Golden Prairie Press: Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum {TOS review}

Once again, I have been impressed with a product from Golden Prairie Press. Amy Puetz, a homeschool graduate and author behind the company writes and publishes books that show “history at its best!” In her latest homeschool history curriculum, the Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum, she takes students on a hands-on and creative journey through American history.

History is a fun subject for our family. We have not been using a regular curriculum, but have instead been reading a lot of books to learn about the past. One of the reasons that we have just been reading is because I like to learn about the past together with my children. Finding a curriculum that educates and does not bore a wide age range of children (mommy too) is difficult. Through Digital Heroes & Heroines, I was able to share with all of my children, grades first through sixth, teaching them with material that is geared specifically towards those ages.

We had the opportunity to review the 30-week digital version of the elementary American history curriculum. The curriculum is also available as a hard copy. It comes with the following:

  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2
  • Additional Materials CD – This CD has supplemental materials. There are printable timelines, instructions and entertaining videos, color artwork, coloring pages, and much more.
  • Historical Skits
  • Sing Some History CD
  • Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 CD
  • Literature Books (optional and sold separately)
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Coloring Book (optional and sold separately)

Students learn about history through “examining historical art; playing games of the past; cooking up history; singing about history; listening to history; creating crafts; and performing experiments.”

The curriculum is divided into two parts, American History Part 1 (see details – People of North America through Jackson’s administration, 1829-1837) and American History Part 2 (Administration of van Buren, Harrison and Tyler through Administrations of Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama).

Once I received the material, I downloaded it and saved a copy on my computer and my iPad, so that I could read ahead to see how everything was to work together. There are a lot of pieces to the curriculum, but Puetz has everything orderly and it all works together and is explained in a understandable manner. It was exciting just reading what we were going to cover in the upcoming lessons.

One of the features that excited me about using the curriculum is that my first grader was able to work with my fourth and six grader and study the same lesson simultaneously. Puetz presents the lesson to target first through second graders, which is more of an overview of the content and third through sixth graders, which is more advanced. You may see in the excerpts shown at right, which include the first paragraphs from the two sections. Although the lesson is targeted to the different grades, Puetz presents the material in a manner that is interesting as well as educational. There is no “dumbing” of the material for either age range.

I split the lessons up into four days working with Canyon, while River and Lily worked more independently reading through the lesson. Covering lessons one looked like the following:

Day One: Canyon – read lesson, Bible verse and questions and answers; River and Lily – read lesson, Bible verse and questions. We completed the geography and arts and crafts project together.

Day Two: Canyon – Bible verse; River and Lily – Bible verse and writing topic. We completed the arts and craft activity together.

Days Three and Four: We used this time to complete some of the additional activities that included timelines, cooking some skits performing and listening to the history stories.

Many of the songs that are available are classics, but there were some that my children had never heard. I somehow dropped the ball on nursery rhymes when they were younger.

Puetz’s love for history truly comes out in Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum, which has everything a teacher needs to make history interesting. With all of the additional resources — music CDs, recipes, skits, etc. — the curriculum is comprehensive. You don’t have to use all of the resources or complete all of the activities to get the full benefits of the curriculum, but if you have a child who loves seeing history come to life, then this is one that will definitely make that happen.

Amy Puetz has written a wonderful curriculum that is well researched, interesting, educational and fun to work through. We are going to continue using the curriculum through the summer (we homeschool year-around) and into the fall through completion.

Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is available for $98.99 as an e-book or print edition.

Learn more about Golden Prairie Press Facebook.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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