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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review–Golden Prairie Press (TOS Review)

Golden Prairie Press Review
 
It was great timing to be able to review Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press, since we are covering US History currently.  It has been a great addition to our studies!
 
Golden Prairie Press Review
 
Heroes and Heroines of the Past:  American History Curriculum is comprised of 2 unit eBooks, historical skits eBook, downloadable songs (Sing Some History) and downloadable speeches/read aloud (such as The Gettysburg Address, entitled Listen to Some History) and an eBook of printable materials (timelines, color pages, etc..). 
 
This curriculum is sufficient enough to be a stand alone history curriculum or it can be paired with other items, depending on your liking.  It is designed for grades 1st-6th.  It could work as independent work for proficient readers, or can be done child and parent together.  Each unit contains a reading (to be read by child or parent)  The reading is labeled for 1st-2nd and/or 3rd-6th, the later is longer and goes into more detail on the subject. 
 
At the end of the readings there are typically several options, these consist of:  writing assignment suggestions, hands on activity suggestions, art studies, comprehension questions, timeline information, suggested literature (for older grades), geography, and it directs you to the skit, song or speech to go with the unit if one is available.
 
How we used the curriculum:

We used this curriculum as our daily history (3 times a day typically), we would read the unit and discuss the questions verbally.  (My oldest is 7, but is not much of a writer, so I limit his writing requirements).  We then did the Art Study (I LOVED this aspect of the curriculum, it makes it easy to get a little bit of Art History/Study into your school day).  We also did any suggested activities (ie playdough viking ships, made hot cocoa, playdough pueblo houses, etc..)
 
2014-05-08 00.57.482014-05-08 00.58.14
 
We used the 1st-2nd grade sections of the units.  We like to read a lot of story books to go along with what we are learning, so we also added some of our own books that went along with the units, as well as a few of our own activities.  This is definitely not required to get the most out of the unit, as previously mentioned it could easily stand alone, and would do so very well.
 
The skits would be great for larger families, or homeschool groups (but check on copyright before using outside of your family).  Since I only have one child that is a reader, the skit was not that easy to accomplish. 
 
The songs and speeches are a great added element, helping the curriculum be a multi-sensory experience, able to work more efficiently for all types of learning styles, (though the reader of the speeches voice is monotonous).
 
I really liked that it was easily adapted to non-writing learners, but would also work with older children.  It would be a great curriculum to use with a family with children in multi age/grade levels.  Another nice aspect for larger families is the ability to do this curriculum independently.  An older child could easily read the unit and complete the activities at the end of the unit without a lot of help from a parent.
 
I wish they had more hands on activities, not every unit has the projects and when a unit does there is typically just ONE project.  Hands on activities is typically what sells me on a curriculum; a variety of suggestions is always appreciated by me.  A list of suggested books for a variety of age levels would be nice too, the ones they list are for 5th-6th graders.
 
With all that said, I do like this curriculum and we will continue to use this program as we work on US History!
 
The program can be purchased for $98.99 in either a printed or digital edition.
 
 
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