Thursday, July 10, 2008

Historical books and movies

Like many homeschoolers, I find that my children do better when they learn about topics using many media. Take history as an example. When we study the Egyptians, I like to do art projects that go along with this study, read non-fiction books, look at and discuss pictures and sculptures, read "living" fiction and watch movies all on the Egyptians.

We haven't started our formal study of Egypt yet because Scott Powell's history class has not yet started. However, we have started reading and doing art projects on the topic already.

When I was looking for books on the subject I discovered that while I could find lists of historical books in chronological order, (like Paula's archives) none of the lists were accompanied by good reviews of the books. This means that I have to place a zillion holds on books at the library and then have to read far too many to find the gems that are worthwhile reading with my children. Talk about a time consuming effort.

Yesterday, I was very happy to see that Scott Powell has started a project that will make my life a lot easier. He has started reviewing juvenile historical fiction. His first set of reviews deal with Lewis and Clarke. Hopefully he'll soon start reviewing fiction dealing with the ancients but while I wait for that, I have ten books that I plan on reading next week while we're in the Poconos.

Another resource that is going to make life easier for me is Patrick L. Cooney, Ph. D's website where he lists historical movies in chronological order. Unlike Paula's archives, he also reviews them. I need to watch some of the movies to see if I agree with his reviews. Hopefully I'll discover that we're in agreement about the movies. If this is so, then I will be able to use the list and not have to prescreen all the movies.

This morning I heard about "Teach With Movies". I spent a while going through the sample lesson plans. I'm not convinced this is right for our homeschool just yet, but I suspect that it is a very worthwhile website for families with older children.


Jennifer said...

I am very interested in his History classes. Have you done them before? What kinds of things do you need to do this, just library books? Hmm.. this is a neat alternative to the boring textbooks/workbooks.

Shez said...

Jennifer, We did a trial for a month last year to see if we wanted to continue. We did the early elementary classes which required very little extra reading. I however, always supplement with library books and crafts.

I was blown away by what a superb teacher he is. He is very engaging and very logical. I love how he draws lots of links between events in history to show the children how one event leads to another, even if they happened in different countries.

Have a look at his website, I think he's having a special promotion on American History right now.

Jennifer said...

One other question, are the seminars live or can you go back and watch them? Thank you.

Shez said...

there are the live lectures (audio only) and then the recorded audio lectures are available for repeated listening.

you can read about the different ways you can listen to the lectures here

michelle said...

Great links!! I'm majoring in history right now so I love sharing history with my kids. What I usually do is keep an Amazon tab open to check reviews when I'm looking at possible books to check out/buy but I will definitely be using the links you gave now, too.