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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roman Roads Media Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #hshistory

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Roman Roads Media Review

    You mention History in this house and my boys are all ears, especially when it comes to studying or learning about any of the wars in History. Throw in Great Classical Christian curriculum and I am excited too!  So I was super eager to surprise my boys with a new review item from Roman Roads Media, we received Dave Raymond's American History 1  DVD. Movies about History are the favorite because they liked to be part of the action and even though its recreated they feel the emotions of the people they are learning about. Toss in the fact that this counts as a FULL High School History credit when used in conjunction with the History 2 DVD and the corresponding student reader and Teacher's guide and you have a full High School History class without breaking a sweat.

Roman Roads Media Review

     Now these are not just for High School kids, they target audience is actually for 6th grade and up. US HISTORY | PART I 4 DVDs, Student Reader, Teacher's Guide sells currently for $75. Remember though that is for a full semester of materials for History with nothing else needed.

 The topics covered in the Part 1 that we received include the following...

Part 1:

1. Orientation
2. The Banner of the Sun: Meso-America
3. Brave New World: The Early Explorers
4. The Colossus of Empire: The Colonies
5. Stability and Change: The Reformational Colonies
6. A City Upon a Hill: The Puritans
7. A Foreign War at Home: Wars of Control
8. Grace, the Founder of Liberty: The Great Awakening
9. Fathers of Independence: Adams, Franklin, Witherspoon, and Henry
10. Liberty or Death: The Declaration of Independence
11. Awesome Providence I: The War of Independence
12. Awesome Providence II: The War of Independence
13. A More Perfect Union: The Constitution

The idea is that you will cover one lesson for 13 weeks and then continue on with Part 2 for the second semester for an additional 13 weeks. So if you complete the entire course you will have covered 26 weeks of materials and 4 projects. This was right up my alley. all laid out in front of me with little to no prep on my part except for gathering the materials for the projects which most of the items needed we already had on hand since we are a project focused homeschool.

  The DVD has the actual lesson by Video so the boys and I would sit downand watch the lesson and discuss what we had learned, yes I admit I learn right along with my boys, I consider it one of the perks of homeschooling. Then using the student reader and Teacher guide we would continue on about that week's lesson we have been doing this on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  In the Summer we only do school on a few days and usually only work on a couple things per week that are both interesting and fun for us.

  Since we were only using this 3 days per week on average it is taking us a little longer than the expected 13 weeks, but since we have not officially started school yet this will align well with our long Holiday break from Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Nick will be home from college for a month during that time and we will want to spend as much time with him as possible, so I was excited that by following a lighter schedule of this and spanning almost 2 weeks for each lesson we will finish up right on our schedule. The student reader lays out a nice syllabus outlining the course showing what is being covered and talking about the projects and listing the assignment for each lesson. There are 5 lectures to cover for each week so you can see why it is taking us 2 weeks at 3 days a week.

  Everyday that we are working on this we pop in the DVD and watch the days lecture and then spend another half an hour or so working through discussion questions to dive in deeper. There is a lecture and an assignment laid out for you to follow making this an easy on your own class for High School level or independent middle schoolers. I can see my boys taking the reins on this one once we get into the swing of our standard academic year. Since there are 2 of them working on this they could easily discuss between them the questions and I could sit in when I wanted to but it would give me an opportunity to catch up on grading papers or making lunch if I wanted to. There are exams at the end of the 5 lessons for each "week". We have done that independently so that I can actually keep tabs on grades to enter into our grade keeper. This way it is easier for me to give a semester grade for each of them.

  The teacher's guide explains how to use the curriculum and gives the syllabus as well as all of the exam answers to make grading a breeze. It seriously does not get much easier than this. The Teacher's guide explains how to get the student reader which is on the DVD and can be viewed by computer and can easily be downloaded via PDF to print out. The teacher guide also includes grading sheets, I have not used this myself as we use a computer based record keeping system but they do seem handy. There is a portfolio that is kept for the students and worked on each day as well we are using a 3 ring binder system for this. The boys have been enjoying working on them and like to refer back to them often. We are just getting ready to begin our colonial map project now that everyone is home from camp and ready to get busy on some hands on projects other than their portfolio that easily traveled with us making continuing on with our studies easy while we were at our camper the last 2 weeks. I save projects for when we are at home and have access to all of our supplies. I can say the boys are least looking forward to their costumed speech project. They neither like dressing up or giving speeches, maybe it is because I told them I wanted to video them and put them on the blog, do you think that may have something to do with it? Probably!

 The most anticipated project is the end project that will be completed when we have finished the course in November. I will be sure to share our projects in a separate post when they are all completed. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. They love projects and it is fun to see their unique creativity shine through when they are given the reins to come up with it on their own.
One final perk of this curriculum Compass Classroom has a forum that teacher's can visit to get answers to questions or see how others are using the curriculum, it is a nice feature and I find myself there often just to browse around. So be sure to check it out if you end up using any of their curriculum. Not just the History.

  In conclusion we are really enjoying this curriculum and have been moving right along at our own pace. We will most likely order Volume 2 so that we can record a full credit for History. As usual do not just take my word for it visit the other crew reviews and see what they are saying about many selections that we were given to choose from Roman Roads Media. There is something for everyone. Also be sure to visit the Social Media links below as well for Roman Roads Media.

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