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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: Homeschooling Your Last Child

Homeschooling Your Last Child ButtonWhiz Bang Zing….the years go by and now you are sitting with your last child in the homeschool classroom. Well, not really a classroom but you get the picture.

It is just Mr. B and me on our own and for the very first time he is an “only” child and I am a homeschooling mom of one. It is strange and wonderful at the same time. Homeschooling your youngest child’s senior year is just as hard as the first year of kindergarten.

Our weekly meetings are always one on one. He really needs to be on his game since there are no big brothers sitting at the table to help him out if he needs it. I can clearly see how things are going with just one blonde head sitting in the chair across from me.

We take more time for rabbit trails since there is only one rabbit to chase. I can indulge his interests more since I am not juggling so much.

It is a crazy fun time.

This is the week we realized we are on the downhill slide to the end of the school year. Splitting Mr. B’s senior year into two has given us lots of breathing room and it feels good to not be pressured to finish anything since we will just carry on in September when we come back to school. This plan has also allowed him time to fit in some more electives. At this time we are hammering out a rough plan for next year…..my only issue is that his 20th century study seems to be dragging. I am hoping to jazz it up a bit for next year somehow.

Highlights of Our Week

Composer Study – Aaron Copland (free Harmony Fine Arts Grade 12 Music Appreciation plans) – Mr. B started a new composer this week. This is almost always the first thing Mr. B does on Monday morning. He checks his composer and artist assigned and then fires up his music. That makes my heart glad.

Hitler’s Empire (Great Courses DVDs) – We finished this twelve lesson series…finally. Excellent supplement to Tapestry of Grace Year 4 for my son who enjoys the DVD lesson format. This course comes with a booklet that has follow up questions that we use for narration. He also keeps a notebook pages with notes for each lesson.

Human Body Course from Great Courses
Human Anatomy – I really haven’t talked too much about this course this year because it is just moving along with no real issues. What a sigh of relief from this mama! We are stretching this course over two years, partly because of time and partly because it is a favorite subject with Mr. B. He is digging deep on his own with additional research and study. I just ordered Understanding the Human Body from Great Courses and we are anxious to incorporate the DVD lessons into his weekly assignments. (If you click over, don’t be shocked at the price. I waited until it was on super sale and had free shipping…$149. Remember there is HIGH resale value on any Great Course DVD sets.)

Notebooking Pages: Francisco Franco, Goebbels, Nervous System vocabulary/roots and terminology, History of Medicine additional research, Presidential Election (on-going primaries info), Hitler’s Empire, European Map – WW2, Updated 20th Century timeline, Grant Wood artist biography, Totalitarianism.

I just started using WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press and it is very easy to produce quality, customized maps with a few clicks. I will be writing a more thorough review in the future. (Note: I received this product as a prize from the Homeschool Blog Awards and I am now an affiliate for Bright Ideas Press.)

Notebook Pages - High School
Notebook pages from many subjects this week.

Excellence in Literature – American Literature: Finish essay for Great Gatsby. I love this course from IEW and I will be publishing a review for it on The Curriculum Choice in May.

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


    If you are at all interested in getting started with nature notebooking, now is a perfect time to purchase the nature study pages from NotebookingPages.com. They are offering 50% off their individual nature study sets from now until April 20, 2012.

    History Timeline with Notebook Pages in High School

    Ready for an update on our timeline? It is really turning into a great “book of centuries” project where Mr. B is pulling from literature, history, art, science, and whatever else strikes his fancy each week.

    Timeline - High School
    Book of Centuries Timeline Pages Entry

    This is a totally open-ended project where I am leaving the how’s and what’s up to him. He prefers to pull images from the internet to print out and then attach to the pages. I require three entries per week but there really is no reason to monitor it since he enjoys this project and it is one of the first things he works on each Monday.

    Timeline -Notebook page follow up
    Notebook Pages for Elaboration

    High school narration can take many forms and the timeline is a great starting point. I take a look at it each week and have him narrate to me why he picked an event or person, what was the significance, and how the items relate to each other (if they do at all). I do not read everything that is assigned to him so having him recap his week in this way makes it simple and interesting for both of us. I love seeing his enthusiasm and leaving the assignment open-ended gives him a measure of control and input into the angle he takes when doing his reading and follow-up.

    Timeline -Essay follow-up
    Notebooking Pages Lead To Formal Writing

    From there, he is asked to elaborate on timeline entries in the form of notebooking pages. The notebook pages will build on the topics he chose for the timeline. Now for the great part! The notebook pages can be then used to make a more formal writing piece. High school level timelines now are the spark for oral discussion, informal, and formal writing. It doesn’t get much more personalized that this and my son seamlessly ties his reading and written work together using this sequence. If you want to learn more about our notebooking, you can click over to my Notebooking in High School lens on Squidoo.
    We are using NotebookingPages.com’s Book of Centuries pages for our timeline and history follow-up. This set is part of the Treasury Membership so take a look if you own the Treasury already or download it to your computer so you will have it to pull up as the arises. (I am an affiliate for NotebookingPages.com.)
    History Timeline / Book of Centuries Notebooking Pages

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