I received The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set.
What It Is:
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & Great Republic Set is meant for grades 5-8. This set comes with and is based on the book with the same title, written by H. A. Guerber. Originally published in 1899, this book has been edited by Memoria Press. It is age appropriate for 5-8th grades and begins with Native Americans and goes all through American history up until the Spanish American War in 1898. The book is divided into chapters, each on a different event. Each chapter is 1-2 pages long for a total of 85 chapters.
With this set you will also receive the Student Guide and Teacher Guide. The Student Guide is a consumable workbook. It matches the book - for every three chapters there is a 2 page workbook spread. Things that are covered are Facts to Know, Vocabulary, Comprehensive Questions, and Enrichment. The Enrichment suggestions include mapwork, timeline suggestions, and topics and ideas to research. The Teacher Guide mirrors the workbook and but also has the answers to all questions.
The 200 Questions About American History Set comes with both a Student Book and Teacher Guide. The title is self explanatory - this set lists 200 facts that every American should know. Who was the English sailor that discovered Cape Cod? The General that captured Quebec? Or the inventor of the cotton gin? These are the types of question-answer facts that are taught in this set. After using this set, your student will know 150 facts about history, be able to place 30 events on a timeline, know 20 quotes from famous Americans, and know all 45 Presidents. The Teacher Guide has a very helpful schedule in the front, that helps homeschooling moms use these two sets together. There are also 6 tests and a final, with the answer key in the back of the book.
Included with this set is a lovely set of flashcards. There are three types of flashcards: first are the Drill Questions - these are based on the 150 fact questions. There are Notable Quotes, with the quote on one side and the person who said it on the back. And finally the Timeline Cards - these have a year on one side and the event on the other.
How We Used This and What We Thought:
I am really only actively teaching my younger two daughters this year. Dasher is the perfect age for this product and the one I primarily did this with. But every time we read, Nutsy was sitting there listening in. After all, these were very interesting stories! We would actually read three chapters at a time from H. A. Guerber's book. While I read, I would pause to ask questions and see if they were both retaining the story. The next day we would review what we had read and Dasher would do the workbook pages. I would also pull out all the flashcards we had learned up to that point and go over them.
I did find it hard sometimes to utilize the schedule they had provided - we were to read chapters 1-7 the first week but then each of the workbook pages covered three chapters. This would mean that when we read that 7th chapter, she would only do a third of a worksheet page. I ended up just following my own schedule of reading the material one day (3 chapters), doing the workbook the next, and flashcards all days.
I LOVED the flashcards. I would flip them and sometimes show the answer (Amerigo Vespucci) and they would need to tell me the fact that went with that person. (Explorer whom America is named after). In the 4 weeks we used this we only studied one event that got on the timeline (1492) but next week we will get to the French Indian War and that is another timeline card we can add. I do wish there were more timeline cards to use, looking through them, they go from 1492 to the Vietnam War. Like I said, the book by H. A. Guerber only goes up until 1898, so Memoria Press had reading suggestions from Story of the World that make up the reading assignments for the last third of the course.
I also really liked the Enrichment part of the Student Guide. The day we studied about Roanoke the composition suggestion was to write a journal entry from the point of John White, when he came back and could not find the colony. I also loved the mapwork, and would have really liked to have seen maps in an appendix that we could have used. But as a good homeschooling mom, I do have lots of maps so we used those.
Overall, I did really like this product. Doing this over the course of a year would give your students solid knowledge of American history. Our country actually has the immigrants that are applying for citizenship, study and take a history test and many of what they learn are these very facts and dates. It is the responsibility of every American citizen to know the basics of our wonderful country, and this product fits that description very well.