Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Classical Historian Game & Curriculum Review!

Over the years I've learned bit by bit how to more or less run a Socratic history discussion in our homeschool.

What is Socratic Discussion?  It's a method of informal debate named after Socrates in which students research and prepare facts on a given topic to show understanding and critical thinking.

What's so great about Socratic Discussion?  Let me share this quote from a national board certified teacher, homeschool Dad of 7 and author of Classical Historian, John DeGree.

"As a public school teacher of 16 years and a homeschool teacher of 10 years, it is obvious to me that most of our country's history education involves memorization and regurgitation.  Unfortunately, we are developing a strong dislike of history among America's youth, and our young people are growing up susceptible to manipulation by our mass media.  When our kids do not know how to distinguish between a strong and weak historical argument they will rely on "experts" to tell them what happened."

Reading and agreeing with this statement made me all the more curious about this company and their products.

I was blessed to review Modern American History (included in this review:  a 32 Week Detailed Guide for the Parent/Teacher,  Take a Stand! Modern American History Student's Book and Teaching the Socratic Discussion DVD Curriculum).

Modern American History Classical Historian

The Classic Historian program takes you and your student(s) step by step through the why's and how's of Socratic Discussion complete with writing analytical essays.

The DVD is filled with clear, concise explanations that are easy to follow and execute with examples and questions.

Topics covered are:
Fact or opinion
Supporting evidence
Primary or Secondary Source Analysis
Using Quotes

PLUS an actual Socratic Discussion is held on the video between DeGree and his daughter's aged 14 and 12.

In addition to the discussions, there's a wealth of information on how to write, revise and grade a one, three and five paragraph analytical essay.

I really enjoyed the DVD's but found the flow between using them and the accompanying guides a bit tricky.  Fortunately this 32 week guide has instructions laid out for you.  After 'jumping in' and working the program, I found the flow of work to be manageable.

Modern American History covers Immigration to Technology for grades 9-12th.

In all honesty, this is the first High School level history curriculum that I would consider switching to.  But, since I did not get to look at the spine books used with the above components, I can't totally say for certain that this would be a better fit than our current curriculum.

Also, the Socratic DVD's can be used with ANY program.  I can say with confidence that using the Classical Historian will help your student bring the facts of history to the table through reading, researching, discussing and writing!

Modern American History One Year Guide  retails for $24.99
Take a Stand! Modern American History Student's Edition  retails for $18.95
Teaching the Socratic Discussion History DVD Curriculum  retails for $79.99

Buy the Modern American History bundle which includes spine books for $146.99

But enough about curriculum....

How about a set of visually appealing cards that teach history, timeline and geography while playing old school Go Fish, Collect the Cards, Chronology or Continents.... plus is just plain fun????

 Ancient History Go Fish

We had a blast with the Ancient History Go Fish deck of cards.  My kids, aged 14, 12 and 9 beg to play  and have asked for the other decks (Medieval and American History) as well.  These are marked for ages 3 and up.  I would think these would be better for a slightly older child.

 Ancient History Go Fish

 Ancient History Go Fish

 Ancient History Go Fish

Ancient History Go Fish retails for $11.95.

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