We are always looking for fun ways to study our history together. Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Amy Puetz and Golden Prairie Press most definitely fits the bill. I just LOVE products from Golden Prairie Press. They are SO well done and so much fun, you can’t go wrong!
When I first found Amy’s products I was a little skeptical because of, quite frankly, the price and, of course, the promise of multilevel learning but I must say it’s worth EVERY PENNY. I love the layout, the easy-to-use format, the many, many extras that you can use or pick and choose form, the audio files that are included and the fun ways of learning for the whole family. And it’s a solid, full year curriculum. Actually, you get quite a bit of bang for your buck with this Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History.
If you haven’t heard of Amy Puetz and her great products, you can check out my previous review of her Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History curriculum. This time, with a focus on Ancient History, the product does not disappoint.
Now let me tell you a little about HHT because, I’m here to tell you, you will find something to appeal to every type of learner, at almost every age, in your homeschool. We certainly did!
WHAT YOU GET
When you first visit the website, and take a look at the Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History curriculum, you will see that you have the choice of digital download or a printed product (by the way, check out the current sale available on the printed product). We received the Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History digital download, which means we had access to the course right away. It comes in multiple .zip files but was easy to download.
The directions on how to download and start using your product are easy to understand and it all goes really quickly. Another thing I love is that there are UNLIMITED downloads available from your online account with Golden Prairie Press. I have run into so many sites that have only a certain number of downloads or a time period before you don’t have access to the digital product anymore. This is frustrating to me because you never know when you will have a data failure, need a new computer, and then you don’t have your products you have paid for. NO WORRIES HERE WITH GOLDEN PRAIRIE PRESS – unlimited downloads with no expiration! That is DEFINITELY a plus in my book.
Here’s what we received in our files when we purchase Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History:
- Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History Part 1 – Lessons for the first half of the year.
- Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History Part 2 – Lessons for the second half of the year.
- Additional Materials CD – This CD has supplemental materials. There are printable timelines, instructions and entertaining videos, color artwork, pronunciations, and much more.
- Historical Skits – Performing historical skits is a great way to bring history to life.
- Sing Some Ancient History CD – This CD contains the songs mentioned in the books.
- Listen to Some Ancient History MP3 CD – An audio collection of original speeches, letters, and documents
There is an option Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History Coloring Book which will become available to go along with this curriculum- look for it in July. We were given the opportunity to get a “sneak peak” at this fun, optional accompaniment to this study.
HOW IT WORKS – Multi-Age and Learning Together
The Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History book is designed for 1st through 6th grade. Each lesson has 5 days of lessons. Part 1 has 15 lessons and begins with the study of Creation and ends with Alexander the Great. Part 2 is the study from the Hellenistic Age to the Dark Ages beginning with lesson 16 on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and ending with lesson 30 on Attila the Hun, Genevieve Saves Paris, Clovis and Clotilda, Genseric the Vandal and Saint Patrick.
Each daily lesson has a lower grades and an upper grades options. For instance, Lesson 1 has a lesson for grades 1 and 2 and a lesson for grades 3 through 6. Some lessons are for all grades. Each lesson is 3-5 pages of reading, with drawing, colorful pictures, review questions and activities to correspond with the lesson. The additional resources that are included with your download, like the Ancient History Skits, Ancient History songs to sing, and the audio collection of speeches, letters and documents, are references during corresponding lessons. It is easy to know when to use these.
The optional coloring book has a page for each lesson with a coloring activity and a few lines for use if you wish to notebook along with the study. We used the coloring pages as an additional option and I had my son do his copywork of the weekly Bible verse (or a portion of it) onto the lines on the coloring page. My older daughter did this a few times as well.
Each weekly lesson has a corresponding Bible verse to learn and memorize. Though the King James Version is references throughout the lesson, I liked that the memory verse is not PROVIDED for the student, only the book and verse so that any Bible can be used with the curriculum. My son got a special Bible this year that is not the same as his sisters so they could each use their own Bibles with the study.
There are different activities with each lesson and age-appropriate activities options like puzzles, recipes, making things out of play-doh, drawing, writing, and many others. You can pick and choose which activities are best for your learner. For instance everyone made an ark out of playdoh (they even have a homemade recipe included) but only my 5th grader worked on the writing prompts.
There are art studies sprinkled throughout the curriculum and the art is included right within the curriculum. The art was very clear, easy to use, and pictures were very colorful. I really thought this was a nice touch to the curriculum. Look at this beautiful Art from the 1500’s.
LAYOUT AND GUIDE
There are memory verses throughout the curriculum, spread out every few lessons to learn and recite later. This was a nice addition. We added this to our Bible verse studies. The curriculum asks the student to write the memory verse on a 3X5 card and then work on it each day to recite from memory. I liked having a set of 3×5 cards of Bible verses to refer to and my oldest didn’t mind copying them down. My son would not have liked that so if I had just been doing this with a younger child, I probably would have copied the verses onto the cards.
The guide is easy to follow and easy to know when to add one of the additional resources included with the curriculum.
EXTRAS – AUDIOS AND HANDS-ON LEARNING
The Historical Skits e-book had 10 skits from the Ancient Greece to Early Christian Era. The e-book states when the skits correspond with the time period being studied. The skits included in the e-book include such skits as Pandora’s Box (Greek Legend), Ulysses (Green Hero), Damon and Pythias (c.430-367 BC) and Alexander Learns a Lesson in Justice (300s BC) to name a few.
Since my kids are drama kings and queens for sure, adding these skits is a fun way to learn about history and act out something we have been learning about. Since I only one strong reader and 1 beginner reader (and a toddler) it made it a little difficult but we adapt and overcome. Dad and I filled in on some and even had a performance with my oldest student’s friends when they were over. I knew my oldest would love the skits and I was right, she really would have been fine directing the entire exercise!
Here are some of the extras that are found throughout the lessons:
- Examining Historical Art
- Games of the Past
- Cook Up Some History
- Sing Some Ancient History
- Listen to Some Ancient History
HOW WE USED IT
When the lessons were 2 levels I usually read the lighter level and then had my 5th grader read her level herself while I got my son started on his activities. We did all the activities together for the most part, though cooking/recipes was my daughter’s thing and my son didn’t have much interest. He didn’t like the skits as well as my older daughter but played along because he does like to ‘act.’
We loved the songs that went along with the curriculum and, quite frankly, could spend 2 weeks on each lesson if we wanted. It is easy to handle the 5 days a week pace because the lessons are 30-60 minutes depending upon the type of activities. And, if you skip an activity, you don’t lose anything from the lesson, so it’s really a matter of how much time you WANT to spend on each lesson. We spent 20 minutes one day and an hour another day. We typically only do history 4 days a week so we tried to combine 2 lessons one day. I did this by looking ahead to the week and seeing which days we could “double up” and that worked just fine. The lessons are very manageable in length and quite fun.
It is advised to look ahead to each week beforehand to see the supplies you will need to have on-hand to do the activities. The curriculum does supply the lists of weekly supplies on the Additional Resource CD, which is a nice reference. You will also find maps and timelines to be used on the Additional Resources CD. The answer key to the questions etc are at the back of each corresponding book, which is helpful, especially if you student is working independently.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Overall, we just LOVED Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History and look forward to finishing up this study. We were given the opportunity to review the digital edition of this fantastic ancient history curriculum. Loaded with historical crafts, games, songs, and recipes, you are so busy having fun that you almost forget you are learning!
You can just see by our comments above that this is an AMAZING curriculum – fun for the whole family to actively learn about Ancient History.