Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Heroes and Heroines of the Past (American History Curriculum)

Amy Puetz has a passion for history and this curriculum is an outpouring of that love.  I first became acquainted with Amy through her Heroines of the Past newsletters.You can sign up for that free at her website.  Amy is a master of finding and sharing historical gems from the past in her ezine.  And her American History curriculum is another example of her efforts to make history exciting and accessible to young students.

There are so many things that make this curriculum unique among history programs.  First of all, everything you need is right at your fingertips. The main text is divided into two volumes (you can do one each semester) which makes for a very manageable book to read from and tote around.  Volume 1 covers year 1000 to 1837 and Volume 2 covers 1837 to the present. Overall, there are 30 chapters which is nice if you use a shorter school year. If however, your school runs for 36 weeks, you can stretch out some weeks with the additional resources and the recommended reading.  Trust me, there is way more suggested than you will ever possibly accomplish!

Amy has created a comprehensive program that incorporates ideas for timeline study, geography study, writing, as well as drama and music.  The latter two make this curriculum especially unique because drama helps bring the stories alive and the music helps bring alive the emotion and rhythm of the time period.

In summary, the things I loved most about this curriculum:
  • Main history text is split into two volumes (you could do one per semester or stretch out each volume over a year of study)
  • Materials CD makes it super easy to print off materials for students (no wrangling with the book trying to make copies)
  • Historical Skits adds a creative and hands-on facet to the curriculum
  • Each day's reading has a simplified/condensed option for younger students as well as a more complete selection for older students
  • A  history program that you can use with your whole family--could be adapted with some research or additional reading for even older students
  • Full of illustrations
  • Incorporates historical biographies
  • Music to sing and/or play selections from that time period
  • Includes comprehension questions (with answers in back for convenience)
  • Inclusion of recipes and games from the time period
  • Some sections have a suggested verse to memorize as a family
  • Lots of maps for reference right within the text so you aren't having to flip back and forth to figure out where events are taking place
  • Art studies are sprinkled throughout showing paintings depicting historical events
  • Includes reprints of writings near the time period discussed
  • CD with speeches from history (no trying to hunt things down yourself!)
There is so much included in this curriculum that you will most likely not be able to do it all but it's nice to have all the ideas at your fingertips to pick and choose those activities you want to explore. Or take the whole pace slower and just tackle one volume in one school year. It's obvious how much Amy loves history and how much she wants to share and inspire young people with the stories of the great leaders who were part of the founding of America.

The American History bundle is available for $98.99 and  includes:
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1 
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2
  • Historical Skits book 
  • Additional Materials CD (not pictured above)
  • Sing Some History CD 
  • Listen to Some US History MP3 CD
A coloring book is also available for $9.99 and available here.  Visit the website to read and listen to samples from the curriculum bundle.  

You can purchase the bundle at the author's website: www.amypuetz.com.  Keep up with Amy's happenings and future projects on her Facebook page.

If you will be attending the Homeschool Iowa Conference in Des Moines, IA May 15-17, stop by the Golden Prairie Press booth to meet Amy in person and see her curriculum for yourself. She has lots of other neat historical resources your family will love.

Take some time to explore her website. She has so many wonderful treasures including:
In the 13 years I have been homeschooling, I have looked through many materials on American History and this is by far the most comprehensive, enthusiastic study that encompasses all of a child's heart, mind and soul.  Your whole family will be blessed by this curriculum!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this curriculum in exchange for some editing work.  A review was not required but I was so excited about Amy's materials, that I wanted to help promote it through this review.

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