Monday, November 23, 2009

Great Free History Resource

America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty is a free educational program developed originally for the Houston Independent School District. It has been made available from the American Heritage Education Foundation for all teachers. You can visit their website to download the free e-book or request a free CD. If you'd prefer, you can order a print copy for $19.50.

I received the CD to review. The CD includes lessons for elementary, middle grades, and high school on the same CD. The basic information is the same for each level, but the activities are tailored to the proper level. My children are in elementary, so we started those lessons. Because the program was originally designed for the public school classroom, I thought it would be more fun to include some friends in the lessons. I had a total of 6 students, ranging in age from 4 to 14. We had to make some adjustments and skip some things with the 4 and 7 year old, but the others all did very well. There are a total of 16 units. Each unit gives a breakdown at the beginning. It tells the purpose, objective of the lesson, and theme for that unit. It also tells what educational requirements that lesson meets based on grade level. It gives and approximation of how long it will take, what materials are needed, and what to prepare. I found the program very easy to use. I also love that the activities for each lesson are very different from each other. It is great for keeping the student's attention, so that they don't get bored by doing the same thing each week. It is not a comprehensive American history curriculum, but rather teaches an understanding of the foundation of our country. It helps the students understand why the government is set up the way it is.

Wow! What a Picture!

Since I've started teaching my children at home, I have begun learning history in a whole new way. There are many things that I learned about in school in different classes that I now know actually happened at the same time. The Amazing Bible Timeline puts that into even more perspective. It is fabulous to see the overlapping of history and get an actual picture of when things happened. This incredible timeline includes 6,000 years of history all in a 37" x 45" chart. It is a great supplement to any history curriculum, really helping the visual learner. You can find out more information and order your Amazing Bible Timeline here for $29.97 plus shipping. When you order, they also have some interesting bonus downloads for you. I love the interactive map of the Holy Land. It gives you a base map, and then you can overlay the map from different points of history.

Monday, November 2, 2009

ABC Teach

Are you looking for supplemental resources for your curriculum? Do you like to print worksheets? If so, you might want to look at abcteach. abcteach is an online resource with many valuable teaching tools. They have over 5,000 free printable and resources. But, for only $40/year you can get much, much more.

I was given one month to check out all the member site has to offer. Unfortunately, due to our busy schedule, I don't think I even made a dent in trying all the resources. What I did try, however, was fabulous. I was able to create my own handwriting worksheets. I chose to use Bible verses, but you can type in anything you want. There are many different fonts to choose from in both printing and cursive. You can also customize and print your own math worksheets, or puzzles using your own spelling lists. With over 35,000 printable worksheets, and updates being added all the time, the possibilities are endless. You can see why it was impossible to try everything in a month. I have used other websites in the past that offer printable worksheets. However, they were all mostly preschool/early elementary resources. I have never seen one that offers so much at so many different levels. I was able to find things that are perfect for both my first and fifth graders, and saw some things that would even be suitable for middle school and high school.

I generally do not like membership sites due to the cost and trying to keep up with it. However, abcteach at only $40 for the whole year is, in my opinion, well worth saving up for. I am definitely going to be renewing. It is even a great resource if you have kids in public/private school for extra practice just where they need it.