an Archaeologist
  • What’s Being Discovered Today?
  • Archaeological Mysteries
  • Top Discoveries in Bible Archaeology
  • Getting Involved With Archaeology
  • Trends In Archaeology
  • Weird Archaeology
  • Accidental Discoveries in Archaeology
  • What’s Left To Be Discovered?

The focus in this series is about the impact of archaeology on understanding the ancient world, particularly the Biblical world. From the Tel Dan Stele, to the excavation of a palace of King David, to the Rosetta Stone, the connections between today and the artifacts and excavations of the ancient world bring this understanding. Each of the episodes talks about a different aspect of archaeology and touches on different people and places and artifacts. This keeps each episodes fresh and new yet ties them all together as some of the people, places, and artifacts come up over and over.

The dashboard for this course is simple to use and follow. It moves you from one episode to the next or you can cancel the auto play and utilize the different pieces of the curriculum. When you log in each time, it is easy to see where to begin, as the completed pieces have a check next to them. You can go back to whatever previous piece of the material you might be interested in. The worksheet and answer key are downloadable and printable. There are still articles being added to this course, so it is recommended to continue checking back for new additions. The articles are linked; you can click on the article title and it opens in a new tab.

one of the articles for Digging Deeper

We have found this series to be interesting and insightful. We have watched the episodes together and enjoyed them. I have read the articles and followed the curriculum myself, to add to my understanding of the information. I would certainly recommend this series to anyone wanting to learn more about archaeology, especially ancient history or biblical archaeology. It would not serve as a full high school course on its own, in my opinion, but would be easy to pair with additional resources to round out the course. (A book by Dr. Kennedy is recommended in the course guide.)

We were able to view the videos on the TV by opening the site on a smart phone and casting it to the TV. The whole family could watch then. I also watched a few of the episodes on the laptop when I was prewatching or rewatching episodes by myself or with Miss E, who is devouring the information in this series as much as I am.

Want to know more? Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews on Bible Unearthed, the soon-to-be-released series from Drive Thru History® Adventures.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Living Book for the Civil War era

Are you studying the Civil War era this year? Do you enjoy living books? Then I highly suggest you read Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott.

This is a story she wrote based on her own experiences as a nurse in a war hospital for several weeks, before becoming so over worked and ill that she had to leave her post. There is a lot of interesting information packed into this short 100 page book. In between the information about the hospital itself, there is interesting insight into Washington DC and the people (and animals) there.

I came across this book when we visited the Clara Barton museum a couple of years ago but it got buried under other books somewhere along the line. I was excited to open it up a couple of days ago and get started. I found the writing to be very easy to read and enjoyed immensely the combination of frivolity and intensity that wove themselves into the story.

These are sketches, rather than a direct, chronological retelling of her day by day life, and that is part of what made it so interesting. We get the highlights without the repeated drudgery that she must have experienced day after day in her few short weeks of being able to nurse “her boys” at that hospital.

A beautiful story that is definitely worth adding to your Civil War study.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

My Reading Lately – July/August 2020

I realized the other day that I never shared my reading from the last couple of months. Definitely time to do that! Several of these books are coming from the required reading that the girls will be doing this year, either on their own or with me. So, I have been trying to get a couple of steps ahead!

July 2020

  • Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

    This was an interesting look at the life of the young Lady Jane Grey who was turned in as a traitor at age 15 after being queen for only a few days. The House of Tudor was in unrest and there was a lot of infighting going on for the crown. It was a sad but interesting historical novel looking at King Henry and all his wives and the political situation that surround the House of Tudor during the sixteenth century. There were a couple of scenes that would have been better written less detailed; it was clear they were included in this manner for shock value. They are easy enough to skip over, though. I will probably read another of this author’s historical novels before too long. There are a lot of them.

  • Helen Roseveare: When Lions Roar by Mary Beth Lagerborg

    This is the biography of Helen Rosevear who was a medical missionary to the Belgian Congo in the mid 1900s. Her life was difficult at best but she served God and the people of the Belgian Congo with all her heart. While placed in danger many times, she still returned to serve. It was an inspiring read.
  • Alive In The Spirit by Jimmy Jividen 

    We were studying this book during our Wednesday night Bible class time during the summer. I would listen to the class and the follow up by reading the book. It is a theological discussion, for sure, and having Bobby Wheat’s lesson first allowed me to get a lot out of the book. I learned a lot and had many good, enriching discussions with others at church following the classes each week and with my husband. You can find the Bible studies on the Lake Shore Drive church of Christ Facebook page. (This is the first recorded one; it looks like lesson 1 on June 10 was not shared, likely because of a recording issue, as those occur sometimes.) There are quite a few lessons on there since we are live streaming all services and adult Bible classes. But these were the Wednesday night classes from June through mid-August. 

  • Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

    Set in Medieval Germany, Otto is born into a warring family and is not strong as a young child. Due to unfortunate circumstances, he is sent to live his childhood with a brotherhood. When he reaches the right age, his father comes for him in order to bring him up along the lines of the household and his father’s desires. Caught up in the middle of the warring factions, the story of Otto is one of warning and of perseverance. This has become one of those “legendary” tales.

August 2020

  • Alive In The Spirit by Jimmy Jividen – finished the book

    See above. I finished the book early in the month. 
  • Madeline Takes Command by Ethel C Brill

    Madeline is a 14 year old girl when her home is attacked by raiding Iroquois. With most of the adult away and the garrison of soldiers that was supposed to be protecting them shirking their duty to go hunt for pleasure, Madeline takes on the command of the few remaining people capable of protecting her, her siblings, and the women and children left in the fort. This was a pleasant read on life in Colonial French Canada during the 1690s. 

  • Bridge to the Sun by Gwen Terasaki

    Set in the 1930s and 1940s of America and Japan, this is a beautiful story of love and marriage between a Japanese man and an American woman. Their difficult life is shared beautifully and presents a view of the political situations before, during, and after WWII that both countries experienced. The life of a Japanese diplomat in America before the war transforms to the life of a married Japanese diplomat returned to his home country with his American wife and child. Full of strife and difficulty, love remains the constant in this beautifully told true story.

  • Perfected: God’s Best Reserved for You, a study of Hebrews by Erynn Sprouse

    I am working my way through this Bible study on the book of Hebrews. I have found much make me think and have shared a couple of lines from the book on my Facebook page. The message is solid and clear and Erynn is clear in her writing. It is a solid study.

  • The Eternal Argument by Robin Finley

    Robin Finley puts forth the idea that in all of history and literature, there is a single argument that is being addressed. That idea never wavers, though the way to approach it might. It is always about who holds the power in any given situation and how that is gained or held onto or transferred to another. This was a very good read and one that I wish I had read years ago. It would definitely make my list for an 8th grader, before the students get into the depth of reading in high school. I plan to have both of my high schoolers read at least the 5th chapter, though I wish we had time for them to read the whole book.

  • Weird Things Customers Say In A Bookstore by Jennifer Campbell

    This was just a fun little read to lighten the day. It is short snippets that the author has recorded from her time working in a bookstore. She also recorded a number of exchanges from other book sellers she has known from across the globe. It is one of those books that just makes you smile, doesn’t take a lot of brain power, and can be picked up or put down at any point because it isn’t a storyline that propels you forward and compels you to keep reading.

  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

    This is part of one of the girls reading for this coming year so I am trying to get ahead (as with Otto and Madeline, and Bridge to the Sun). But what I am finding is that these books are solid, enjoyable reading all on their own. The Golden Goblet is set in Egypt during the time of the Pharoahs. The young boy has lost his parents and is forced into an apprenticeship with his abusive half-brother, a stone cutter. He would really be better served in the long run by being allowed to continue at the goldsmith’s shop. By keeping his eyes and ears open, and with the help of an unexpected couple of friends, a mystery is solved that could just change his life. I have really enjoyed this one and am glad it was required reading for my girl so that I could experience it, too.

If you have read anything lately, please share it in the comments. I am constantly adding to my reading list and enjoying trying to read more. I have learned a lot these last couple of months. Can’t wait to see where I go from here.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

A Bit(e) of History for Morning Time

Bites of history just perfect for morning time

A couple of years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Solomon Schmidt and getting to hear him talk about history. He was a very good speaker. And, he was a teen. Yep, he was a teen speaker at a convention we attended and the girls really enjoyed listening to him. They enjoyed hearing him talk with such a passion about history that they talked me into buying a set of his books: History Bites.

History Bites by Solomon Schmidt are books that give you a bite of history, a small tidbit that you can enjoy without getting too much. Just enough to maybe pique your interest or fill in a bit on someone you didn’t know. Most of the biographical sketches in his books are 4 pages long.

First page includes the person’s name, their birth and death information, any marriage information, and information on any children. Next you get 2-3 pages of biography highlights and maybe a picture or two. The biography tends to end with a fun fact. That’s it.

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These are quick five minute reads that just might be the perfect addition to your morning basket or routine. We used them for a year and thoroughly enjoyed the short history moment each day. There are four main books, set up for this five minute read,  to choose from: In/Famous People Volume I, In/Famous People Volume II, US History Bites, and US Presidential History Bites.

The fifth and sixth books are individual people biographies. The fifth book is about J.R.R. Tolkien and is set up more like a regular biography. There are 14 chapters in the short 67 page book. It was an interesting read. It does appear it was been updated since I bought my copy. The CS Lewis book is 90 pages long according to his website. I have not read it as it was published after we bought the others.

So, if you are looking for a simple bit of history to add, History Bites by Solomon Schmidt might work well for you. He has a website, YouTube channel, and his books are available through Amazon.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Timeline Collection ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

hands-on history with timelines

Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company that you will likely have heard of, especially if you have been following this blog for long at all. We were introduced to HSITW early on in our homeschool journey and quickly knew it was a company whose products we were going to enjoy using. We have reviewed a number of their products but there was one that we just hadn’t gotten yet – Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures .

HSITW Timeline Figures

Timelines are included in many of the products from Home School in the Woods, especially their Time Travelers U.S. History Studies series and their Project Passport series. So we have many dedicated timelines but every one in a while, we have a need to create a timeline or have the thought that a timeline would go really well with what we are working on. Enter the Timeline Collection. This will be just what we need to be able to create a timeline for any study we are doing, regardless of the subject or time period.

The Timeline Collection is just that – a collection of timeline figures. This downloadable file (comes as a zip file that you will need to extract the files from) gives you more than 1300 figures to pick and choose from for your convenience. This collection supplements any history work you are doing with figures representing people, places, and events. Each figure is available in two sizes and two formats. There is a with text or without text option, as well as the option to print for a notebook size timeline or for a wall size timeline. You can see below the size of a figure with text when printed for a notebook.

Timeline Figures for notebook

The collections are grouped in a few different ways to make searching for the figure you need easier. The following categories are used:

  • Creation to Christ,
  • Resurrection to Revolution,
  • Napoleon to Now,
  • America’s History, and
  • 80 Bonus Figures

HSITW Timeline Figures CD 1 start

There is also a file that contains all of the figures as individual, high-quality GIFs. This allows you to enlarge or reduce the figure as needed. These can then be used for making notecards, games, coloring pages, books, and more. Additionally this file contains the listing of images both alphabetically and chronologically and by different classifications. These classifications include large categories such as World War I and narrower categories such as US Statehood or artists. A few of these are shown in the screenshot below.

HSITW Timeline Figures category examples

We have been using the notebook sized figures from the Creation to Christ section to supplement our history text for Miss J, in 6th grade. While her curriculum does have a timeline, it is very limited in scope. This has allowed us to supplement that timeline with a more in-depth, comprehensive one that pulls a lot of history together visually. I am printing out the pages one sheet at a time and coloring them since she isn’t in a coloring mood right now and that isn’t the focus. She then is cutting them apart, reading the text, asking any questions (leads to some additional research and rabbit trails which are always a good thing!), and then placing it a timeline notebook that we have had laying around the house for years. We are not worrying about the date spacing and just keeping figures in order for this timeline.

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Timelines have been how we have studied a couple of different time periods in history and for Miss J they have been just what she needed. We would look up a short video of the person, place, or event to watch. We would related it to what came before, since we were working in chronological order. Then she would place the figure on the timeline in the correct place. We would spend about 30 minutes a day doing this and it was a pretty enjoyable and thorough history program for upper elementary for her. Home School in the Woods timelines were perfect for that and it is what we used. The Timeline Collection will make that even easier the next time we decide to do that type of a survey study.

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While timelines are an amazing way to study history, there is even more to it. This being an election year,the study from HSITW on elections is a great addition. We have used it previously and I plan to pull it out again when we start back to school in September. (We started our “summer break” this week.) Miss J will use that to take a look at the elections process and our system for government. Take a look at the blog post from HSITW about this study they created and also the product itself.

Please visit our other blog posts about HSITW products. Other than the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak, we have reviewed

Any history study will likely find a supplement product or a full-on unit study product from Home School in the Woods. Do check them out. Their hands-on history studies cannot be beat. Also, head over to the Homeschool Review Crew to read more reviews on the Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  and the other products families were using over the past few weeks. These include
U.S. Elections Lap-Pak
Benjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-Pak
Time Travelers U.S. History Studies
Make-A-State Activity-Pak

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

HSITW Timelines

The Hidden Message ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal

Searching out information and finding meaning is something many people in our world today relate to. Michael Kanis is the author of The Hidden Message of the Great Seal
How Foundational Truth From The Dawn Of Liberty May Rescue A Republic In Peril. In this book from The Hidden Message, LLC, he is seeking to share the information he has found in his own personal search to find meaning in the seal of the United States.


Michael Kanis has made his career in business, through technology, innovation, and wholesale distributions. His faith in God has been a guide and that becomes very clear when looking at his work in The Hidden Message of the Great Seal. It is evident that he has done many hours of research and reading in order to write this, though his background in not in history.

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal takes a look at the seal of the United States of America. Mr. Kanis looks at the designers, the committees that had input, at Congress and its makeup, and many more aspects of the times that would have affected the purpose and design of the seal. It is abundantly clear that this is fascinating to Mr. Kanis.

The Hidden Message book cover

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal is a large, heavy book of over 250 pages. At  9″ x 12″, it is easiest to read at a table. The glossy, full color pages are beautiful and add to the high quality feel of the book. It has 25 sections, including a section of endnotes. Each section deals with a very minute detail of the seal and where it possibly came from. There are many possible influences on each of the images on the seal and Mr. Kanis digs to try to tie these influences together.

Some things Mr. Kanis explored include the glory (the radiating beams of light), the eye, the mottos, and the pyramid. He shares his research and his understanding of how an item like a coin from the time of Justin II (AD 570) is reflected in the pyramid of the seal of the US.

He sees a connection through time of things from long ago, many years before the founding of the US, to today. He believes that there is a message that the founding fathers wanted us to find. He believes that he has found that message and shares it in The Hidden Message of the Great Seal.

My Thoughts:

I found the section on Unity (chapter 22) interesting. A couple of quotes from the chapter that stood out to me:

  • Disunity always weakens. (p 234)
  • Unity is a precious thing; it provides strength to do what cannot be accomplished alone. (p 234)
  • We will never unify around methods; there are always multiple ways to do anything. But we can unify around our shared values.  Values supercede politics, religion, ethnicity, geography, or industry. They are in fact what define us as Americans. (p 235)

I also found the reports to Congress to be of great significance. These are on pages 22 and 23. I found myself referring to them often while reading through The Hidden Message of the Great Seal.

reports to Congress

I found this a difficult book to read. I found the connections Mr. Kanis was trying to make difficult to follow. I admire his research and his dedication to what he wanted to accomplish but I struggle to believe that a message was hidden for so long and only revealed to him, which is what is implied in the reading of the book. There is some really interesting information shared in this book. I found it interesting but I did struggle to follow his logic and reasoning.

An additional note is that the book was edited by students and would benefit from a professional editing. Many of the written references to images are wrong and there are some important endnotes that are missing, particularly scripture references.

If you enjoy deep, challenging reads, this is a great book for you. It will allow you to consider and follow some unusual connections and connect to history in a unique way.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have read this book and are sharing their thoughts. Find them by clicking on the image below.

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The Hidden Message pin

History on Horseback ~ a Crew book review

History on Horseback_ The Early Years_ 1493 to 1886

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I find as I get older that I enjoy reading non-fiction history books more and more. I still enjoy historical fiction but the non-fiction is something that I am more drawn to. History on Horseback: The Early Years is one that really caught my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Sonrise Stable Books publishes this softback book written by Vicki Watson.

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The premise of this particular style of storytelling is “what if horses could talk? What would they tell us about history?” Vicki Watson found this idea fascinating and explored it, just like we try to encourage our students to do. And what she found was the makings of a unique history book – one that tells the story of America through the animals, particularly horses, mules, and donkeys.

History on Horseback: The Early Years: 1493 to 1866 covers a pretty good sized chunk of America’s history. The horses played some pretty significant roles during those years, whether as pack animals, work animals, or entertainment. This book includes 54 chapters, including a preview chapter from volume 2.

The stories run the gamut from straight out of a historical book to fun and unique horses. You can read about the horses that were first brought to the Americas all the way through some of the specific horses from both the Union and Confederate armies of the Civil War. There are chapters about horses working for the Lewis and Clark Expedition through those used in coal mines. There are chapters on the specific horses some of the presidents used and talk about entertainment like pack burro races.

Two of my favorite stories were the one on the Pony Express and the ones about the ponies in the mines.  The Pony Express was a unique moment in history that lasted only about 19 months but was certainly an important step in the history of the country. It was part of what brought east and west together. And it was interesting.

Pony Express chapter from History on Horseback

The stories about the horses in the mines were much sadder. They were often kept underground, though they were loved by their handlers and well taken care of for the most part. The information was really interesting reading for me.

It has been fun to pull this out to read a section that relates to other things that we are reading or talking about. I would share with the girls a chapter when I read something really interesting or when it aligned with something else we were taking about or reading about.

I can’t see us using this as an actual curriculum as it, by nature, has to jump over large chunk of years in history and important events in history. However, there is a planned activity guide that should be coming out soon; watch the website or sign up for their email to get notified. This guide might help me to see how to use this more as a curriculum rather than a supplement. But it is a really good, interesting supplement.

The images throughout the book are black and white. Many are old photographs or drawings. Many are pieces of artwork. They do a really good job of illustrating the topic. They are beautiful, as can be seen on this title page below.

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The information in History on Horseback appears to be really well researched. There is a long list of sites and books used to research the information. There are plenty of quotes in the books to help you realized that the people that worked with these animals were real. These personal remembrances bring the information to life.

The only issue with it is that it is nearly impossible to trace the information. A lot of the information is from websites and it is just marked by topic. These don’t exactly line up with the chapter titles so it takes a bit of work to further research these ideas on your own.

This is definitely a unique book that will work as a solid history supplement, a stand alone read, or a fun coffee-table book. It is one I would recommend.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read other families’ thoughts about History on Horseback. You can click on the image below.

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History On Horseback the early years

Hands-on History: Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression with HSITW ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Time Travelers

It is no secret that we think quite highly of Home School in the Woods and their hands-on history programs. We have been privileged to review another of their products recently. This time, it is an American history title from their series Time Travelers U.S. History Studies, which includes the following titles:

  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War
  • The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
  • World War II

HSITW Time Travelers

We received the download file for The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression, running from about 1861 through the mid 1930s.

HSITW Industrial Revolustion

Topics covered in this title include the transcontinental railroad, purchase of Alaska, immigration, inventors and inventions, the Dust Bowl, the stock market crash, WWI, the Great Depression, the Indian Wars, and so much more. There are 25 lessons with each lesson expected to take about a day and a built in make-up/review day on every 5th lesson. However, it is very easy to adapt this to your family’s schedule. Since we were using this as a supplement, it took longer than one day per lesson. If your student is very engaged and you are using this as your main history for the time being, it would be very easy to cover more than one lesson in a day.

HSITW lessons

To get started with Time Travelers, you have to download a zip file after purchase. After downloading the zip file, you have to unzip it. This process varies by computer and you can find help on the Home School in the Woods website. Once you have it unzipped, you double click the start icon and it opens up the file in a web browser. From there is it just like navigating a website, clicking on what you need next. For example, if we were on lesson 3, we would click the icon next to that lesson and it would take us to a list of the materials we need to print and access for the lesson.

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For each lesson, we printed the text but we accessed the project pages only on the computer. The text is the factual information covering the topics for the lesson. Miss E read it out loud to her youngest sister and found it helped her remember things and stay focused well. And her sister enjoyed learning and spending time with her. Win-win! The project pages are the instructions on how to put together the pieces of the mini-booklets, timeline, etc.

These parts are really quite similar to Project Passport and the access is similar also. Where it diverged was that every 5th lesson was for make-up or review. This is really good because it takes some of the daily pressure off to have to get everything done in a single day for each lesson. Additionally, the review cards are helpful. There are cards for words that were used in the week’s lessons that might be new or that were used differently then. There are cards for the events that were covered that week. And there are cards that are specific to WWI, even though it won’t be covered each week.

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Another thing she is looking forward to is that lesson 25, the final lesson, is all about creating a Depression-era meal. It includes menu options, recipes, and invitations. This will be a fun culmination event for the study.

Miss E did not use every part of every lesson. She is completing the timeline and the mini-booklets.

She read through the quotes from different men and women and talked with her sister about them, discussing who each person was. She chose her favorite quote and made a bookmark or small card with it.

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It was interesting to see Miss E and Miss J working together on this as it really boosted them both. Miss E was able to help Miss J learn some new things while finding about more about a period she herself was interested in. Miss J asked some insightful questions that caused Miss E to have to go researching some answers. One of those came up right off the bat with the transcontinental railroad: is the transcontinental railroad still in use? Turns out, it is and we had to look that up. A sign of a good curriculum is that it causes the student to think and ask questions, not answering it all for them.

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One of our personal goals with this program was to find something to go a bit deeper into the time period with. HSITW does well with this. Since the products are designed to have the student thinking and writing about each topic, the information is by nature a bit more in depth. The hands-on aspect of working with mini-booklets and timelines and newspaper articles and such really helps bring history to life.

Thoughts from Miss E:

Overall, this is not really different from Project Passport. But there were some different parts that I really liked. I like the pages of quotes. I don’t have a need for handwriting practice but the card that I did was fun. I liked that every 5th lesson is a make-up day and review day. The vocabulary cards are interesting. The text for each lesson is interesting and more engaging than I remember Project Passport being since these are written a bit more like a story while the Project Passport was more factual.

I had requested this title since in my other history curriculum, I had just finished the Great Depression and I wanted to know more. It started about the turn of the 20th century and I wanted to know about what came right before that. I read about things in a general way but wanted to know the details about the rapid changes that were happening. This title seems to be doing that.

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Other Products:

As everyone is aware, this is a presidential election year. What better time to study elections, right? Home School in the Woods has a U.S. Elections Lap-Pak that will fit the bill nicely. We used it a few years ago (4, I believe) and I am planning to pull it out for Miss J this fall. You can read about our use and review of it but you can also visit the HSITW blog and read what they say about it there.

Other than the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak, we have reviewed

If you are looking for more history information, the Home School in the Woods blog has ideas for you. Are you looking for a full curriculum or do you just need a single project to supplement? This will help you know the difference between the options offered. Or are you looking for reasons to add recipes to a history study? Check out the post on adding recipes.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Please click on the image below to read other reviews about HSITW products by other Homeschool Review Crew families.

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YWAM Biographies ~Jacob DeShazer

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Jacob DeShazer_ Forgive Your Enemies

One of the many fascinating ways to learn about history is to view it through the eyes of someone who has lived it – a biography. YWAM Publishing has created a line of biographies that really zoom in on the lives of missionaries. Christian Heroes: Then & Now offers a look at the lives of 49 different missionaries who have lived and served God around the world, from 1700 through current day. The biographies are written by Janet & Geoff Benge.

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We first stumbled across a YWAM Christian Heroes biography at a garage sale. My oldest, now 15, enjoyed it a lot and so we went looking for more. We have been collecting them since and have been blessed to review several through the Homeschool Review Crew. This year, we received the book Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies and the curriculum guide to go with it. The book is available in paper back, ebook, and MP3/audiobook formats.

As always happens, as soon as the book arrived, it disappeared in the hands of Miss E. She devoured the story in an afternoon and then handed it back to me to read. I read it and found it fascinating.

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Summary: Jacob DeShazer was a gunner on a bomber at the beginning of WWII. He was brought on as one of the famous Doolittle Raiders, without knowing what he was really volunteering for. His team was able to hit their target but they were unable to make it safely to their expected landing area. They landed in Japan occupied China and Jacob was captured. He spent the next 3 and 1/2 years as a prison of war in various locations in Japan. Towards the end of his imprisonment, Jacob turned to God. After he was released and returned to the US, Jacob knew he had to return to Japan to fulfill the calling he had heard from God during his imprisonment. He studied, married, and returned to Japan as a missionary. He wanted to teach the people there about God. He wanted them to know that he forgave them for this wretched treatment and wanted to help them be saved. He even had the amazing experience of some of his captors turning to God and speaking alongside him. He was able to touch many lives through his work in Japan.

The story itself presents much material to consider and talk about. Forgiveness is such a difficult things sometimes, yet here is an example of one who was able to forgive much more than I will, hopefully, ever endure. And he not only forgave, Jacob wished the best for them.

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Unit Study Curriculum Guide: This downloadable study is available if you wanted to take the learning further. This jumps into the story through comprehension questions, maps, activities, people, Bible verses, and much more.

There are 8 parts to the study guide, as well as appendices for additional resources and bibliography.

  1. Key Bible Verses
  2. Display Corner
  3. Chapter Questions
  4. Student Explorations
  5. Community Links
  6. Social Studies
  7. Related Themes to Explore
  8. Culminating Event

Each area begins with some ideas and tips and the reminder that there are more ideas than any one class/person could actually use. So, feel free to pick and choose those areas and ideas that are of the greatest interest to your learners.

When we are using a Christian Heroes: Then & Now book, I really like to use the Key Bible Verses. We may or may not memorize them but I always like to go through them and talk about why these particular verses were chosen for this person. Maybe it was a favorite of the person or maybe it just illustrates a theme, such as perseverance. For Jacob, one of the verses is about being a witness to others. One is about hiding God’s word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Another is about God being sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

A display corner is finding pictures and items around the house that represent the place, time, person, or theme of the book. The comprehension questions are great. They can really help gauge the student’s understanding and help them think deeper, as you can see in the screen shot of some of the questions below. Student explorations are hands-on areas of discover such as maps or writing or crafts or recreations. There is so much here that you do not need to do it all. Just pick and choose those that align with interest and need.

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Social studies includes more ideas to explore and community links include ideas of places to visit related to the story such as an air base or a farm. Related themes will explore some ideas a bit farther from the core of the story such as propaganda or more about the Doolittle Raiders. The study closes out with a culminating event where the students can be encouraged to show off what they have learned and the items they have completed.

Our use of the study guide and story looked a bit different this time around. Miss E is doing a language arts curriculum that is focused on the YWAM missionary biographies, though Jacob DeShazer is not one of the ones included. After reading DeShazer’s story, Miss E approached it as she has the other YWAM biographies that are included. She did a map of Japan and she noted the important things about him, using her other missionaries as a guide. We talked a good bit about the implications of capture and torture during the war. We talked about God’s use of Jacob to return to his captors and minister to them. We discussed the character and how Jacob’s character changed throughout his life. I accessed some of the discussion questions for our talks.

This story is one that she was very pleased to read, though it is quite a bit different than other YWAM missionary stories. Jacob DeShazer’s biography was written very soon after his died. That is quite unusual but his is an unusual story. It focuses a lot on his time at the hands of the Japanese because that is what it took for him to become humble and hear God. About the last 1/3 of the story is about his training and missionary times. And it is quite amazing to read.

As always, we recommend the YWAM Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Other YWAM books we have reviewed include:

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Please click on the banner below to read more Homeschool Review Crew experiences with YWAM Publishing books from both the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series and the Heroes of History series.

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Jacob DeShazer post

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