When Jill from over at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom asked for reviewers of her new history curriculum I of course said, “Yes!” I already had access to it because it’s in her Members Only Website (which is AWESOME by the way) when it’s officially released, but now I get early access to it.
Since we won’t be using all of it, or any of it soon (I’m not going to start history back up until August), I’m not printing it off yet, so you’ll have to be content with pictures from my Nook. I like to have things on there to organize my thoughts as I scroll back and forth.
Before I get into too much into my review, let me warn you of two things about this curriculum:
1. It’s not organized in chronological order, it’s in alphabetical order. The chronology snob in me is annoyed by this. That’s easy to overcome, you just study them in historical order.
2. It’s heavily skewed towards 20th century. This quite honestly is not a problem if you’re trying to interest an un-interested kid in history. There’s a bunch of cool people in the 20th century, and if they see a name they know from their comics they’ll get more excited.
I post those two warnings, so you don’t think this is a comprehensive history of the world. It’s a fun supplement to your history, or as a way to get your kids hooked on history. And quite honestly if you’re not a big history buff like I am this is quite sufficient for early elementary history.
So, why do I still think History Rocks is a great curriculum?
Each unit in History Rocks can easily stand alone. You don’t need to study them in a particular order, so if your child is interested in music, than study Elvis Presley. If your child is interested in science start with Tomas Edison.
While History Rocks is clearly designed to be used with Boys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce Lee, it can easily be used with other books on the subject. In addition there are pages to use with dictionaries, which you rarely seen done anymore.
Next thing I like about History Rocks, many of the units have fun extras added in. I know my boys would go nuts for a unit using Nerf Guns. Several of the extras involved watching movies as a family, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, we love to watch movies as a family to extend our learning (I’m still working on the history movies to watch for 1950s and beyond).
Since we are looping back to Ancients in our history this year, many of the units won’t fit with our planned history, but there are several extra pages that don’t require using this history. My favorite is the “Why is this important to history?” page, it requires some great critical thinking skills that are great for the early elementary set. It requires some higher level thinking, but not an overwhelming amount (that’s a hard balance to find).
One final thing I’ll add in. Many thanks to Jill for making it easy to navigate on my Nook. I do a lot of planning using my Nook if it’s an ebook, and that table of contents that pops up makes it easy to jump between units. That is a big deal to me.
Okay, so how am I going to use History Rocks this year?
Well, as I said, most of this won’t apply to our chosen time-frame for the year, but many aspects I’m going to incorporate.
- The generic “Why is this person important?” and many of the other pages will work in great with our chosen history.
- I love ancient Egypt, so I’ll happily add in more on King Tut.
- When I want to take a break from Ancient history, I can pop over to this and grab a unit for a one or two day break.
Who is History Rocks best for?
- The homeschooler who’s scared to get into history, this is an easy way to get started.
- The homeschooler whose kids are convinced history is boring., it’s not, and this will ease them into the REALLY exciting stuff.
- The Mom who is doing extra stuff with their kids after school. It doesn’t take long to add this in.
- The Mom who feels overwhelmed, and wants something more to do with her kids.
- The teacher who wants to bring a little more history into their early elementary classroom.
- The teacher who wants an easy unit for the substitute to teach while they’re out.
Where to get History Rocks
This is the best part, it’s all included in The Member’s Only website Jill has going. How much does it cost to get 100s and 100s of printables? $15. You read that right, it’s a one time fee of $15, and you get access for the rest of your life. She has so many great units and curriculums out there, you really need to get it, even if you DON’T WANT this curriculum.