Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This Week in History ~ A TOS Review

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"This Week in History is a daily resource that brings your home school or classroom to life!"  ~ a quote from TJEd.org



What is This Week in History:
TJEd.org's This Week in History (a division of A Thomas Jefferson Education) is an online daily resource designed to walk elementary students to adults through one or as many as three events in history for each day on the calendar year. Whether a special person's birthday, a state's birth into America, or an event or a milestone in history, the topics are limitless and are intended to inspire the student on to further learning.

This Week in History provides quality educational discussions and links to go along with the day's theme. The lessons span an abundance of subjects from English, math, nature, geography, music, art, and so forth. The reach of topics are amazing.


As an example, July 20 is the anniversary of the first walk on the moon. "The Eagle has Landed" is how the post began with a great educational introduction and an exquisite picture of the first moon walk. There are links to outside educational sites including a news broadcast of the first moon walk, an online book The First Lunar Landing, and instructions to make a solar system mobile. There's also an eight question quiz about the moon with a link to a fabulous informational webpage to read to find the answers, plus a link to NASA coloring pages. In addition, there is a science experiment video with dry ice, and to top it off, a photo of the moon containing a drawing of one person's idea of the man on the moon's face ~ just a great well-rounded science lesson in history. You may view three full sample weeks of This Week In History here.

This Week in History can be emailed in blocks of one week, two days prior to the start of the new week's lesson. This is done so those of us who like to plan ahead, can. The lessons are self-sufficient and really only require an open and go-with-it attitude. They are fabulous for those who want a quality, immediate lesson. One may also go directly to the archive on TJEd.org and view any day on the calendar in order to research and learn from that specific day. Not only can you search the archives by date, you may also search by topic and keywords.

How we used This Week in History:  
We've explored each family member's birthday. We've looked up specific events in history, such as, Pony Penning Day on the island of Assateague and Chincoteague. We practiced drawing horses and learned more about the author of Misty of Chincoteague. We also explored zedonks ~ all activities that were provided in the lesson for July 27. Our four year old especially was intrigued by the introductory photo of Pony Penning Day and the zedonk. I must admit, the photos are always a big source of enjoyment for all of us. Additionally, we've simply opened the resource on the current day in history and immersed ourselves in learning.  For example, one day we learned about Japan's Tanabata Festival and experimented with origami for the first time. The little star below was created in just a few minutes using a step-by-step video provided by a resource link in the lesson. For our first try, I think it's pretty good!


Being that the resource is online, we've taken This Week in History on the road with us. While visiting family in another state, we were able to continue our TWIH learning by packing just our laptop ~ a very nice plus to cut down on the bulk of packing!

Our Thoughts:
Our whole family has enjoyed This Week in History from TJEd.org. There are many beautiful photographs and illustrations that keep little (and big!) eyes engaged. The content has always been appropriate and inspiring. I am thankful to have the opportunity to expose my family to the well-researched topics in TJEd.org's This Week in History. It is a wonderful, ready to go, quality resource waiting for our family to use. We also enjoy the author including personal touches in various lessons, such as adding "this is a place" she grew up, personal favorite literature books, and so on. Those comments bring the content down to a personal level and provide a connection to the author that we enjoy. 

We have found some lessons are easier for older students to grasp, some seem geared more for younger students, but they are all adaptable and enjoyable for any age group.

Do take a peek into the sample weeks provided by TWIH. There's no way I could explain any better than one actually seeing and exploring the product on one's own.

Pricing:
A subscription breaks down to 33 cents a day or $9.99/a month.
When you think about the content being 33 cents a day, it's easy to say it's worth the price.

~Hope
 
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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

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