Thursday, May 15, 2014

Golden Prairie Press Review

Golden Prairie Press Review

     Charlotte Mason, a heroine of many homeschooling parents, said a living book is one that is “well put” and “well told". I am here to tell you about a well put and well told story by Amy Puetz. Amy, of Golden Prairie Press,  has written an elementary American history  for children, grades 1-6, called Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History . This is a complete digital American history curriculum that includes three e-books books and three audio downloads:

Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1 ebook
Starting with the people of North America and traveling through time to Andrew Jackson's presidency.

Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2 ebook
starting with  former presidents Van Buren, Harrison, and Tyler and all the way through current times with the current Obama administration.

Additional Materials Downloads
 Timelines, videos (you will be given a link to watch them online), coloring pages, maps, and ,more

Historical Skits ebook
 Short skits to help bring the history to life. From Columbus to World War II.

Sing Some History CD
20 historical songs mentioned in the book

Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 CD
20 original speeches, poems, sermons, and documents that are mentioned in the book.

Golden Prairie Press Review

     I admit, I was at first thinking "Well, this is just a download, so it won't be very interactive for the kids". Wow! Was I ever wrong! When you receive the files and start to look through them you can see what an incredible amount of passion and attention to detail went into them. Practically every page is filled with amazing historical pictures, recipes, ideas for activities. Amy has set up the e-books to be separated into two tellings of each chapter, one for younger children who may not be able to concentrate as long and one for older children who will look for more detail. My oldest son, who is 8, loved the more advanced material and was eager to listen to each chapter. My younger son, who is 6 was interested in the more curtailed explanation and then wanted to look at all the pictures and maps and do the activity at the end of each chapter.

     They really enjoyed making a Native American teepee and you can see my 6 year olds Perler bead rendition of a Viking ship in the photo collage below, don't tell him it looks like a duck, it's clearly a sea monster. =)  (Note: The curriculum mentions making a Viking ship out of homemade playdough, however, my kids were going through a Perler bead phase and asked if they could use those instead. ) 

 photo HeroesandHeroinesPintrestPic.jpg

     Amy has clearly put so much time and love into this curriculum, and my kids  are really enjoying it. We sat and filled in timelines while we listened to beautiful historical songs from the included CD. I wasn't sure if we would be able to do the historical skits, since none of my children could read that well yet, however I'm am really glad we did! The kids had fun dressing up in play silks (and my daughter, who is just 4, loved being Queen Isabella in the Columbus skit) and I read the lines and they repeated them and acted it out. They actually remembered a lot more about the story after performing the play. They enjoyed it so much we had to do it again for Daddy when he got home later. (I wish I had taken a picture of this, too many things, not enough hands!)

     We have not yet reached the part of the curriculum where we watch the videos together or listen to the historical speeches, however I listened to several myself in preparation and they are beautifully done and very clear and easy to listen to. The historical videos are very interesting, I know my kids will love to see videos that were made by Thomas Edison!

Golden Prairie Press Review

     I also love how this homeschool history curriculum shows the providential hand of God over the course of time. Some historical facts, that would be left out of modern history courses were included here. For instance, did you know that the name Christopher means "Christ-bearer" and that one of the reasons Christopher Columbus wanted to go to India, was to share the Gospel with the Indians. When they first landed in the New World (which, of course, they thought was not a new world) they had a church service on the beach! I actually read a small first reader with my kids at the same time that was about Columbus and they made it sound like when he landed he thought only of Spain and all the money he would make.
     Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is $98.99. It will give you a much fuller understanding of American History and is definitely worth the price. I am looking forward to learning more with my children as we continue on with this curriculum!

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