Friday, November 6, 2009

Bright Idea's Press

Bright Idea's Press sent those of us on the TOS Crew two items to review; A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers and All American History Volume 1.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers

This is a fantastic curriculum. It is genius in it's simplicity, and yet it's so FULL. There is just so much in this little book and yet it's not expensive nor does it have to much for the student to do. You can get a great understanding of Composers by just reading the small bio on the composer, listening to some of his work and then answering the provided questions. Or you can take it much deeper. There are composer info cards the students can fill out and keep for reference. There are coloring pages provided for the student to color as he listens, there are timelines and mapping exercises and games and on and on. I was surprised to peruse this seemingly ordinary workbook and see so very much provided!

The music itself is not included but in the back of the book there is a website for every composer listed where you can find examples of their music and on occasion a video of an orchestra playing the pieces.

One of the things I appreciate most about this curriculum is the Christian perspective. The character of the composer is touched on and some things about a composer that might be inappropriate are left out or discussed from a Christian perspective.

This is a gem, and is highly recommended!

All American History

All American History is a 2 volume, three part American History Curriculum spanning two years.

I was sent Volume 1 which takes us from the Explorers to the Jacksonian. This covers one year and is in three parts. The Text, the Student Activity Book and the Teacher's Guide.

I'm all for saving money, but you really can't properly do this curriculum without all three. The text is great, but without the two other parts, it's just a text book. The student activity guide is what brings it to life for the student. It is what cements what he has learned. It contains questions about what they read in the text and For Further Study projects for each of the thirty-two lessons.

The Teacher Guide contains MUCH information to help you student complete the For Further Study projects. It was fascinating to read some of the information that was contained in there! It also contains Activity Ideas, Dates needed for the timeline, information for the map work, review games, (and my favorite resource!) a book list for primary, middle and secondary grade levels, Answers for the For Further Study Projects, additional suggestions for Younger Student Adaptations, and suggestions for family activities.

This is a FULL history curriculum.

My ideas on what make up a good history curriculum have changed as my kids have gotten older. We used to use a literature based curriculum that was very book heavy. I felt like I was rushing my kids through wonderful books to keep up and I felt like the spine was missing.

I like All American History because it is all spine, but it is done in a way that still feels like the kids are being told a story instead of reading a dry text book. I like that I can add activity and books that fit my students and their age and reading level and let them read them at there pace, not the pace the curriculum suggests.

We were not able to use these wonderful resources for more than a few weeks because we are full up this school year. However, these two resources will be put back on the shelf for next year. They will be used in full as our main curriculum starting in the Fall, we liked them that much.

You can go to Bright Idea's Press to see the process for these items and see what other products they offer and as always, you can click on the icon below to see what others had to say about various Bright Ideas Press offerings.

Happy Homeschooling!

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