Friday, May 18, 2012

TOS Review: Heritage History

I am a history buff and so I was glad to be able to review Heritage History, a curriculum that gets to the heart of history, or at least a little closer to it.  Heritage History is not your usual history curriculum.  Instead of text books, tests and memorization of dates and facts, the Heritage History program is based on the use of classical, age appropriate children's history books.

The history books your child will read are actually history themselves.  No books used were printed after 1923.  While these books are usually without copyright and already in the public domain, Heritage History has compiled together a selection of the best works and sorted them by genre, subject and character.  All of these are in electronic form and can be accessed on the computer, Kindle, Ipad or other devices.  It also comes with Study Aids that includes supplemental materials such as images, maps, timelines and a teacher's guide for you to use to help your student in their studies.  Here is a list of supplemental images available for one story about Abraham Lincoln.

We reviewed the Young Readers Classical Collection.

The Young Readers Collection serves as an introduction to history for young grammar school students who are already reading fluently but not quite ready for a more systematic approach to learning.  This collection focuses on historical stories rather than comprehensive histories.  While they encourage the child to choose their subject and explore history on their own, they do recommend a minimum time spent reading each week.  For older students that is a few hours, for younger students, it is up to the parents to decide.  To have some accountability they even have a page you can print off titled the Weekly Reading Register.

On a personal level I loved these stories.  Hearing the children's tales written from an earlier perspective was really refreshing to me and I am sure this would be the case for many students as well.  However, with Gess' special needs the antiquated writing made it difficult for her to comprehend the story, which is a difficult task for her under normal circumstances.  Even Aesop's fables required so much explanation that it just took the charm right out of the story.  This is also not a good fit for parents who like the more structured style of learning.  If you want text books, vocabulary lists and tests this may not be for you.  However it is a really neat program so if this fits your teaching style and you have students who read fluently and comprehend well, this will be a great tool to use to get them to study history in way where they may not even realize they are learning!

The Heritage History Classical Curriculum consists of 5 CDs including Young Readers, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, British Middle Ages, and the British Empire.  Each CD sells for $24.99 each or you can buy the entire 5 disk set for $99.99. To learn more about this or some of the other collections in the series you might want to check out the other TOS Crew member's blogs or simply visit the Heritage History website.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received the Young Readers Classical Curriculum CD for giving my honest opinion and assessment of this product in my review.
Note: All pricing is current at the time of posting and is subject to change

1 comment:

Tess said...

Have you thought about using the books as a read aloud? My special needs daughter cannot read independently. We reviewed British Middle Ages and I had my others read some selections and I read aloud some from the "younger" selections. It worked well for us but then living books for history is our preferred method. I am considering getting the Young Readers to use but I'll use it as a read aloud. I'm glad you included details in your review. Thanks!


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