Americaís Story

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Perhaps you are familiar with the previous editions of Angela Odell's Living History of our World. If so, you'll be glad to know that this version has the same conversational, highly-readable text that draws the reader back to whatever time period or person is being covered. You live with them, walk/sail/ride with them, worship/pray with them, and make history with them. Then, in wonderful Charlotte Mason style, you retell their story in your own words, draw pictures, follow them on maps, research and discover background information, copy their words, and make note of whatever special lessons you have learned. However, one can immediately see the formatting and design hand of a master - Master Books, that is - in the new look of both the text and the student worksheets.

Frankly, the Student Book is amazing. Full of colorful artwork and photos as well as black & white illustrations, vocabulary tidbits, maps, and biographical sketches are skillfully formatted into an appealing and engaging text. Each of the 28 Chapters (i.e. weekly lessons) features a "Starting Point" highlight and "Ready to Explore" questions. There are periodic "Narration Breaks" every couple of pages. A timeline runs across the top of a page that puts the events into perspective. Toward the end of each chapter are two features that I love. The first is a two-page spread - a photo montage - that pertains to the chapter's focus. For instance, Lesson 1 features a photo collection of eight Native American dwellings, each with short informational captions. The last page of each lesson has a segment (my second "love") called Cultural Connections. Here you'll find two photos (one from long ago) on a similar theme. For instance, in Chapter 12 there is a photo of a shoe repairman and his young apprentice (circa early 1900s) and a modern apprentice learning ironworks with a professional teacher. The Chapter concludes with some "Thoughts to Remember."

America's Story is written from a conservative biblical and Christian perspective. In this Master Books version, the target grade level of each one-year course has been changed. Volume 1 could be started as early as 3rd grade with Volumes 2 and 3 following in sequence. In other words, you might use these courses in 3rd,4th,5th grades or 4th, 5th, 6th grades. You could maybe go a little younger or a little older with additional children in a family, but the courses are designed to engage and challenge students in the target grade levels.

The Teacher Guide is a combination book. It is part teacher book with some course instructional information, daily lesson plans, an overview of the activities built into the student worksheets, teaching tips for struggling learners, supply lists, suggestions for special projects, and answers for student worksheets. Information for the teacher includes a section on the importance of narration and words of encouragement from the publisher. Altogether the teacher information is about 10% of the book's 300 pgs. The remainder of the book is reproducible (for own homeschooling family or small groups of ten or under) student worksheets. These sheets provide the heart of a student's journal to accompany the course. Very nicely designed and well illustrated, there are daily front-and-back sheets. These include: Draw-Write pages (journaling lines, space for sketching, copywork); Mini-project pages (cut & glue projects); Written Narration pages; Timeline (cards for each chapter with space for students to create their own timeline); a Special Prayer Book (cut apart book for writing a weekly prayer for his/her country); and Artist Study (quick introduction to artist with variety of related art activities). Mapwork and vocabulary study are also a featured part of these pages and the student's journal.

You can probably tell that I'm enthusiastic about these courses - not only about all the wonderful changes, but also about all the good parts that have been retained. For instance, Mrs. Odell's lovely hand-drawn illustrations show up in the student worksheets as sketching examples. The Set includes both Teacher and Student books. Student book is 284 pgs, Teacher book is 309 pgs. Both are pb. ~ Janice

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Americas Story Volume 1 Set Item #: 041891
Grades: K-7
Retail: $66.98
Rainbow Price: $47.95

Americas Story Volume 1 Student Item #: 041913
Grades: K-7
Retail: $36.99
Rainbow Price: $26.75

Americas Story Volume 3 Student Item #: 041975
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $36.99
Rainbow Price: $26.75

Americas Story Volume 2 Student Item #: 041955
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $36.99
Rainbow Price: $26.75

Americas Story Volume 1 Teacher Item #: 041933
Grades: K-7
Retail: $29.99
Rainbow Price: $21.75

Americas Story Volume 3 Teacher Item #: 041976
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $29.99
Rainbow Price: $21.75

Americas Story Volume 2 Set Item #: 041943
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $66.98
Rainbow Price: $47.95

Americas Story Volume 3 Set Item #: 041958
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $66.98
Rainbow Price: $47.95

Americas Story Volume 2 Teacher Item #: 041956
Grades: 1-8
Retail: $29.99
Rainbow Price: $21.75

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