Thursday, April 24, 2014

Home School Adventure Co.: Philosophy Adventure (TOS Review Crew)

Why study Philosophy? 
What is Philosophy? 
Who is Pythagorus? Wasn't he some math guy? 

These are some of the questions that Home School Adventure Co. helps to answer with their homeschool philosophy curriculum, Philosophy Adventure, which is one of our latest review items. *We received the digital download version, which came with a digital copy of the Reader, the student workbook, and teacher resources. 

The Reader is well written and very accessible. I will say that while I enjoyed the convenience of being able to have my children read the material on their ipods, If I were purchasing this for my homeschool, I probably would prefer the spiral bound version of the Reader, as the pages are so colorful and pleasing to the eye (which is easier to appreciate in letter size than in 2.5x5 inch size. ;) ). 

We discovered that the Reader was much more than a nicely written text on philosophy~ it also encompasses a writing program with instruction in critical thinking, speech writing and creative writing, as well as journaling. Definitely more of an adventure than if it were strictly philosophy. 

Each chapter focuses on a different philosopher:

  • Thales
  • Pythagoras
  • Xenophanes
  • Heraclitus
  • Parmenides
  • Empedocles
  • Protagoras
  • Democritus

with the following outline:
  • The Philosopher's Story ~ This is the "story" text where we learn about the philosopher~ his biography, which is 
    • Meet the Philosopher
    • His Story Unfolds
    • Impact of Ideas
    • The Story Ends
  • The Critical Thinking, Writing and Speaking articles and assignments (side bars) are added in on the right side of each two page spread, or if you're reading a digital document, every other page within the Philosopher's Story
  • Explore His World (Geography)
  • School of Thought 
  • Contrast
    • Source materials by the philosopher (primary when available, otherwise secondary)
    • Biblical Worldview
After the philosophy chapters the Reader includes: Writer's Checklists (which I have printed up for my teens to add to their general writing resources), Creative Writing Assignments for each philosopher, and all of the Writing Sidebars in one location for ease (I'm not sure if this is true in the print version).

The Workbook includes notebook pages, maps as well as the creative writing assignments found in the Reader. There are also Journal assignments for each philosopher that reinforce the Think, Write, Speak materials in the Reader. 

A side note~ for those who use the digital versions on their computer, the pdf files are interactive, and the answers can be typed right into the forms. :) 

The Teacher Resources include the following for each philosopher: 
Memory Cards
Timeline Resources
Master Maps and Keys
Quizzes and Keys
A sampling of the memory cards ~ a couple "Pythagoras" front and back and front of the general "Think" cards

How did we use this? 
We started off reading the Philosopher's Story aloud (although not the beginning of the 2nd Lesson~ Jim Jones was a bit of a shock for my Junior, and a little heavy for my young 8th grader). I printed up the sheets from the workbook and arranged them by philosopher in notebooks for the kids and set them loose. 

I checked in on them to see what they were accomplishing with the journal questions and the creative writing, and we had the occasional conversation about the school of thought. Because we are in a very busy time of life right now I didn't make use of the memory cards the way I would like to (as dinner-time conversation), but can see pulling them out this summer when the pace is a little slower. I am enjoying learning right along with the kids, as philosophy was not something that I ever covered in my schooling (or if I did, it was just a little snippet here and there).

I especially appreciate the Contrast sections of the Reader, as we view the philosophers through the world view of the Bible~  a little bit of a twist on the apologetics that my eldest is so fond of right now. 

We are hopefully all philosophers of one sort or another! 
As God tells us in Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.

If you'd like to get a closer look you can download a sample (*note, it begins with 10 pages of endorsements from the homeschool community~ students, moms, "professional" folks, etc... ). Following the endorsements, the sample includes the table of contents, the introduction (which includes information on scheduling and credits for high school), and the first lesson on the philosopher Thales. 

You can visit the The Home School Adventure Co. on the web:

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Home School Adventure Co.
  • Product: Philosophy Adventure
  • Ages: 6th/7th grade-12th grade
  • Price: 
    • $39.95 Digital Download (includes Reader, Workbook and Teacher Resources) 
    • $49.95 Digital Resources on CD (includes Reader, Workbook and Teacher Resources) 
    • $69.96 Spiral Bound Reader with Workbook/Teacher Resources CD
    • $89.95 Complete Print Set (Reader and Workbook) with Teacher Resource CD
    • $24.95 Extra Student Workbook
The Home School Adventure Co. has offered a coupon code to TOS Review Crew readers~ 10% off with the code CREW-10

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this and the other products reviewed: Mere Christianity (Critical Analysis), Philippians in 28 Weeks (Memorization) and The Wise Woman (Literary Analysis). As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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