Web Site: http://pearsonhomeschool.com/
Age: Grade 5
Price: $69.99 for the bundle
When I was offered the opportunity to review Pearson’s my WorldSocial Studies - The Growth of Our Country, I thought it would be good to have a supplement to finish off the rest of our school year. My youngest had finished his world geography, yet we still had several weeks left in our school year. My review would be of the 5th grade product even though my son is in 7th grade, but, again, it was just going to be supplementary. Little did I know I would fall in love with the curriculum to the point that I ordered the 8th grade World History for next year.
For the Student
My youngest son is very visual - the more pictures and interaction he has with a subject, the better.The first thing that we loved was the myStory Video that started out each Chapter of the book. Many of these videos include a young person touring a historic site and learning information about the events that took place there from a tour guide. It felt like a mini-field trip each time. I loved the fact he got to see these sites we otherwise may never visit. Other videos told a story about a historical figure like Susan B. Anthony.
Chapters are broken into three to four lessons. Chapters start with a My Story Spark – where the student is asked to reflect on what they might do in a situation. For example, one spark is “Congratulations! Your classmates have just elected you class president. What will you do ifyou disagree with what our classmates ask of you?” At the end of the chapter is a My Story Book where the student reflects on his thoughts about the chapter, what it might mean in present day and what his/her choices might have been along with a space for drawing.
Each lesson gives strong details about the period in history it covers. What my son loved is that every page includes a small activity that the student must complete. In some cases it’s filling in a chart, or reflecting on the situation, or finding information on a map. Since he was constantly interacting with the material, he learned and retained it better.
At the end of each chapter is a review, here multiple questions are found (primarily fill-in-the-blank) allowing the student to reflect back on what he has learned.Finally, each chapter includes an extra section aimed at skills like map reading, critical thinking, collaboration, media, etc.
This format really keeps he student engaged in history. He not only reflects on what he might personally do or have done, but what actually happened and how it could impact us today. The interactive format is excellent for those visual or kinetic students who enjoy really engaging in the material instead of simply reading it. Additionally, your auditory child will benefit from the videos at the beginning giving him/her a way to hear about the history in addition to reading about it.
For the Teacher
An additional CD accompanies this product – it is the Teacher Resource Library. These resources are outstanding! Below is an example of the resources available for each chapter.
The Teacher Guide and Podcast, while aimed at teaching in a public setting, are developed to really help an instructor or parent understand the motivations for the chapter and the best way to guide the student’s understanding.Short tests are available for each lesson along with a comprehensive test for each chapter. These tests can either be printed out or used in an editable format so that the student can type his/her responses. My son is a bit dysgraphic, so, being able to type his responses enables him to provide much more details.
Activities, lesson plans, and, yes, answer keys are also all part of the teacher resources. I, personally, am just thrilled by the levels of detail that have gone into this curriculum. In fact, the teachers resources even breaks the material down by student level. In the classroom situation, this would be to help the instructor deal with the spectrum of stronger to weaker students. As homeschoolers, what this also allows us to do is to modify the content to meet the needs of differing age ranges of our children. We all know the value of using one curriculum for more than one grade level in the home.What I'm saying is that for history, I can’t recommend this program enough. The my World format is engaging, thorough for both student and parent, and incorporates valuable long-term critical thinking skills.
I can’t wait to get started next year with the 8th grade program!
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