This is a downloadable product (although you can order a CD-ROM for Windows or Mac) and intended for students in grades 3-8. Madison, as a first grader, is a bit outside the range, but one of the great things about this sort of program is that it can be modified to fit almost any student. Although my preschooler was not an active participant, even she was interested in what we were doing, and if she'd wanted to, I probably could have modified further. Ideally, to use the program exactly as directed, I think the grade range is accurate, and a fifth or sixth grader is probably in the sweet spot.
At first glance, this looks like a basic lapbook or notebook study, but it's actually much more - a full unit study, including
- a timeline
- writing prompts
- map work
- notebook design.
|The audio tours were Madison's favorite part. She loved to curl up with the headphones.|
Like I said before, Madison is only in first grade, so we had to modify. A curriculum that is easy to adjust is a huge benefit of this program. Madison has big interests, and the idea of having to wait because her reading and writing skills haven't caught up yet drives her crazy. In a lot of ways, that's why we homeschool! If she wants to learn about ancient civilizations, I don't need to tell her that they'll cover it in in sixth grade, when her excitement may have waned. A program like this gives you the map (no pun intended) and you take your time on the path. Rather than make sure we covered each bit of each stop, we looked at each stop as a buffet, like we were truly spending a day of a vacation there, and we picked what looked best to us. On one day, we happened to get together with some friends, and we had them join in on a project, which was definitely fun.
|When you're working with first graders, things often don't look as pretty as they can. But the process was fun.|
But overall, even for a young student, it was a fun way to truly dive into history. We didn't come close to finishing in the few weeks we worked on it, but it did inspire some interest in ancient cultures that we explored during our next library visit. The extension opportunities are definitely there.
Ancient Greece is the newest product, but next year, Ancient Rome will be added, which I'm sure will be just as intriguing!
I think we'll wait until both girls are a bit older to tackle another, so that they're able to do more on their own. I liked participating, but I had to take a much more active role than I think is intended. But once we're there, this will be a great way to study history.