The past six - eight weeks have found us enjoying a wonderful product from Roman Roads Media titled Dave Raymond's American History. We like it so much that I will go ahead and tell you up front that we plan on using it the remainder of this school year for Grace's high school American History credit.
US History Part 1 - 4 DVDs, student reader, teacher's guide - Retails for $75.00
US History Part 2 - 4 DVDs, student reader, teacher's guide - Retails for $75.00
Each part contains 13 lessons. Part 1 and 2 used together will fulfill an American History high school credit. This course is recommended for ages 12 and older. Part 1 will start the student off in Meso-America and end with the Constitution. Part 2 begins with George Washington and ends with Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
This curriculum consists of daily lessons in the form of video lectures from Dave Raymond that last approximately 10 minutes each. The daily lesson is extended through note taking, building a scrapbook-like portfolio, projects, readings, and a list of books to help round out the year even more. At the end of each lesson you will find a ten question assignment/quiz in an essay format. You will find a sample here of the lessons about Christopher Columbus. I would now like to go in greater detail about each facet of this course.
Dave Raymond is the teacher and lecturer of this wonderful DVD series. He lives in Tennessee with his family where he also teaches with 10 years of experience to his credit. Mr. Raymond is very easy to listen to and his lectures are never boring. I find myself learning so much that I did not know and it is all taught through a biblical worldview. I will be so disappointed when school starts back next week because Grace will be "doing" history independently and I won't be participating. On second thought I think I will listen to the discs at night on my own to stay abreast of what she is learning. So far the lectures have taken us through orientation (how everything works), Meso-America, and Christopher Columbus.
This part is a favorite of Graces. Keeping a scrapbook or notebooking portfolio allows her creative side to shine through as well as producing something nice to show off at the end of the year. When each section is finished the student creates a page describing what they learned. It can include quotes, poetry, original artwork, graphics, clippings from the Internet or other sources. The sky is the limit on this one. The student is encouraged to make this their own and take great pride in what they produce.
Colonial Map Project
The first project assigned was to reproduce a real map from a certain time period. Again this really appealed to Grace's love of art. At first we had a bit of trouble locating a vintage map that was decorative enough for Grace's approval. Luckily we found an old cartography book at our local library that had what she was looking for. She ended up deciding on a map of the arrival of the English in Virginia in 1585 by John White. The map shows many Native American tribal villages and canoes and the treacherous barrier areas that ships had to navigate to cross. The student is graded on research, following directions, attention to detail, and how much time was spent creating the map.
It is recommended in the second semester or part 2 of the curriculum to chose a topic the student has learned through the course and do further research. Again guidelines are given to the student and teacher on how to accomplish this assignment.
The Hour Project
The most intriguing part of second semester (for me anyway) is the Hour Project. Here the student gets to chose their own project (as long as it relates to subjects studied) and run with it. This might be sewing a period costume, building a replica of a fort, cooking authentic meals, or even writing a short novel. It is recommended to spend 30 - 40 hours of second semester on this project. Something very in depth that the student will be passionate about.
Another favorite aspect of this curriculum is teachimg my daughter to take notes in a lecture setting. This is something she has lacked in and will get lots of practice during the remaining school year. It will teach how imperative it is to take good notes from the lecture in order to answer the essay questions without having to actually listen to the lecture again.
Everything Else- Quizzes, Teacher's Guide, Reader, and Answer Key
The teacher's guide is very thorough in explaining how everything fits together and works. Quizzes in an essay format are available at the end of each lesson. Answer key to the questions are found in the teacher's guide. Last but certainly not least is the reader found in each lesson. The readings are first hand accounts, poems, letters, narratives and more pertaining to each topic studied.
I would be very remiss if I didn't tell you a little about the vendor, Roman Roads Media. Very succinctly the website states, "We publish Classical curriculum, from a Christian perspective, created for the homeschool." They provide materials in both physical and downloadable formats. Roman Roads Media has other products available for study, including: The Greeks, The Romans, Poetry, Latin, Economics, and Music.
This company really blessed my family by introducing us to Dave Raymond's American History. This product has really appealed to Grace's artistic side. I feel it is great for all types of learners, including: audio, visual, hands on, and artistic. We used this about 3-4 days a week. We received this as a 8 disc set. I was very thrilled to learn that they are in production for the modern history set as we speak and it is slated to come out in 2015. I really can't say enough about this course and how much we love using it. Dave Raymond's American History from Roman Roads Media is an educational product any family would enjoy and treasure. Be sure to check out what the other Crew Members thought of their products.
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