Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review of Creek Edge Press' American History Task Cards

For the last six weeks, we have been using a really neat product in our homeschool.  To me, it is the kind of product that makes perfect sense for homeschoolers: it was developed by a homeschooling mom, it allows parents to utilize the very popular Classical and Charlotte Mason learning styles, and it is largely child-directed.  Further, there is plenty of room for parents to adjust and adapt the cards to suit individual needs.

Because we are currently studying American History, the American History Task Cards were perfect for our family! When you order a set of cards from Creek Edge Press, you receive 40 cards like this one:

Each card contains essentially these same categories.  The set is recommended for grades K-8, and it is obvious from a glance at this card that there is plenty of work for older and younger kids.  The other great thing about the set is that there are activities for different kinds of learners.  Two of my children were delighted with the poster option, while two of them always chose to write sentences rather than to make posters.  Because I wanted to see how flexible these cards really were, I made some of the activities mandatory for all of my kids (7-10), including map work, timeline work, and copy work.  I then let them choose how they would respond to the books we read together (three of them chose verbal narration while my oldest daughter chose written narrations under the "Literature" section of the card).  In essence this set truly does offer complete flexibility.

More than any kind of actual curriculum, these cards should be viewed more as the best kind of alternative to textbook activities and Q&A.  Further, because specific books are not required, these cards can easily fit into your existing curriculum.  Each has a topic heading for encyclopedia research, so it would be easy just to file these cards into your current curriculum.  Especially on days when you have not had time to plan or are not sure how to apply what you've learned, these cards are ideal.

The cards are supplemented by an instructional booklet, which includes a guide for using the cards, ideas for choosing suitable books, and tips for setting up an environment ideally suited to this kind of schooling.

In addition to American History, the cards are available for Ancient World, Early Modern, Geography and Culture, Medieval World and Modern World Histories, various sciences, Art and Music.  I have to confess that I am quite excited about the Art and Music cards.  They are definitely going on my curriculum list for the fall!

The American History Cards sell for $20, and other sets range from $18-$32, with complete sets of history and science available for under $100.  My family loved these cards and plans to buy more.  To see other opinions, head to the Crew Blog.

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