Friday, May 25, 2012

Heritage History Living Books and Curriuclum(British Empire)

As  I *think* I have made fairly evident to my readers I love books~ I love story and character. I love reading in general, and I have passed this love on to my children. This means that I was very pleased to receive Heritage Classical History Curriculum for review. :)

So, what exactly is Heritage History?  In a nutshell Heritage History is a provider of "vintage" history books that are in the public domain, but have been formatted for e-readers and organized into electronic libraries containing  "biographies, legends, adapted literature, and introductory histories. All were written for the general reader and are easy and enjoyable to read." The books work as the basis for a history program on their own (For those with a literary/classical/Charlotte Mason-ish bent), or as a supplement to your current history curriculum.

The books arrive on a CDrom and can be printed, or uploaded to your e-reader, printed, or read from your computer monitor/laptop. The convenience factor of having the books organized and well-arranged in digital form makes this a worthwhile purchase, as compared to scouring the web for free copies of these books. It is also very convenient to be able to take the books you want to read with you in the car, to the park, or wherever you happen to be schooling on a given day. While you can spend hours scouring the internet for free e-reader versions of these books, I can just about guarantee that they

The Folks at Heritage History currently offer the following individual collections in their World History Curriculum~
  • Young Readers
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • British Middle Ages 
  • British Empire

We received the British Empire Library Collection.
Now here's something else~ in addition to all of the books on the CD Rom, there is one additional feature that sets Heritage History apart~ A Study Guide is included on each CD Rom.
Ours included the following features:
  • Recommended Reading lists for grammar, middle and high school ages (Highlighted in Green for Grammar, Maroon for Middle School, and Red for.... Rebellious teens? Nah.... Red for  Highschool ;) ) They are split into Core reading selections and supplemental reading selections. I love this feature!
  • Historical Divisions~ Typically chronological, but in our case (British Empire) they were more geographical in nature~ This is the bulk of the study guide and includes short summaries for each division, timelines within the division, and lists of major characters in the time or locale. The appropriate books are also cross-referenced in this section.
  • Dozens of Historical Maps and reproducible maps
  • Battle Dictionary listing all major wars, battles and conflicts
  • Short Biographies of famous characters
  • Summaries of major events associated with historical eras
  • Accountability forms to keep track of how much history reading each student does over the course of the week.
  • Curriculum User Guide which gives some guidelines and tips on sequence, scheduling, retention and review, as well as incorporating into other curricula.

I will add that this guide is also available in printed format, and I was delighted to receive that in my review package, as I tend to be a "page-flipper" when planning, and all those charts, lists and references are easier for me to assimilate when they are in front of me in hard-copy vs on the computer or ipad (You can also choose to just print up the pages you need from your CD Rom if you need to cut your costs~ although ink isn't cheap...).

Here's an idea what my package looks like (Sorry~ lighting wasn't the greatest~ but you can see the Study Guide (It came 3-hole punched, I supplied the binder), the CD Rom case, and my daughter's itouch and my ipad open to chapters in books contained on the CD.

Here is a picture with less glare of the Ancient Greece pack, and a kindle (not mine~ ). Just to give you an idea of size and scale. :)

We decided to read up on the British Empire in India, which was fine for everyone except my Eldest at the high-school level. I didn't realize that the book she was reading as her "Core" selection would include so much violence (Yep... I loosely "knew" that India's history was violent, but didn't think about it showing up here. My bad... she's in high school now, and some things I should pre-read a bit, I guess.... suffice to say that she switched to "supplemental reading" at lower levels, which were a little more tame in their descriptions.

Some of my kids' favorite times are "Read-a-louds", so I foresee some more interesting afternoons reading more about The British Empire (Mostly on the Grammar/Intermediate levels when dealing with warfare, but that's a personal choice).

The Nitty Gritty~

Heritage History Curriculum ~Living Books for History in great digital format, with supplements and a study guide.
Ages~ K-12 (With cautions to pre-skim some selections, as some pre-1923 literature can have different sensibilities...)
Classical Curriculum CD~ $24.99 individually $99 for all 5 collections
Study Guides alone~ Print (Color) $24.99  Download~ $12.99

Spring Sale (You'll find it on the right side bar of the store page) Buy any 2 Curriculum/Library CD's, get a 3rd free! (I don't know how long this is going on, but wanted to make sure I mentioned it here) There is also a Kindle Giveaway being run on their site ~ for my bargain-hunting/ giveaway entering readers. :)

Don't forget to pop on over to the TOS Review Crew Blog to see what others had to say about the sets they received. I hope that this review was helpful to you as you determine where best to spend your homeschool budget.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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