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Update on Elemental History, anyone?

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I'm curious if anyone used this for the full year and can offer a review. Looks lovely, but I'd like to hear from someone who has actually completed the program.


My 7, turning 8 in October, daughter will be studying SOTW Middle Ages at home and doing hands-on projects at a co-op this year, but I wouldn't mind exposing her to some American history. I would anticipate having her read the narrative and possibly the supplemental book suggestions and do some discussion/narration of it with me. We'll likely skip the projects since we're doing another full history program. So, with that in mind, I have two questions:

1) Is it written so that it would hold the interest of a (somewhat accelerated) 7-8 year old?

2) Is it enough to get the 'story' of American history without doing all the hands-on stuff?


Or, should I just wait until SOTW volumes 3 & 4 and let her discover the story of America then? I guess that makes three questions!


Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can share.

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Thanks, momtothreeboys, for sharing your blog post reviewing Elemental History. Even though your feedback wasn't entirely positive, it might actually push me over into the 'buy it' category. I'm looking for something easy/light to add to our studies and I would be using it with a 7-year old girl, so your criticisms of it might just be assets from my standpoint. Thanks for your candid thoughts.


Anyone else???

Edited by sdunckel@sbcglobal.net
to clarify to whom I'm speaking
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, we didn't like it. I agree with the blog post that it was more "girl-friendly". The passages to be read aloud had no pictures, which I would have liked to see more of for this age range. It was just too much factual text with not enough stories for my 5 y.o. to enjoy. Story of the World is very engaging with mythology and folklore, and Elemental History is not. It read like a textbook, so we dropped it pretty quickly. We did like the state study and book, and we did most of that as an intro to the U.S. states for the year.


I've discovered that Elemental products are just not my style (we don't like the science either), so YMMV.

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We just started using it this week. We are mainly using it for State Study this year so dd learns the states and the capitals and gets a passing familiarity. We are liking it, but then again we've only done Delaware at this point.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We actually really liked it. My kids were way too old for the targeted age range. 3rd and 5th grade. Boy and girl. I did not find it to be geared more toward girls than boys.


I wanted something light to use as a quick study. I wanted something I could beef up if I had time but if were in a crunch I could just use as is. I wanted something that I did not have to put a lot of brain work into because I wanted to complete it and do so in a timely manner. It was perfect.


I added in History Pockets to beef it up and to use for any hands on projects. The hands on projects included are geared for the younger crowd.


I added in a nice sticker set for the states that included state flags. We really enjoyed the state study part. We recently traveled on vacation to several different states and they remembered several things we discussed.


I added in field trips where I could and it was really nice. We live near some Indian mounds and my son really loved it and it brought that part of the study more to life. It is also sparked a love for archery in him that he might not have been introduced to.


I thought the book choices were nice. We did the read alouds as a family so we could all participate even though they could have read them independently. The other scheduled books they read by themselves.


All in all it was exactly what I wanted. We do the four year history cycle but I wanted something simple in between. It was great.

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