Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mucho Excited

Who? Me?

Yep. You guessed it. Me. And what better to get excited over than wonderfully exciting homeschool materials!

Yesterday, I had a little surprise free time. So while Jacob, Nicole and Andrew stayed home with Gamma and Pappa (thank you sooooo much), Michael and I made a trip to our local homeschool store! When the idea of some time on my own was proposed, I really wasn't quite sure where I "needed" to go. So what better place to spend my time than one of my favorite stores!

We wandered up and down every aisle, searched every nook and cranny. We reviewed a lot of nifty things. And then, of course, we bought a few things. So what am I so excited about?


History Through the Ages

I have heard a lot about timelines over the past several years and I love the idea of starting a timeline that the child can work on and add to as they journey through history. Some families construct a timeline that hangs on the wall around a room. Others create timelines that fold using perforated computer. And the ideas go on. Neither of these two options appealed to me. The first one seemed a bit impractical since I have no room with free walls to hang a timeline upon. I also felt like this made it inaccessible to children to peruse at their leisure. I also did not relish the thought of needing a step stool or ladder to add to it each time. The fold out kind is not a bad idea, but I was afraid it might look too homemade and not hold up very well over time. The other concern I had was the possibility of spending endless hours online searching for little pictures of people and events to add to our timeline. I just don't have that kind of time. So, I have had timelines on the brain this summer, but I just wasn't sure how we were going to go about it.

Then, as I turned the corner onto the next aisle, it was love at first sight. I can't get over how perfectly History Through the Ages meets our needs.

There were three components.

1. The binder with preprinted timeline pages from Creation to now.
2. Three different packages containing HUNDREDS of drawings with captions to be colored, cut and placed on the timeline (and these are not cheesy looking!).
3. A placement guide for the entire timeline.

It is way cooler (?) than I could have imagined! I ended up buying the placement guide and one of the three different packages for the segment of time we will be covering. Then I realized I bought the wrong package. Then Brian said I should just go ahead and buy all three so as to be sure to have them all. I did not buy the binder. It was very nicely done, but it was also $35. Aside from the price the other thing I didn't like about it was the pages. The pages were very attractive and I am pretty sure they were cardstock, but they did not feel as heavy and durable as I would like. Without any protection or reinforcement, I felt that they would wear out way too quickly as we turned the pages on the rings of the binder. So instead I will use a coupon and purchase a sturdy 12 x 12 scrapbook. The placement guide shows you what each page in the binder should look like. So I can create my own base pages on cardstock and put them in the page protectors. I can expand the posts of the scrapbook and add pockets as we go. Another benefit of the 12 x 12 pages is an extra 4 inches in height for adding other peoples and events as we choose. And the way it is set up, will make it something that the children can pull off the shelf and look through at any time.

This is such a wonderful product. I am so excited to use it with Jacob this first year. I hope it will really increase his understanding of history in a way that I never had the benefit of experiencing. I look forward to learning so much about history that I never learned because it was always dull and dry and boring in school. I always thought I hated history. But recently, I have come to find out that I don't. It's just that no one ever made it real to me. Now I love it. I can't wait to explore with my children.


Mom of boys said...

Just to let you know, Celeste, I picked up that packet for you yesterday! You are right! It is great!

mom-in-training said...

That sounds wonderful! I can't wait to hear how Jacob (and you) like it this year. You sound so anxious to learn with Jacob. I'm going to let your excitement inspire me to be excited, too. When it comes to my feelings on homeschool, I'm lacking in the excited department. Big in nervous, scared (no, terrified), unprepared, and a little sick to my stomach. Those are what I'm mostly feeling right now. ;)

Glad you found what you were looking for. I'll have to get over to the homeschool store soon, too. That really is an awesome store!

Melissa said...

That store sounds so wonderful. And I LOVE hearing how excited you are to be learning with Jacob! I can't wait to hear how these timelines work out for you, you are so talented that I know your versions will be absolutely amazing. You are so creative! :)