History is one of those subjects that has the potential to be engaging and exciting, but is often taught in a manner that is dry and boring. I know that when I was in school, it was one of my least favorite subjects. Actually, I think it was my least favorite subject.. But with homeschooling, I have learned that history is full of interesting facts and have come to really like it. But finding a curriculum or supplement that brings excitement into the format, can be a challenge.

Knowledge Quest offers a change to that "same old" style of learning. We have been blessed to review their products not once, but twice. Back in the summer of 2012, we reviewed their TimeMaps computer program and loved it, and this year we received for review their Timeline Builder for iPad APP. 

First a little bit about who Knowledge Quest (KQ) is. KQ was started in 2001 by Todd & Terri Johnson. They are a homeschooling family that set out to develop black and white maps to help supplement lessons on American and World history. Over the years, they've expanded their products to include wall timelines, hardcover timelines, and historical biographies which included geography. In 2011 they took their products to a whole new level and created mobile apps of the iphone and iPad. You can read more about the Johnson family and Knowledge Quest here.

Our original review of, TimeMaps, introduced us to KQ's exceptional products. The goal of TimeMaps "is to communicate history in a truly engaging way", by merging historical timelines, maps, and information into one resource. 

Now with KQ TimelineBuilder for the iPad, we have their wonderful software in a portable platform. 

Timelinebuilder is not exactly like TimeMaps, as you and your student build the information yourself. 

TimelineBuilder has fully customizable timelines for any subject.

As KQ put it, "TimelineBuilder is THE timeline resource tool that will organize and display chronological events the way YOU want to see them" (KQ).

So How Does It Work?

With the TimelineBuilder, you can choose from a "sample" timeline or customize your own, choosing your own dates, title, subject, pictures, and description. There is a direct link to wikipedia that automatically pulls up a relevant search based on the event name you put in. You have the option of using that info or searching for something different. You also have the choice of which pictures you want to use for each event. Photos can come from an outside source (ex. wikipedia) or your own photo files.

The following photo shows an enlarged image of the bottom of the Apps main screen (seen in the image above).

To begin, you would select "About this App" which gives you a great introduction on how to use it. After viewing this, you then will choose either "New Timeline" or "Sample Timeline". Whichever tab you select, the following screen (image on the left) will come up and you there will create the "Timeline Name". Once you've selected that you can dates, description and select a background, then click the "done" button, which will come up when you start typing. If you've chosen a sample timeline, one will automatically be generated based on your timeline name. A "New Timeline" will generate a blank template where you can add your own events. Whichever timeline you started with, you will have the option of adding a "new event". The image below, on the right, is a screen shot what pops up. Here you add an Event Name and/or dates. You can add images and search Wikipedia, too. The event then will show on your timeline.
We created a few timelines using the Sample option and the New option. 
This timeline was started as a sample and we added in "The history of paper" and "Be Thou My Vision". Once the date is added, the program automatically places it on the timeline in chronological order. We chose images from Wikipedia for our added events. We were also able to adjust the sizes of the images simply by dragging it. Each of the events can also be moved around to fit the screen or to adjust to your preference. 

In the image, you can see that "Be Thou My Vision" is highlighted in red. I had chosen it to modify. At the top of the screen shot, you can see 3 tabs that allow you to either edit, delete, or "snap to vertical", which will return you to your main timeline.

In this timeline, my daughter (17yo) was practicing. You can see "practice timeline" on the left hand side of the screen. When she created the timeline, she added this in the description. She was able to choose her background and used images from our own photo files for each event. 

She had fun matching images to her selected dates. 

We used this timeline to build our family tree. I used just the "start date" and added the full birthdate and date of death (for my dad) in the description. The description is seen by clicking the image.

I've been playing around with this using different photos and adding my husband's family info, too. It's an interesting way to create a family tree : ^ )

Another option that KQ TimelineBuilder for iPad has is to "Share" the timeline. You can share either by sending an email using the events alone or the entire timeline. You can save the events and/or timeline as photos, and even save the file to share via iTunes.

Below are shots from my email after sharing my daughter's timeline. The first photo is a share of the timeline, which includes a photo of the main timeline and a listing of the events. The smaller image (to the right) is a share of the events only. The photos of each event is included along with the description of the events. We though this feature was pretty cool. 

How To Purchase: You can purchase the KQ TimelineBuilder for iPad for $6.99. That is an excellent price for this great App. You will have tons of history right at your fingertips.

TimelineBuilder is for ages 10 and up, but I believe that children of all ages could have benefits from using it.

What We Thought: We enjoyed being able to review this App. We had fun creating different timelines and played around with all the different features. Since we are studying Medieval ages right now, we did try to create a few within this time period. I like the fact that we had instant access to Wikipedia to come up with the descriptions and photos, too.

There were a couple of things we didn't like. First, with the sample timeline, all the event descriptions that are created by the program itself are in Latin. Though we studied Latin some, we couldn't really figure out what was being said. We could go in and edit the descriptions, but it would've been nice to have it in English from the start. There may be a way to do it automatically, but we weren't able to figure that out yet. 

The other thing is when you are creating an event, if you touch outside of the popup, it takes you back to the main timeline and your info is deleted if it wasn't completed. This became frustrating for my daughter because she wasn't used to using the iPad and kept touching the wrong spots.

Overall though, we loved this App and plan on using it with our history lessons. I believe you will like it, too.
Do you like reading old books? We do. We enjoy the use of the language and reading about the culture of those times, but the primary reasons we like older books are the fundamental beliefs that God reigns, morality exists, and right and wrong is black and white. But often we're not sure what the books are about or which ones really are family friendly and wholesome. Some of these books we've not even heard of because they haven't been available for several years. 

Daniel Mills wanted to change this. He founded Salem Ridge Press in 2005 specifically to republish books that are wholesome, teach godly character, have a high moral value, and "fit the qualifications of the Bible" (SRP). Salem Ridge Press' philosophy comes straight from Philippians:
There is a rigorous process that each book must endure before it is chosen by Salem Ridge Press (SRP) to be republished. We have had the pleasure of reviewing one of those wonderful books, Elfreda The Saxon: Or, The Orphan of Jerusalem. This is the sequel to Leofwine the Monk by Emma Leslie
Elfreda The Saxon was originally published in 1875, is 265 pages long and is geared for readers age 12 and up.

It takes place in Medieval years of 1189-1215 A.D. and is in Emma Leslie's Church History series.

Elfreda is a young Saxon orphan that must go to live with her aunt, Lady de Valery, in England. Lady de Valery was not pleased with the situation and ultimately sent Elfreda to London. It was during the Muslim capture of Jerusalem, King Richard I's reign, and The Crusades.

The underlying story, and the connection to Leofwine, is that there was a family curse placed on him 100 years ago and it seems that it still follows Elfreda. She and her cousin, Guy, meet when she arrives in England, and they endeavor to free the family from the curse. Guy had joined King Richard's Crusade and believed he could bring honor to the family and break the curse. Elfreda believed she could break it by living a devout life. But there was only One that could set the family free from the bondage of this curse

The events we read about in Elfreda the Saxon, were true to the historical accounts documented on the history of the church.. The persecution of the Jewish people was painfully accurate. Not that the book depictions were horrifically graphic, but it was the fact that it happened at all that had an impact.

Salem Ridge Press chose a remarkable book to republish in Elfreda the Saxon. It's an excellent book that teaches about accepting The Lord as Savior and trusting Him, all while bringing church history lessons to a very personal level. You can read a sample of the first chapter here. But I warn you, you're going to want to finish it : ^ )

A couple things about Salem Ridge Press' books: Because the books were originally published between the 1800's-1900's, some of the words are no longer used today. SRP wisely added these words and their definitions as footnotes on the first page they are seen. SRP also has added historical notes in each of the books which helps the reader gain an insight to the time period before reading the book. They also have included a write-up on the author, which is nice. SRP has not just republished old books, they've brought outstanding books back to life.

How To Purchase: Salem Ridge has republished many great books (I was able to review a few others back in 2008) that all can be purchased directly from them. Elfreda the Saxon is available for $14.95 (softcover) or $24.95 (hardcover).

What We Thought: As you can tell from my review, I am impressed with Salem Ridge Press' books, Elfreda the Saxon was no exception. While reading, I was easily absorbed in the story. I loved that I was given the short history lessons at the beginning so that I knew more about the time. It allowed me to understand more of what Elfreda was really going through. 

I had my daughter write her own opinion, which follows:
"I like the formatting of the book, for example., the font and setup. The historical facts and word meanings are nice. I would have liked to see a glossary of the words though, instead of having to search through the book to find where the definition was printed. Especially when I couldn't remember them later in the book.  I think that this was a good book to reprint, I do not think I would have even heard of it otherwise. I am glad I was able to read it :)"

I am sure we would not have heard about Elfreda the Saxon if SRP had not republished it. I am thankful for the dedication they have given to these "old books".
History has not always been one of my favorite subjects. Too many dates and names to memorize and not enough excitement - or so it seemed to me while in high school. Homeschooling has changed my opinion of history and opened my eyes to incredible adventures and wonders. One of the many interesting stories that I was able to rediscover is that of Lewis & Clark: their expedition into the unknown western frontier, the fears they must have had, the struggles they faced, and the wonders of the land they were able to experience. In today's fast paced world filled with computers, 3D T.V.s, and the ability to get from one side of the country to the other in a matter of hours, Lewis & Clark's journey is almost inconceivable to us.

Unfortunately, reading the story in a textbook doesn't give the journey true clarity. What did they really see when crossing uncharted land? How hard was it, really? What's the big deal?

Let me tell you about a video that we recently reviewed that may help you answer these questions, and maybe even a few more : ^ )

The Historic Expedition of Lewis and Clark – We Proceed On! by Marshall Publishing, takes you on the same journey that was traveled over 200 years ago.    
You will be introduced to Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the Corps of Discovery. Because their expedition was well documented by both Lewis and Clark, you will hear excerpts from their diaries that can immediately place you right beside them in their journey. 

Throughout the video, you will find actual footage of the trails taken by Lewis & Clark, as well as photos, maps, & live re-enactments. The scenery is beautiful, with mountains, rivers, bison, and so much more. The music that is played in the video is pleasing to listen to and appropriate for the particular situations. If there was a dramatic scene, the music was dramatic, if the storyline was peaceful, the music was, too. 

This video was originally produced by Kaw Valley Films Production and was copyrighted by Marshall in 2009. It is approximately 35 minutes long.

You can purchase The Historic Expedition of Lewis and Clark – We Proceed On! for $19.95. (a $5 discount). And if you use the code TOS27, you will get FREE SHIPPING (I love free shipping).

Marshall Publishing is a multi-faceted media organization that has been in business since 2007. Their goal "is to provide lots and lots of media fun for everyone through award-winning DVDs, Books, CDs, CD-roms, and broadcast and internet programming that will amaze, amuse, entertain, and educate" (Marshall Publishing). Their products include "AS SEEN ON TV" products and "LOTS & LOTS of" brands. Their DVD's have been endorsed by The Dove Foundation, Kid's First, NAPPA, Coalition for Quality Children's Programs.  For more than 30 years their management team has produced and represented over 35 t.v. shows & programs that have aired on network and PBS channels.

What we thought. We enjoyed this video. We were impressed by the amount of information that was packed into 35 minutes! We learned that the expedition took them through 18miles of prickly pear cactus, and what an unpleasant 18 miles it was. We learned that Lewis & Clark were advised by indians to not travel a certain way, but they chose to anyhow. Which wasn't a good idea. How often do we not listen to sound advise? This was a nice point in the movie to have a life lesson. I love being able to use these situations that pop up. The Lord uses "coincidence" well. We also learned that "Hungry Creek" was named because this is where the group survived with no food, in the cold snow. 

I liked that the life stories of Lewis & Clark, and other members of The Corps of Discovery, were given during the movie. And especially liked that Lewis' dog "Seaman" was taken along for the ride. I love Newfie's. They are such a beautiful breed.

The one thing that we didn't like was that the footage seems dated. It was "crackly" according to my daughter, and it was. The sound seemed old. I wasn't sure if this was intentional to get the viewer more into the time period. It was still an enjoyable video and I do recommend it. 

If you are studying this time period or would just like to watch a good, historical video,  The Historic Expedition of Lewis and Clark – We Proceed On! is a great one to choose.

The SRC members reviewed other products from Marshall Publishing, as well. To read those reviews, click below.
Disclaimer: I received this product free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after viewing it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.
Mission Statement
"The mission of Christian Liberty is to help parents fulfill their God-given responsibility
to provide a Christ-centered education for their children."
Christian Liberty Press was started more than 25 years ago as the publishing division of Christian Liberty Academy School System to provide quality materials to their local area homeschool families and Christian schools. Over the years, they have expanded into a wonderful resource for excellent educational products for families and Christian schools across the United States and internationally. All of the products that they sell meet their rigorous evaluations to ensure that they meet their standards of "curriculum materials that are rooted in the Word of God and express a biblical worldview". 

The members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have been given the opportunity to review one of products offered by Christian Liberty Press (CLP), Mr. Pipes & the British Hymn Makers (1999). This is the first book in a series written by Douglas Bond, an English & History Teacher. Mr. Bond began writing to tell stories to his own children and then one night, he had the idea to write on hymnody. 
Mr. Pipes & the British Hymn Makers is the tale of 2 American children that travel on vacation to England and meet a gentleman & organist, Mr. Pipes. As they wander through the town of Olney, England, they learn various historical points about England and Mr. Pipes gives wonderful lessons about hymns and their authors. 

I want to add here, that this book is not just light, fun reading. There is an incredible amount of history written into the book. As Mr. Pipes tells the children the tales of the hymn makers, he brings the stories to life by adding in the facts that surrounded their compositions. In this first book, he takes Annie & Drew to the burial sites, homes, and churches as he tells of 9 hymn makers as he tells their biographies. The stories that go along with each are very interesting. There's information on slave boats, Welsh Corgi's, why the British drive on the left side of the road, Anglican worship, the story of St. Andrew and the Scotland flag, and so much more.

There are 12 chapters in this 288 page book filled with stories that teach important pieces of history that aren't always common facts. Like driving on the left side of the road. It's because the men at that time rode their horses on the left with the reins in their left hands, just in case they needed to put their sword in their right. Interesting little fact that I didn't know : ^ )

Each chapter ends with the actual score of the hymn or hymns discussed in the story. There's hymns such as Amazing Grace (John Newton), Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me (Augustus Toplady), Take My Life, and Let It be (Frances Havergal).

But the most important lesson taught in Mr. Pipes & the British Hymn Maker is The Gospel. Mr. Bond writes about God, the importance of musical worship, Jesus, & Salvation. Each of the stories brings to life the hymn that was written and what the words truly mean. Throughout the book, Annie & Drew learn about humility, patience, the love of God, and having a good Christian walk.

Mr. Pipes & the British Hymn Maker is a wonderful book that I have no doubts will be liked by you and your family. CLP recommends it for grades 7th to 10th, but I believe younger students that are good readers shouldn't have a problem getting through it. 

You can read the beginning of the book, including the first chapter here to see a little bit for yourself. 

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers is available as an eBook through CLP for $8.79. The print version is also available for just $9.89. You can purchase the complete set for $38.99.
Disclaimer: I received this ebook free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after reading it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.
The English language is a complex language full of various sounds that form words, rules for those sounds, and exceptions to those rules. Most of us really do not know the intricate details that comprise the origin of our language, and have actually never had the opportunity to learn them.

Laurie J. White is the author of the book King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak. When she was in college, she took a course on the history of the English language and, she writes, "The history suddenly popped. It came alive. And from that point on I had a framework, a reference, a sequence of pivotal English history events which I never forgot." She also writes, "I had a whole new appreciation for language itself, beyond just English itself, and the miracle of God that it truly is." Because of this, she ultimately wrote King Alfred's English to bring that knowledge to Jr High & High School students (grades 7 & up). Her goal?
"To make this mini-course a broadening, faith building, and entertaining trek
for any student or homeschooling family" (The Shorter Word)
King Alfred’s English is a 170 page soft cover book (also available for Kindle), that "provides a guided tour of forces and events, conquerors and writers that have shaped, simplified, matured and expanded English into what it is today—the first truly global language in history." (The Shorter Word)

This book really is incredible. I was so excited to receive it for review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. My daughter loves learning the origins of words and the history of languages. As a matter of fact, when I showed her the logo above, she knew right away that it was runes. She gave me all the facts and even knew what the "letters" represented. I was amazed! Like I said, I knew she would like this book : ^ ) and she does.

The incredible amount of research that went into this book is impressive. Mrs. White doesn't just offer the student simple steps that led to the origin of the English language, but details the entire historical accounts from Julius Caesar to Mr. Crapper (you have to read it to find out). The student will learn about Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Henry VIII, Shakespeare, the English Bible, the Geneva Bible, Claxton and the Printing Press, and so much more. You will find the answers to questions like:

  • What were the driving ideas behind the Reformation?
  • Are the New Testament documents really reliable and how do they compare to other ancient manuscripts?
  • Why was translating the Bible into English punishable by death?
  • …and what does all THAT have to do with the history of English?
And facts you may not have known. Like:
  • The Brothers Grimm compiled German fairy tales, but they were also famous philologists (and what IS a philologist?)
  • There’s a law for the way languages change that backs up Intelligent Design.
  • For over 300 years the official language of the English court was…French! Seriously. But the English were always fighting the French. That’s true. Find out why.
  • There’s a reason we write “knight” but say “nite,” and you won’t believe how they used to pronounce it.
  • It was once punishable by death to translate even portions of the Bible into English! Yikes!
Ultimately, "The capstone of the book is the story of how we got the Bible in English and it’s influence upon our language." (The Shorter Word). 

It truly is incredible the facts that Mrs. White included in King Alfred's English. From The Shorter Word website, you can see the Table of Contents and even read the first chapter. But I caution you, once you've read it, you will want to finish it, so be prepared. 

Not only will you have the book, Mrs. White also offers free student resources, like links, images, articles, videos & movies to watch, and literature that correlates with each chapter. The teacher's resource page worksheets for each chapter, tests, and all the answers for both. There are also additional resources suggested and information on how to count this as High School credit.

King Alfred's English can be purchased in print for retail at $16.95, but you can find it at CBD, Amazon, and the Rainbow Resource for less. You can also purchase it for your Kindle for $5.95.

I am confident that you and your children will find King Alfred's English enlightening and educational. Don't forget, you can read the first chapter to get started today!
Disclaimer: I received King Alfred's English as an e-product free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after reading it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.
Knowledge Quest began in 2001 when a homeschooling family was looking for something more than what they were finding on the market for history & geography (H&G). You know that feeling. . . "I know there's something missing, but what?". The Johnson family realized that missing "what", and put together "simple black and white maps that children could label and color while studying both world and American history". Since then, they have worked together with other authors and developed "the best resources possible" for H&G, and a new website, HomeschoolingABC's.

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the TimeMaps Collection, which includes Ancient China, The Rise of Rome, The Fall of Rome, The Rise of Islam, The Black Death, European Exploration, & Atlantic Slave Trade. Knowledge Quest is developing additional TimeMaps, too.
The TimeMaps are a combinatin of timelines, historical maps, and encyclopedia entries that have been merged together to be appealing as well as factual. We received the digital version of TimeMaps, but it is also available on CD. The maps are in chronological order, which makes it easier for the student to learn history as it happened. The student will learn about the civilizations, countries, and continents, and the changes that have taken place over time. There are quizzes & encyclopedia entries that you can utilize however preferred. (Knowledge Quest)

The following video will give you a little glimpse into what TimeMaps are all about.

Below are a few screen shots from various individual TimeMap units. You can see the graphic quality of each of them.
Ancient China
Atlantic Slave Trade
The Rise of Rome
The Black Death
TimeMaps can be purchased as a collection or the individual time period. They are available for Mac & Windows and can be used privately at home, or for schools or co-ops.
The price for each individual TimeMaps is $9.95 and the collection is $44.95

What we thought? I am super impressed with the amount of information and interaction these files contain. Not only will your child learn about history, he/she can see where it took place, watch the steps of change over time, and interact with each separate map. There is an "i" on each for information and a "q" for questions about the lesson. Each map comes to life as the time progression is set in motion (a click of the button). Information is presented about each map in the informational box as well as extra little interesting facts in pop-up like tabs. You can see in the above video how it actually works and looks. I liked that there are worksheets available to use if chosen, and each map comes with pdf files specifically to explain how to use the maps and suggestions for teaching and activities. There are external links given for each map that offer even more info. I love it. The only thing that I would change is to have sound added to the maps. Voiceovers can enhance the learning experience or even a pleasant musical piece from the era. . . .  but that's just my opinion. I like music : ^ )

My kids really liked that it's not presented in a plain, dry format. It's pleasing to view and it offers as much, or as little, interaction that is desired. They liked the information that was presented for each map, too, it wasn't "boring".

I recommend TimeMaps as a supplement to any history and geography curriculum. The price is great, at just $9.95 each. There are not many supplements available at such a reasonable price.

There are many other products that Knowledge Quest offers. You can check them out for yourself at their website and you can read more reviews about TimeMaps and MapTrek from other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Disclaimer: I received this product free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew  with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.

Are you a history buff? Do you just love teaching history to your kids and learning more than you knew? Well, sad to say, I wasn't a social studies fan when I was in school. I didn't like remembering dates and places and names, and all of the other, seemingly unimportant stuff.

Now, as a homeschool mom, I LOVE history. I love learning about all of the stuff that happened throughout history. And I love that I can learn it beside my children. I'm disappointed that, in my education, the importance was placed on dates and names, rather than the occurrence of it all. It's so interesting to me now, and I'm excited for my kids when we start learning a new era.

So when I was given the opportunity, through the TOS Crew, to review a new history product, I said YES!!! Please!!!

That new product is Heritage History. The first thing I saw on their website was their introduction. It starts:  
Putting the Story Back into History

There are two quite distinct purposes of history; the superior purpose, which is its use for children, and the secondary, or inferior purpose, which is its use for historians. The highest and noblest thing that history can be is a good story.
          —G. K. Chesterton
That's exactly what my thoughts were on history. I was excited and kept reading:
"The mission of Heritage History is to make old-fashioned history books, written for the enjoyment of young people, easily available."

"We believe that the current trend of teaching Social Studies rather than history to young people is unfortunate, not so much because it is politicized, but because it is boring. Too many students leave school with a vague disinterest in history because it was never presented in an engaging manner."

"At Heritage History, we seek to promote, not so much the study of history as the enjoyment of History. By making available old-fashioned history, as it was enjoyed as a pastime rather than studied as a subject, we hope to help reawaken the interest of a new generation

I was sold! If the products really upheld their philosophy, this is what I wanted to use for history. I needed to find out.

After searching around their site, I discovered that Heritage History looks at history, well, as history, not social studies. I learned more about the background of the modern educational system's approach to "social studies". And realized - that is why I didn't like "history". It wasn't history, necessarily, that I was learning! (read more at Heritage History's Intro page).

Ok. So now that I had rediscovered the true definition of history class, I wanted to learn about the products. 

Heritage History offers curriculum CD's that contain actual books, study guides, user guides, and more. Each of the books is available as a printable PDF and in e-Reader format (EPUB & MOBI). That's 3 different formats you could use!
The study aids & guides offer:
The study guide is also printable or you can purchase it pre-printed separately. Each CD Curriculum has biographies, legends, hero stories, & historical literature. The CD's also contain the study guides, timelines, historical maps, and era summaries. All of which can be printed. It truly is incredible all that is on these CD's!
We received the Ancient Greece Curriculum. This CD contains 46 books, 50+ maps, timelines, battle dictionaries, reading recommendations, geography terms, short biographies, and the ready to print study guide.

The pic to the left shows the CD with the printable study guide and a printed book, though all of the books could be read without printing.

We are thrilled with this curriculum. Heritage History has put an incredible amount of time and effort into it. And one of the greatest things, for us, is that Ancient Greece correlates with our current curriculum. 

Each of the CD's are priced at just $24.99 (the classical library CD's are just $19.99). That is amazing for all that you receive. Right now, Heritage History is having a sale, purchase 2 CD's and get one free! Each CD can be used for students from grade school through high school.

I am confident that you will find this curriculum interesting & easy to use. It is organized effectively, even for us : - )

For More Reviews From The TOS Crew
Disclaimer: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.
Does your homeschool curriculum need a little. . . boost? Do your children sometimes just want to have fun instead of doing another lesson? Well there is an interesting way that you can add fun directly to your curriculum, which will satisfy your need to educate, and your children's desire to do something different. . . Task Cards by Creek Edge Press.

What is a Task Card? Task cards are just as they sound. They are "cards" that have various tasks on them that your child can complete, that correlate with the particular subject they are learning. They are geared for children K-8, but can be modified or enhanced to use with children older or younger (in my opinion). "The cards are designed to engage the student in investigative, discovery based learning. . . .. The tasks direct students to research and explore concepts and vocabulary surrounding a particular topic which is stated on the card" (creekedgepress.com).

The subjects available in the Task Card sets are: history, art, music, grammar reinforcement, and science. You can even purchase replacement cards. Each subject will cover different areas, for example, for this history Task Card Sets, the tasks include research, map work, summaries, time line work, biographical figures, and simple projects. You can view the scope & sequence of the different sets here.The sets are designed to correlate with Charlotte Mason, Classical learning, and Montessori. Since there are not specific books required to use the cards, you can customize your resources according to your teaching style or home school curriculum. For a list of suggested resources and supporting links, you can view this page.Creek Side Press also has a blog that offers additional information, updates, and other news.
We received the Ancient World Task Card set. This set is "extensive and intended to stand-alone" but can be used to complement other curriculum. There are 34cards that cover Ancient History, from Creation to the fall of Rome. The scope and sequence can be seen here. The card set comes with a Course Introduction book which offers instructions on how to use the cards, recommendations on preparing the environment, and resource suggestions. It is very comprehensive and I can really see how you might be able to use this set as a stand alone curriculum.

You can purchase the Ancient World Task Card Set for $20.00. Other Task Card Sets can be purchased from $18.00 for single sets up to $90.00 for the complete History set. Check out the product page to learn more about each of the sets. 

Our current curriculum for history covers the Ancient World time period, so these cards are a perfect for us in that sense. It includes different activities, but sometimes the activities just aren't enough and the kids are wanting more. We have been able to use the cards to add in that "more", and were even able to learn a few extra things. 

The Task Card Sets are really a great way to supplement your curriculum or even learn about a new topic for extra-curricular fun. They are a good alternative when you want to get work done, but your student is needing a breather from her usual work. There is much to learn using each card, and if you're creative, you can add even more using the card as a guide.

For more reviews from Crew members click the link below.
For More Reviews From The TOS Crew
And remember: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using the product. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.
Roman history is a fascinating subject to learn about. From the tools of survival to the luxuries of the rich, there are so many facets of Roman life that interest modern students of all ages. We were given the opportunity as members of the TOS Crew to review a great game that teaches about Roman history while executing an archaeological dig. It is called Roman Town by Dig It! Games. 

Roman Town was created by Suzi Wilczynski, who is a professional archaeologist! She has degrees from Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. From her experience on actual digs and her desire to teach students, she has created Roman Town so that it "encourages kids to use existing skills in new and challenging ways." (dig-itgames.com)

With Roman Town, you (or your student) will "have all the fun of a real archaeological excavation without getting your hands dirty".

What is Roman Town: It is a virtual excavation game with realistic 3D graphics that offers the player an exciting look into ancient times and "hands-on" discovery of authentic Roman artifacts. It is a CD game that takes you into an actual archaeological dig in the Roman town of Fossura. This town was destroyed in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Throughout the game, you will be able to find (unearth) artifacts, buildings, treasures, and even Roman villagers.  You will learn how each item was used and/or the history of it, be able to learn about the culture, language, art, and more of an real ancient civilization. Roman Town is the winner of the National Parenting Center's 2010 Seal of Approval and Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Product. It is rated for kids from 5th-8th grade but can be played by everyone of all ages ("8-88" according to dig-itgames.com).

How Does It Work: Roman Town starts out in a excavation site office. It is discovered that they need to hire another person...and in comes you. Once you sign in, you start at dig site I and choose a tool to start digging with. Once an object is discovered, you finish excavating it and then you can L.E.A.R.N. (Locate Engrossing and Remarkable kNowledge). This invaluable tool allows you to learn about the object and history of it. Throughout the game, you will have the opportunity to learn more, play games, take quizzes, and build skills such as: reading, analytical thinking, problem solving, and multi-tasking. What parent doesn't want these skills for their child? :-) Once you reach the end of the game, you can start the dig over and find even more interesting things.
What We Thought: This game is pretty neat. There are so many interesting aspects of it. I like all the history and that it can come to life as your playing. My daughter likes the games, too. Her favorite is the 3D Reconstruction, like the picture to the left. As you play and find objects, you have the opportunity to learn about them while viewing it in the setting it would have been used. You can see it side by side to a similar object used today. At first my DD didn't like the ending because she thought it was too short (it took her just a few hours of play time to complete-of course she is in high school), but then we realized she could continue playing and find even more stuff. My son played without reading many of the popups, but at least he read some and with each play, he has read more. This is truly a great supplement to your Roman history lessons. Below is a brief video with some more interesting views from the game.

How To Purchase: You can buy this game directly from DigIt! Games for $39.95. But if you buy before February 21, 2011, you can use the code TOS2011 and pay just $19.96. This is for the home edition and up to 5 players can play. There is also a teacher's edition for $299, which includes a teacher's manual and licenses for a minimum of 15 students.

My Final Thoughts: I believe this is an excellent game and would be a great supplement to add fun and an interactive touch to any Roman history lesson or even a lesson about archaeology. This is a great buy even at the regular price. But at the discounted price you can't go wrong. For additional reviews you can go to the TOS Crew's site.

And remember: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with sole purpose to provide an honest review after using the product. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer
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