Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Schoolhouse Review: This Week In History

This Week in History is an online subscription from A Thomas Jefferson Education that offers a unique way to tie history into every other subject like math, science, language skills among many others.  Each week they offer a daily guide to exciting events that happened on that very day in history and then help you explore those events more thoroughly.  They offer interesting facts, photos, video links, articles, craft projects, writing topics and many other ideas so that when your day is done you have had a full day of learning covering many subjects along the way.

You can access these resources two ways, via email or on their website.  Once you view This Week In History you can choose your topic for the week or do one every day.  Gess and I just chose to do just one a week.  It is summer so we are not quite on a full schedule so I thought that would be best.  So far we have had the opportunity to learn about Carlo Lorenzini (whose pen name was Collodi) the author of Pinocchio, how Nadio Comaneci became the first gymnast to receive a perfect score, the first man to land on the moon, and about the transatlantic cable that first connected the Old World to the New.

Here is how it works.  On July 27 we found the headline "1866: Transatlantic cable connects Old World to New."  I chose this event because I liked the fun hands on and interactive activities they had to go with them.  They also provide a little information about the topic and some photos.



We were then given some links to read more detailed information from a history magazine and the PBS website.  It then offers ideas for writing or discussion.  Gess seems to have a hard time grasping history so we simply discussed it rather than wrote about it.  Then came the fun stuff.

Gess actually got to learn morse code at this really cool website.  Here she is learning how to spell Gess using morse code.  We never got past the beginner stage but she had fun with it.



The Transatlantic cable was a huge step in our communication system and linking these continents to get information across the ocean was impressive.  This led us to talk about how we communicate today on the telephone and there were instructions on how to make a toy phone.  Here is the instructional video.


As you can see, and probably remember from when you did this yourself as a kid, it's fairly simple, but fun.  Look at Gess' face in the photos.  You can tell that she thought it was pretty neat that we could speak and listen to each other from a cup!




We really enjoyed some of these lessons and I think it really is a neat resource to have and use, however I do not think it's a great fit for our homeschool style.  Because of Gess' special needs and struggles I have to have a pretty structured learning day which is already quite a bit of work.  While this was fun, it was time consuming and took a lot of work on my part so I probably would not do it very often although it would occasionally be a nice way to change things up from time to time.  I do think this would be a great fit for families who have different learning styles or children who are able to work more independently.  As a child I would have loved this myself and would have gladly spent my free time exploring different topics each day.  If you have children who can do that then this would be perfect for them.

This Week in History is available for $9.99 a month which includes your weekly topics via email or the website, plus access to the entire year's archive which is searchable by date, topic and key word.  They also provide a sample week for you to view so you can see exactly what you get before you buy.  To learn more about This Week in History visit their website or check out what other members of the Schoolhouse Reveiw Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a one year subscription to This Week in History  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:

Eddie said...

I love how your daughter's face is lit up in that photo of the plastic cup phones! Wonderful!

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