The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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The Fight for Freedom Review by Rebecca RayRick & Marilyn Boyer
3142 Highway 103 N
Green Forest, AR 72638
Do your children like to study history through stories? Are they particularly interested in the American Revolution? I can easily say yes to both for my children, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to review the new The Fight For Freedom curriculum from Master Books with my nine and eleven year old children.
This curriculum, written by Rick and Marilyn Boyer, is thirty-four week history curriculum on the biographies of the American Revolution, targeted at fourth through six grades. The curriculum set includes a full-color student textbook and a teacher guide that includes student worksheets, tests and project ideas as well as a pacing guide for using this text as a yearlong history curriculum. In addition, there are downloadable audio track segments for each week to go along with the curriculum. This curriculum pack’s suggested retail price is $49.98.
The week’s assignments are split up into five days per week, and allow for reading the chapter over the course of three days and answering 3-4 questions in the teacher’s guide to go along with each day’s reading. The fourth day of the week, your child would choose one or more of the projects to go along with the chapter to complete. Day five has your child listening to the audio segment (usually ranging five to ten minutes) and you quizzing your child based on their week’s worth of worksheet questions.
I found this history program to be simple to implement and very open and go for me as a teacher. Everything that needs to be done is laid out, and other than the occasional supply for a project, there’s nothing-additional necessary to buy. Even the supplies for the projects are simple to obtain.
We really enjoyed this curriculum. The chapters of history were very readable. My eleven year old read independently, but I often sat and read through sections with my nine year old. The full-color illustrations, Bible verses and primary source quotations in the sidebars make looking through the student textbook a pleasurable experience. The questions in the worksheets focus on story comprehension, so they are simple enough for a younger elementary school student if a parent is teaching multiple ages. The audio is also pleasant to listen to and my children enjoyed listening to some of the audio tracks multiple times.
I wish, for my older child especially, that there had been some more analytical questions included. Since I teach multiple ages, that would stretch the usability of this curriculum for our family. I also felt that many of the history projects were very simple in nature, and as a teacher who really loves projects and crafting as part of learning, I would have liked to see a more detailed idea for a project in each chapter. Some chapters contain some fun and involved projects. Other projects were such that I felt like they were just extra add-on questions to the question worksheet.
Overall, however, our family really enjoyed using this textbook, and I would definitely consider buying other history books in this series. It is pleasurable to go through, and I learned more about the founding fathers and other people who played parts in the war that I did not know before we started going through this curriculum.
-Product review by Rebecca Ray, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2016