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Honest History--Quarterly Magazine subscription Review by John Hamre

Honest History Company
David Knight

Honest History is a quarterly magazine publication. Each issue deals with a different topic.  It could be something historical, like the Renaissance.  It could be science-driven, like ocean exploration.  It could be something more generic, like espionage.  Or specific like India.  Each issue takes the topic and explores it from many different subtopics- art, world events, government, science dealing with the particular topic, or the topic's history.

Each issue begins with a note from the editor.  The letter introduces the quarterly focus and what fascinated him about it as a child and today.  He sometimes discusses how the contributors decided what to include or exclude from the issue.  He generally finishes by exhorting the reader to continue researching the subject covered.

One of the more exciting things in each magazine is the 'you probably didn't know' article.  Even if I were familiar with the subject, there would be at least one item I did not know.  This provides something for everyone and will heighten the interest level going through the rest of the issue. 

Each magazine has a 'feature story.'  This is tied to the illustration on the cover of the magazine.  For ocean exploration, the feature story deals with the life and contributions of Jacques Cousteau.  The feature article topic is one the reader would be generally familiar with but goes more in-depth and provides more information about the subject.

Each magazine has some vocabulary and an art project or some other activity.  The vocabulary generally focuses on the previous article read.  The art is tied to the subject overall.  For example, in the ocean exploration magazine, the reader puts stickers representing the different ocean zones.  This reinforces the information presented and provides another method for the subject to be understood.

Each issue of the magazine can be used as a weeklong unit study.  Students will cover history, English/vocabulary, science, and art during this time.  Each article can be used within each subject to work within these topics and reinforce a particular concept.  The amount of time used to cover the material, and the magazine issue overall will vary by age and depth.  Elementary-age children will need more time, but older (middle or high school) students can have additional work added to better challenge the students.  

I think students overall will enjoy the issues, and homeschooling families with students of all ages will be able to construct unit studies around the subjects quickly.  The different articles within each issue allow for exploration that will interest students no matter their particular interest.  Even if you have multiple students with diverse interests, they will all find something within each issue that will pique their interest.

I recommend incorporating the issues by planning unit studies around the time the issues arrive.  You can end each unit study with students presenting different things they learned through the magazine issue and their independent research. 

-Product review by John Hamre, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2021