Thursday, November 12, 2015

U.S. HISTORY DETECTIVE BOOK ONE Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsmommas #hsreviews

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  We are knee deep in U.S. History this year with the boys so of course why not add another component to our studies. The Critical Thinking Co. has an interesting workbook series out called U.S. HISTORY DETECTIVE and we received the opportunity to review U.S. HISTORY DETECTIVE BOOK ONE Colonial Era to Reconstruction Era.

  Selling for $39.95 you can choose the paperback version, which is what we received or the e-book version. I was very impressed with the book when we got it on delivery day. At about an inch in thickness it is a substantial chunk of book. Geared for kids in grades 8 and up, this was a perfect fit for my boys in 11th and 12th even though they are at the higher end of the age range.

  The Critical Thinking Co. allows duplicating copies among your family so it is a nice perk of only having to have one for both my boys and just being able to make copies so they can both participate without having to share or work together on the same worksheet. I did have them read the pages together and then work on their own worksheets. This was an easy assignment for them to work together on, usually taking them 30 minutes or less to complete the reading and the following worksheets for the days lesson. We worked on this M,W, and F during the week so they completed 3 lessons a week. There are 9 sections with each section having 7-10 lessons pers section, so working on this 3 days a week they are moving through the sections every 3 weeks or so.

  Each lesson has some reading and maps to explore as well as timelines. My boys also enjoyed the little fun fact boxes that pop in some of the pages that give a little fact that maybe you might not know. After reading the pages there are a few worksheets to do, this is what I made copies of. The questions are different types, some are multiple choice, some require a short answer while some may need a sentence or two. The last part is a paragraph to write explaining their evidence as to what is true, this is where being the  'detective" comes in handy.

  There are some bonus activities sprinkled here and there as well, the boys favorite was the one with some fun with the dollar bill. We learned some fun about a dollar bill, but I will let you explore it on your own I do not want to ruin the surprise for you.

 The end of each section is a short review covering various things learned in the lessons in the section. This was short and sweet and to the point, covering filling in a map, completing a concept map, venn diagrams, and other simple ways to review the material.

  The boys are enjoying going through this book in conjunction with the other materials they are using in their U.S. History studies. Adding new components that fill out your year long curriculum helps to keep it fresh and fun. Sometimes no matter how fun your core curriculum is it tends to get stale especially at the half way point. Adding something like U.S. HISTORY DETECTIVE BOOK ONE to the mix helps liven it up and keep things interesting and inviting.

 There is answer key in the back of the book, I do not know about you but I do not like to leave temptation for my boys, even though they know cheating gets you know where and is a sin, I do not want to tempt them. I want them to work for their grades and be confident that they came to the answer on their own. So I take the answer keys out of the books using an exacto knife and I have a 3 ring binder with all of the answer keys for the boys books, I just divide them with tabs to keep them organized, this way it is never an issue especially when they are having a bad day and just do not feel like they can do it.

All in all my boys are enjoying this new addition to our U.S History class and I will be ordering Book Two so when we are done we can continue on with our detective work to discover the other hidden secrets of our nation.

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