The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Canada's History Magazine and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids Review by Annette Vellenga

Canada’s History Magazine
Editor: Mark Collin Reid

Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids
Editor: Nancy Payne

Canada’s National History Society
Bryce Hall, Main Floor
515 Portage Ave,
Winnipeg, MB   R3B 2E9

I have long been a fan of the Kayak History Magazine for kids. I have a nice stack in our schoolroom that we like to browse through frequently. When the chance arrived to review their magazine for The Old Schoolhouse I jumped at the chance.

The front cover of each magazine is artfully illustrated to convey what the main topic will be for that month.  I received “animal tales” and “sports stories”.   Animal Tales (the Feb 2018) had horse and sleigh moving through the snow and contained such articles as The Goat that Went to War, The Story of Beautiful Joe, Fictional Canadian Creatures, and How Animals Help Create Canada.   Aren’t those marvelous topics to delight any Canadian child?   I know my son was delighted to learn that a cat ran for mayor in 2012. 

Those articles weren’t the only ones to fill the pages, interspersed between there were “history mystery” (about Winnie the Pooh), your story (rights and wrongs of caring for animals), as well as a couple of game pages. The story of The Goat that went to war was done in comic strip fashion.

The December 2017 magazine (Sports Stories) that we received followed the same format. I thought they did an excellent job of pulling up newspaper clippings to show sports heroes of the past. It caught the eye of my non-sporting boy and he took the time to read them through. The graphics in The Kayak magazine tended toward mixture of full colour illustrations and photographs. More illustrations in the Animal Tales one and more photos in the Sports one.

The text is simple enough that an 9/10 year old could read it independently and yet interesting enough, with a good quantity of information to delight a 12 year old. This is an excellent magazine to further the knowledge of your elementary to middle school ages students about Canadian History.

I also received two copies of Canada’s History Magazine (formerly known as The Beaver) which is the adult version of Canada's National History Society’s magazines. I really like this bi-monthly magazine which features topics that are more broad-based. Whereas the children’s magazine is more topical, the magazines I received featured articles about trains, the Halifax explosion, Metis women, how history influenced the building of cities today, and more. I always like reading letters to the editor and they had a nice selection in each magazine.  Some of those letters provided additional information not found in original articles. The graphics in Canada’s History tend to be historical photos. Delightfully advertising is minimal which is so different than most magazines I look at. This magazine would be excellent to give your highschool students a great overview of Canadian history without being boring, as each article is well written, and I found caused me to want to learn even more. One of the fascinating things I learned was about Tea Dolls. Such a useful way to have your youngest children help carry needed supplies, and still have a dolly to play with.

-Product review by Annette Vellenga, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2018