I remember a time when I was a child and I thought History was just about Facts, Dates and People no longer on this Earth...Physically. I was not Homeschooled and honestly History bored me to death. Fast forward to the start of our Homeschool I was worried that they would ask me a question I knew nothing about when it came to teaching History. Luckily there are many amazing materials and books out there to help a Momma out! Like this next Review of mine of the If You Were Me And Lived In... Series that was brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com, thank you so very much!!
I love supplementing and pulling together different types of learning materials to drive home what we are learning about, from Math all the way to History and everywhere in-between. Our Favorite way to do this is using Games and Living Books in our studies. We were so thrilled to hear we would be able to read and implement 4 books into our Family's studies this year that would put us in the Lives of some of the most fascinating eras in History.
The first book we received was called If You Were Me and Lived in...the American West (Volume 7). This was fantastic timing because we had just finished our cross country trip. Kaden leaped for this book and was hooked from the moment he started reading. It begins comparing modern day Oregon with what Oregon might have looked like in the early 1800's. And then your journey begins across country heading towards New Exciting Territories. As the adventure starts you see how your Family would have packed, traveled, lived and protected themselves on their journey. We were able to compare what we had learned on the road to the book. At the end of the book was a remarkable list of Famous People from the American West and a Glossary. Out of all of the books this one was Kaden's Favorite....he's read it completely 3 or 4 times.
If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient China: The Han Dynasty was Kaden's next Favorite book that we were able to Review. This almost 80 page book was a Favorite because well, he;s part Chinese. :) So, all things Chinese interests him and the Ancients is no exception at all. Once again you are shown an illustration of what Modern and 150 AD China might have looked like. We enjoyed the way this book presented the facts to us. Describing the Capital City as if it's paining a picture in our eyes. We are able to see the people and hear the merchants selling on the busy streets. We were able to visualize for ourselves what a common home would be like. The types of clothing, food and traditions all detailed out in a manner that the Kiddos enjoy reading. It was neat for Kaden to relate to the information like watching the Family in the book use chopsticks and the spices they eat. We were able to get out our old Chinese calligraphy kit when he was inspired reading the book....I was thankful he didn't want to also collect silkworms! :) But, reading about Chinese culture and their Craft, Trades, Traditions, Education and even the different levels of society was amazing!!! Kaden wants to make a Dragon Kite next and we are researching more on our Chinese Animal that we all are determined by our birth year. I found there are tons of mini lessons you can spin off of from this book. Just like all the other books there is a list of Famous people and a glossary at the end.
I will be Honest here and say that Kaden has only read through the If You Were Me and Lived in... Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3) and discussed it with me. It's funny this book he had the hardest grasping. I think it was the style of clothes that kept his attention on that and not what he was reading. He did recognize the Huge London Eye in the Modern Day London picture and was in awe at what it looked like possibly in the year 1578. We were introduced to the many changes that occurred after the Middle Ages. After learning what their cobblestone streets looked like and their daily chore list Kaden that this might be one of his lest favorite time periods he's learned about. He felt that the Royal Houses were gaudy and unnecessary while the poor slept on the floor of their shops. The Class differences even determined the food that you ate. He was all upset over that. This allowed us to have some great conversations even about today's society.
And the last book If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6) he has only glanced through, but I have already slipped a handful of post it notes throughout it to dive into after the Holidays. There is so many things we plan to learn in this almost 100 page book. Like the others it compares Modern day England to a little rural village back in the Middle Ages. I just have to share a thought I'm having about a project to do here.....in the beginning it goes through the different types of people living back then, their homes and jobs. I would love to construct a little cardboard village or have Kaden make a castle. :) When we looked through the book he pointed out the crown of flowers and the way they dressed back then. I thought some old sheets and a nice flower crown as a present for Mahala would be super fun and nice. I also would like to cook some meals that they talked about and why they ate a certain way. The discussion of Roles for the Family was interesting and to see the day to day life from a time of Knights and real sword fights is really interesting.....my attention was Never lost. Kaden did gently pick up their medicinal practices.....we use a lot of Essential Oils, I know he will enjoy reading how they cared for their sick. There is just sooooo much in this book, which is why we are going to go back through and do a proper dissection of the whole thing soon.
So, what did we think? We LOVED these books....I will need to be looking at the other's in this Series. If you have a child that enjoys Reading or being Read to these would be a perfect Introduction or Review to the Time Period they each represent. There seems to be an enormous amount of information packed tightly into each book that is told in a way that your Kiddo will be asking for more. And I find through Living Books Kiddos retain what they learn so much more then memorizing facts on their own.
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