Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Amy Puetz

If you are looking for a fresh history curriculum that can be used with multiple ages and learning styles, you will not find a more complete bundle for elementary ages than Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History written by Amy Puetz. Home educators could also supplement the material to adapt it for use with middle school students.

The meat of the program is a two volume text which can be read aloud to younger readers or read alone by advanced, independent readers. Lessons offer a simplified version for 1st and 2nd graders followed by a more complete explanation for 3rd-6th graders.  Throughout the course of the year, students will enjoy a variety of hands-on experiences such as: 
  • skits
  • music
  • cooking
  • games
  • craft projects
We loved the biographies of influential people of the times along with an examination of historical works of art.  The works of art are black and white in the text but in full color on the included Additional Resources CD.  Maps are also included so your student can make connections between history and geography.

View the complete Table of Contents to see the breadth of this 30 week program.  Trust me--it will surprise and delight you!  And you can also download a free coloring book to accompany the materials--a great way to engage students while they listen to the lesson.  To view a sample of the curriculum, visit the Golden Prairie Press website.  Materials are available in both print and digital formats.

I used this material with my 3rd and 5th grade students and they really enjoyed it!  They were excited each day for history time. It offers so many fun suggestions for extending the activity with a game, a craft or some other project which really helped history come alive for my young students. As their teacher, I also enjoyed learning some new things!

Does your child enjoy online learning or perhaps you struggle finding time in your day for history? Let the author teach this course through an online class!  Having a teacher passionate about the subject makes learning that much more fun!

Included in this curriculum bundle:

  • Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History, Part 1 (75 lessons for 1st half of year)
  • Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History, Part 2 (75 lessons for 2nd half of year)
  • Additional Materials CD--timelines, art, audio pronunciations and more
  • Ancient History Skits (view a sample)
  • Sing Some Ancient History CD (listen to a sample)
  • Listen to Some Ancient History mp3 CD --speeches, letters, documents (listen to sample)

Take a peek at the trailer and see for yourself all the goodies buyers receive:

If you act quickly, the printed materials will ship free. Please use the discount code "ANCIENT" to receive FREE shipping. Note: Special offer ends May 27, 2016.

Disclaimer: I received the Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History bundle for the purpose of review. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Josh Becker had an epiphany one day while cleaning out his garage.  What started as a father son activity, turned into a long day of hauling, sorting, organizing while junior played with summer toys he hadn't seen for several months. While son begged dad to play with him, Josh was determined to get the garage in order that day.

In the meantime, Josh's neighbor was also puttering around her house. Becker's response to a her sarcastic remark, "Ah, the joys of home ownership" was to joke about how we allow our stuff to own us. She then shared that her daughter chose the path of minimalism and had suggested that her mother didn't need to own all the stuff she did.

That fleeting conversation made a lasting difference as Josh realized that he really didn't need all that stuff. His journey toward ridding himself of unneeded possessions formed the basis for his blog, "Becoming Minimalist" that in turn yielded speaking engagements and finally this book. Becker is passionate about teaching others what he has learned through the paradox of the more [joy, peace, time] of less [stuff].

Josh forces the reader to take a hard look at all they've been accumulating.  Is it making your life better or more burdened?  Does more stuff make you more secure? Improve relationships?  Increase your free time?  As Josh and his wife loosened their hold on stuff, they found they were opening up new vistas of opportunity and joy.  Less stuff meant more time to pursue hobbies and adventures with their kids they had always been meaning to do.

Readers will come away realizing that more stuff is really less of a life. And less stuff will yield more benefits than you could possibly imagine.  Becker offers suggestions on how to take practical steps to minimize and continues to reinforce the idea that you can be a tremendous blessing to others by sharing your excess.

This would be a great gift for those embarking on new steps in life: college graduates, newlyweds, even new parents.  Becker will help them avoid the pitfalls of materialism and help them really examine and shape a fulfilling life with less stuff and more contentment and joy.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The More of Less for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.