Monday, April 21, 2014

TOS Review - Home School Adventure Co. - Philosophy Adventure

Home School Adventure Co.
Have you ever had a desire to study or teach Philosophy? How about studying Philosophy through the lens of a biblical worldview? If I am really honest I must say our answer would have been a big NO. When I saw Philosophy Adventure from Home School Adventure Co. come up for review, my first thought was we don't teach classically so what would we do with this product. My second thought was this is going to be way over Grace's head and she won't understand any of it. Who am I kidding! I thought it would be over my head too. The word philosophy is kind of scary in itself. The Webster's American Dictionary defines philosophy as the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. I truly thought that I wanted to just take a pass on this review, but after more research on their website about the product I became more and more intrigued. The rest they say is history. I am sure glad we didn't skip the chance to review and use this product. Let's get into some of the details about what this product teaches and all the logistics of how to use it.
Philosophy Adventure
We received Philosophy Adventure as a digital download. There were three separate texts to download and print; main text, student workbook, and teacher resources. Being the binder queen that I am I printed everything in one shot, hole punched it, and put it in a big binder with dividers.
The main text printed out to 125 pages and is broken down into the study of 8 different philosophers, checklists, creative writing, and the appendices section. I will start off by quoting the very front of the material that Philosophy Adventure aims to teach your child to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately. All very important endeavors for any student. Each philosopher chapter is set up the same:
Biography and Historical Context - Each philosopher has a biographical section with a telling of their life and other historical contexts that may apply to him. What other philosophers he may have come in contact with or was influenced by their works.
Write, Think, and Speak Pages - Here is were the student will delve into writing skillfully, thinking critically, and speaking articulately through various assignments.
Geography and Mapwork - Each philosopher chapter includes a page describing where they were born and their travel destinations. This also includes a map to mark off all the areas mentioned which is found in the student workbook.
Contrast - This section includes (if available) source writings from the philosopher and information comparing and contrasting these writings to a biblical worldview.
The beginning of the main text also includes recommended ways to give credit to high school students for the work accomplished with Philosophy Adventure. Also you will find helpful information about scheduling the material throughout the week.
A wealth of information is found in the back of the main text that deals with all the information you and your child needs for the writing and speech assignments. I'm speaking specifically of the checklist and creative writing sections. Here you will find all the "meaty" information about pre-writing, brainstorming, selecting sources, polishing, critiques, and so much more.
The student workbook (142 pages long) has all the questions and writing assignments for each philosopher as well as journal pages and mapping activities.
The teacher resources download includes memory cards for each philosopher, timeline with philosopher images to glue on, the answer keys, and quizzes.

Other Available Products
 Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal
Philippians in 28 Weeks
The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal
Some of the above products can be used with Philosophy Adventure. Other Crew members did review these products and you can visit the website for the TOS Review Crew to read what they thought.
How We Used the Product and What We Thought
I would like to preface this section of my review by saying that Grace is currently taking a speech class and had lots of homework in that area already. I tell you this because we chose not to do the speech writing portion of the program at this time but we did read over all the insightful advice that is given about research and writing speeches. We concentrated more on learning about each philosopher and all the corresponding activities/assignments that went along with it. I also assigned vocabulary words for each section using the bold typed words that Grace wasn't familiar with relating to each philosopher. Grace's favorite section of the product was simply learning about the philosopher's life and teachings. I found the assigned creative writing assignments very clever and really made the student think before starting to write. Some of the actual writings from the philosophers went over our heads. We stopped using our normal history program and let this take its place for the entire review period. Maybe that is why we concentrated more on historical and geographical information included in the program. The way we used it had us finish with 4 different philosophers. I really liked and enjoyed using this product and learned a ton about philosophy in the process.
You can purchase the Digital Download Version of Philosophy Adventure for $39.95. There are other options on this page as well to purchase. This product is recommended for grades 6-12. If you are interested in purchasing a product from this company they are offering 10% off your order with the coupon code CREW-10 until May 15, 2014.
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