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In our house, the favorite subject for all of us is History. We love History; we watch documentaries or tv shows that take place in different eras, we read a lot of historical fiction and non-fiction and we take trips to historical places. One quote I have said to my kids often that gets repeated back to me quite a bit (especially when I try to get Bug to move on to a different subject in her studies) is “We must know our history in order to be prepared for our future.” So it is because of that love for history that had me chomping at the bit when the opportunity came up to review a history curriculum for Mosaic Reviews, and not just any curriculum, one that has games! Yay, learning AND playing?! What could be better?
The Classical Historian teaches through games and creative curriculum. According to their site: “Our materials are inspired by the best that is offered in the Western tradition of education: openness, analysis, healthy competition in games, respect towards opposing viewpoints, recognition of an absolute truth, and academic honesty. Okay, that all sounds pretty good, so what about the actual curriculum?
From the site:
How Does This Curriculum Work and How is it Unique?
1. Students Learn the Tools of the Historian.
2. Students are Challenged with Open-Ended Questions.
3. Students Research in a Variety of Secondary and Primary Sources.
4. Students Engage in a Socratic Discussion.
5. Students Write an Analytical Essay.
|What we received|
I received several components of the curriculum, with the focus of my products to review being Medieval:
- The Classical Historian’s Socratic Discussion in History workbook;
- Take a Stand! Medieval Civilizations Reading, Discussing and Writing workbook;
- The Classical Historian Medieval Civilizations One Complete Year of History, 32 week guide;
- The Classical Historian presents Teaching the Socratic Discussion in History, Medieval Civilizations DVD set; and
- The Classical Historian Ancient History Go Fish Game. (I don’t know if my samples were mixed up and if I was supposed to receive the Medieval version of this game, but as we love all periods in history, I didn’t mind not getting the Medieval to go along with the rest of the curriculum I received and I will probably go ahead and buy the cards that go with this set.)
There are many different products available, with different historic periods like Ancient, Medieval, American, World, Government and Economics and more. There are texts and games, including more card games and memory games suitable for younger ages. You can check them all out here.
Honestly, because we received these just before the start of summer, we have not delved deeply into the written curriculum very far. We have looked through them, done the first few pages and watched bits and pieces of the dvds. What I have found so far, though, I really like. No, the DVDs are not produced by a large production company, and there are no Brad Pitt type stars, but the information on them is great! The workbooks are well done. Content includes The Fall of the Roman Empire, Islamic Civilization, Medieval China, Medieval Africa, Medieval Japan, Medieval Europe, Civilizations of the Americas,The Renaissance, The Reformation, The Scientific Revolution, and The Age of Exploration.
We have played the card games and I can see us playing them a lot more. These are just the type things we like for Family Game Night, or when we are camping. I have different sets of cards that are similar, some that deal with the Civil War or nature and these cards fit perfectly into what we like.
There are 4 different ways to play the Go Fish cards:
- Go Fish – Players try to collect all four-of-a-kind cards from the following categories. The player who captures most sets wins.
- Collect the Cards – Players use historical facts (hints) to try and guess the image on the card. If a player guesses correctly, he wins the card.
- Chronology – Following the Answer Key instructions, shuffle the cards necessary for the chronology game. When one player signals, the other player assembles all cards in chronological order, as fast as he can. The fastest time wins!
- Continents – Place the Continents cards at the top of the playing field. Shuffle the other cards. When one player signals, the other player assembles all cards under the correct continent, as fast as he can. The fastest time wins! Answer key provided.