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Heritage History: Review, Our Plan, and a Giveaway

As both a classical homeschooler and a Charlotte Mason influenced lover of living books, I am always on the look out for ways to provide quality literature to my family at a reasonable price and organized in a way that is easy to use. This is our first year of using any of Heritage History’s products and I can say without hesitation that they live up to my high expectations.

We are currently using some of the fifty-five selections from the British Middle Ages Classical Curriculum CD as context material for our literature study. What an enjoyable way to surround our formal literature with a rich immersion into the people of that time period! The selections on this particular CD are a perfect complement to our Tapestry of Grace plans and our Excellence in Literature – British Literature plans.

Would you like to see a short introductory video for this collection of electronic books?
British Middle Ages from Heritage History

I wish we would have had access to these public domain ebooks when we were working through Tapestry of Grace Years 1-2 when the boys would have gobbled them all up. You can see a list of books that TOG uses in their curriculum that are also covered with Heritage History on this page on their website: Tapestry of Grace.

The curriculum CDs contain much more than the ebooks with printable maps, background information and timelines, and a study guide. The ebooks also have beautiful images that enhance the reading experience and would make great illustrations for homemade notebook pages and timelines. You can also search their online image library HERE. Jimmie wrote on her blog more about using Historical Images and Maps in Your Notebook

I appreciate the ability to load the books on my Kindle and take them on the go. Mr. B is growing up in the age where he is capable of loading his own reading material to the Kindle so it couldn’t be easier. Although some of the selections on the British Middle Ages CD are ones we have read before, it is still beneficial for him to review and remind himself of the stories of the major players and events of the time. There are also selections we haven’t read in the past and this will be an easy way to catch up on some of the living books we missed.

Our Particulars
Our formal literature includes Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Shakespeare’s Richard III. All heavy duty classics with difficult language for even my very capable high schooler. I am excited to supplement these selections with selections for the Heritage History British Middle Ages Curriculum.

Here is how we navigated our way through the ebook selections. 
1. Fire up the CD and click on the Study Guide.
We are using the suggestions in the Study Guide provided with the curriculum CD to plan out our selections. They make this easy by grouping the ebooks by time period and by reading level. I could easily scroll to the Advanced Core Selections and the Supplemental Reading Selections to find what would fit Mr. B’s needs. 

I was really happy to see that there were three ebooks that will fit perfectly with his Shakespeare selection as background material: Richard I, Richard II, and Richard III. He also can follow the recommended readings for the Plantegenet Kings section including Chaucer Story Book, King Arthur and Knights, and parts of English Literature by H.E. Marshall. These are all outlined in the the Study Guide and very nicely aligned for me so I didn’t have to do all the background work. 

2. Print out the lists of books from both the Advanced Core Selections, the Supplemental Reading Selections, and the Recommended Reading selections by the time period we are interested in (Early Britain and Wars-Plantegenet Kings). 

3. Decide which ebooks to load on the Kindle and get started. I hole punched the printed charts and lists for Mr. B to put into his literature binder and he will just check off the ebooks he reads as he fits them in. There are printable record keeping pages for you to use with the curriculum if you wish (sample here). 

4. I will encourage Mr. B to take notes for further reference because he will be writing formal essays after reading his actual literature assignments. This is exactly the way the Institute for Excellence in Writing program Excellence in Literature recommends that advanced students prepare for reading the classics. Susan Wise Bauer in her book The Well-Trained Mind also recommends reading classics in chronological order and with an emphasis on context not only for the time period of the literature read by the time period during which the piece was written. 

I love it when things all come together and build a solid foundation for making connections…it is real learning. Heritage History is one program that makes it affordable and convenient for homeschooling families to ratchet up the learning without a lot of fuss. I only wish we would have had access to this sort of quality curriculum and library of ebooks when we started homeschooling sixteen years ago. There are many selections that are appropriate for young readers and you can see a complete list of the books that Heritage History has available on their Book Lists page. On this page you can sort by author, title, civilization, or genre.

Heritage History is a curriculum spine or supplement that will truly offer something for everyone.

Heritage History Homeschool Curriculum

Get the Spanish Empire library free (50 books, $19.99 value) with any purchase of a curriculum CD** if you purchase any other curriculum. Put both items in your cart, apply the my discount code. Discount Code: Barbhope.  
**Curriculum choices are: Young Readers, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, British Middle Ages, British Empire.

Choose Your Prize!
As an affiliate for Heritage History, I am happy to announce that I have three CDs to giveaway at this time. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget for your chance at winning one of Heritage History’s curriculum or library CDs (value $19.99-24.99). These CDs can be such a breath of fresh air for your homeschool! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Wrap-Up: Final Planning and Getting Ready to Fly

The past few weeks I have had my desk covered with potential curriculum, books, and notes. My planning binder was a most beloved tool as I honed down to the final courses for Mr. B. I outlined the final courses in this entry: Charlotte Mason High School Grade 12. Now this week I have been busy inputting the weekly plans into Homeschool Tracker, printing out notebook pages, and realizing there are still some holes to fill.

One of the holes is a new year of 20th Century Art for Mr. B. This really is our bonus year for art since we finished all of Harmony Fine Arts plans for high school.

 We will be completing picture study with some advanced questions to answer on notebook pages, there will be follow up activities using a variety of media, and we will be using a new book to inspire more creative thinking. I highly recommend Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures for all ages of artists. 

I am hoping to polish these new plans and offer them as a free download at the end of the school year so stay tuned. Of course, we will be sharing our artwork as the year progresses.

The other hole is our composer study. Mr. B loves music appreciation and has requested specific composers for the year’s study. These are in no particular order or from any one time period. They are just going to be for the pure enjoyment of listening and recording his thoughts in his notebook. His list? Schumann, Grieg, Chopin, Dvorak, and Prokofiev. I have lots of music on my shelf for him to listen to, we have a paid subscription to, and we will be choosing a few YouTube videos of live performances to listen to as well. I hope to find some local performances to put the icing on the cake.

If you would like to hear one of our selections from Chopin, here is a link to Nocturne in E Flat.

Mr. B is completing his summer reading assignments, diligently working on his Teaching Textbooks Pre-Calculus lessons, and squeezing in a lot of sand volleyball and running. He has taken up running this summer and I won’t be surprised if he enters into some of the local community races. I really love to see my children find activities that they can be passionate about because it makes life so much more enjoyable.

I also am trying out a new curriculum from Heritage History this year. We are using their British Middle Ages curriculum as a supplement to Mr. B’s literature reading. We are viewing the stories and biographies in this package as context material for his high school literature plans. I have loaded the ebooks onto my Kindle Fire and Mr. B will read these as he finds time in his schedule.I am enjoying the curriculum so much that I became an affiliate and if you click over to my affiliations page you will see this month’s free offers from Heritage History (use my discount code: Barbhope).

Flying 2
Update on Mr. A’s flying: Mr. A has been taking flying lessons all summer long and yesterday was the first time that I had the nerve to go up to the airport to watch. He thought he was going to solo fly but it turned out he had one more lesson to go before he could try flying on his own. I watched him as he did his pre-flight check out of the airplane, methodically examining each moving part and visually making sure the plane is ready to fly. It was comforting to see the confidence on his face…when he climbed into the pilot’s seat I caught a glimpse of the man he is becoming. There is no holding that back.

flying 3
I do not like to fly and my stomach is a nervous mess even watching him fly with his instructor next to him. I decided parenting is all about the very slow gradual releasing of our control over our children. There is also a large amount of facing our own fears as we watch our children tackle things that come their way. This whole experience has taught me to trust that Mr. A is ready to fly both literally and figuratively. These are the moments that we have been working towards….all the good habits, the confidence building, the zest for new things. Here is the proof that those are deep in his heart.

That about wraps up where we are in our school planning and summer activities. It is still very relaxed and our official “first day” will be in September.

Link up with your Weekly Wrap-Up post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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