History is a subject that we’re kind of winging this year, so when I was given the opportunity to review the ebook version Writing Through Early Modern History Level 1 Manuscript from Brookdale House, I knew my life was about to get a bit easier.
Writing Through Early Modern History Level 1
This program is a Charlotte Mason writing program that covers grammar, penmanship, spelling, and history all at the same time. Early Modern History goes from 1600-1850 and focuses on American history.
The program is divided into 4 chapters, which include historical narratives (short stories), Grimms tales, poetry from and about early modern times, and cultural tales. Level 1 is for the beginning writer, around grades 1-3, and gives parents a few different options for assigning work to their homeschool students.
As you would expect from a Charlotte Mason curriculum, or any Classical curriculum, the assignments in this book focus on narration, copy work, and dictation. If you use the program as written, you will first read the passage. Next, students will orally narrate what they just heard. After that, they will complete written summations of what they just heard. The text does recommend that if a student is too young to do this, that the parent writes down what the student says orally.
Next, students will focus on copy work and grammar. There are 2 “models”, or exercises, per lesson. In the first model, they are given sentences to exactly copy and they are given dotted lines below every line of text to do this on with the short passage or sentences. In model 2, the entire short passage is given and then they are given the dotted practice lines to write on.
There is also a third model space given. This is for the student that is ready for dictation. The parent would read to the child, and they would write what they hear on the lines. This would be for an older student, perhaps starting in 3rd grade.
The appendix of this over 300 page book also includes a brief grammar guide. It introduces and gives a few exercises for teaching your student about basic grammar. It also includes examples of how long to take to do the lessons and how to teach them. I liked this as an extra little bonus.
How We Used Writing Through Early Modern History
We used the program with two of my children. I found that having the 3 different models made this program easy to use for both my 3rd grader and my 5th grader. I love having programs that I can use with both of them at the same time, because it really saves me some frustration with scheduling assignments. Anything we can do together helps me tremendously!
Keep in mind that level 1 really is written for 1-3 grades and that we probably could have used Level 2 for my students. However, my 3rd grader is not a very strong writer yet, and I wanted to pick something that would be more gentle for him. Next year, I plan on doing Level 2 with him!
To start a lesson, we first browsed the Table of Contents for topics we were already learning about in history, or stories they wanted to hear. Their favorite was Rumpelstiltskin. Each passage represented a week’s worth of work for us.
On the first day, we would read the passage the first day and do the oral narration. The next day, we would sometimes re-read the passage, and then I would have them do the written summations. On the third day, I would have my 3rd grader do the model 1 assignment (copy work) and would have my daughter do the model 3 assignment (dictation). On the fourth day, both did the model 2 assignment, which was also copy work. I encouraged my 5th grader to do hers in cursive.
You can view a sample of all of the programs they offer to get a feel for what they are like.
What Did We Think?
My kids and I have enjoyed using the program. It is not meant to substitute your regular history program, but it is a wonderful way to bridge that gap between subjects. My kids liked being able to read new and interesting passages related to what they were already learning about. They also enjoyed the passages that were from that time period. It gave them a sense of what life might have been like back then through timely literature.
I liked the copy work aspect the most, because it gave my third grader some good practice in his penmanship. Not only that, but he is now getting pretty good at the written summations! At first, I was writing what he was saying. Then, I would do a little bit and have him write a sentence or two. Now, he’s doing it all on his own and is beginning to understand how to form a good paragraph and short written assignment.
He’s had trouble with this in other programs, but I think that the reliable format of each of these lessons in the Writing Through History program is helping him to figure it out. He thrives on structure and dependability, so this program is perfect for him.
The great thing about using the ebook version, which is a PDF file, is that you can use it with multiple children. If you get the print book, you’re limited to using it with just one. Also, it is easy to just print what you need as you need it.
We didn’t go in the order written, so it was nice to be able to just print as we went. Not only that, but I didn’t have to print out the pages with the passages on it. I only had to print out the pages with the models that we were using on them. I like that kind of flexibility and love to save on ink and paper!
At $22.95 for the ebook, I find this program to be a great value. I love knowing that I can use it with all of my children.
Brookdale House has many products that can liven up your homeschool! The Writing Through History series covers ancient history, medieval history, early modern history, and modern history. They also have a geography drawing series, a grammar program, and even a Spanish book. Check out some more information about each of these programs by clicking the banner below.