Michael is a happy Hungarian prince living in a castle in the Chestry valley. His life is turned upside down after his family is killed during a Nazi Germany invasion and the castle becomes headquarters for the Nazi military. Michael flees to America for safety and is adopted by a farm family. He brings along an acorn from a special oak tree in his homeland, hoping to plant it on American soil. This is a wonderful story of a young boy overcoming hardships but persevering and regaining hope to find joy again. Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor winner. 253 pgs. pb. ~ Gina
As he watches his homeland of Hungary being taken over and run by invaders from Nazi Germany, young Prince Michael of Chestry strives to retain his identity and integrity during one of the most dangerous seasons in human history.
Michael carries an acorn all the way from his castle home in Chestry Valley to the warm soil of the Hudson Valley farm in the USA where he makes a new home after WWII.
It is difficult to decide which are the most unforgettable; the scenes in Hungary, Michael's proud, valiant father and his beloved Nana, or the friendly young GI and his family who take Michael to their hearts and make him their own. Perhaps the most compelling character of all is Midnight, the dancing black stallion, full of fire and beauty, and trained to perform before princes. Kate Seredy's drawings make this a book to treasure.
I am excited that Ray and Charlene Notgrass have written this excellent, one-year world history course! While many families enjoy a chronological, multi-year approach to world history, others prefer to study history in a more traditional manner - one year at a time. Written in the engaging narrative voice that has made the Notgrass courses beloved by many homeschool families, this new World History begins at the very foundation of our Christian foundation- Adam and journeys to the end of the 20th century, with a final unit on our interconnected world (from the thrill of world-wide sporting events to turmoil in the Middle East).
Containing 30 units, with 5 lessons per unit, this course will take students one year to complete. It is anticipated that daily lessons will take 45-90 minutes per day, although it is naturally flexible for homeschool families to set their own pace. While the target grade range is 5 through 8, families with younger children will find this a perfect read aloud curriculum, as the text has been clearly and engagingly written.
Let me give a bit of an example of how the unit lessons are laid out. At the start of each unit, there is a brief introduction to the lessons including the recommended literature selection to accompany the reading. Each weekly unit has one lesson from each of five categories: Our World Story (major events in history); Gods Wonders (impact of the worlds created wonders on history and culture); World Landmarks; World Biography of some of historys most influential personalities and Daily Life (an inside view of everyday life). Daily lessons are richly illustrated with graphics and photographs, including maps of historic places and regions. At the conclusion of each lesson (approximately 5-8 pages), parents and children will select assignments to complete from a list of 5-7 assignments. Older students may be able to complete all the activities-but again- there is built-in flexibility for your individual familys needs. Assignments include readings from the Our Creative World book (collection of original documents); Map Book assignments; Timeline Book assignments; assignments from the Student Workbook and Lesson Review Book (optional resources), as well as language arts assignments covering vocabulary, creative writing, literature selections. Thinking Biblically assignments are also included with most lessons and are designed to engage students in applying Scripture to history and life. Each unit also provides a suggested weekly family activity-projects vary and include arts and crafts, recipes and games. Materials are easily found for the projects and are designed to bring the family together to enjoy time together building memories.
Curriculum package contains From Adam to Us Part 1 and 2; Our Creative World, Map Book, Timeline Book and the Answer Key to end of the lessons questions as well as the activities and tests in the Student Workbook and the questions and tests in the Lesson Review. Although it is possible to share the Map and Timeline books, they are available separately, allowing each child to have their own copy. I suspect that most children will be eager to create their own map and timeline.
If you would like to add more supplemental instruction or review, consider the Student Workbook (5th-6th grade) or the Lesson Review (7th-8th grades). Both include additional assignments that correspond to the daily lesson as well as unit tests and questions related to the literature selections. Most literature based questions are recall based. However, there are a smattering of higher level thinking questions.
Middle school children will be enthralled as they view world history through the lens of a Creator God who is alive and active, from the very foundation of our world through present day. ~ Deanne