Heritage History was one of those products. My review items were not even in my house for 24 hours when I knew I needed to purchase more.
So what is Heritage History? First, it is a CD-ROM filled with all sorts of great living e-books from a particular historical period. The e-books are in three formats -- pdf (which I used on my computer in making decisions about what to use, and this would be the best format for printing), mobi (which I put on my Kindle), and ePub (which I put on the Nook for my kids to use).
This part of the History Curriculum products is also present on the Heritage Classical Libraries titles. I own the Early America Library, which hits on history from colonization up through WWI. I love this volume. There are three other Classical Library titles: Spanish Empire, Christian Europe, and Modern Europe. I want to own them all. At $19.99 each, that will happen eventually.
The Classical Curriculum CDs are so much more though.
You (or your child) decide which books to read, how much to read, or whatever. You can also pursue your child's interests if you wish by looking for more resources elsewhere. There is enough structure to make me feel secure in what we are doing. There is enough flexibility that I don't feel guilty for focusing on archaeological resources we have in our home already.
The Study Guides are also available in a printed version, ready to put into a three-ring binder. The printing is great, and the full-color artwork is appealing. However, I prefer to pull up a pdf guide on the computer and just print the occasional page, so these are not something I would purchase. I know I'm weird like that though. Everyone I know would rather have a physical copy!
At the risk of sounding like a bad 80s infomercial... oh, why not? "But wait! There's more!" There is a pdf file that that includes geography terms and maps. My boys are particularly impressed with a timeline of the wars/battles in Britain from 55 BC through 1718. Also included are fabulous maps, some reading logs and book registers, and two user guides.
What did we think?
Well, I've spent money at Heritage History. That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
Here is what I love. I can sit down with one $24.99 CD-ROM, and I can glance at some color-coded book titles and have all my kids covering roughly the same stuff at the same time, yet each doing their own thing. I put the red titles onto the hand-me-down Nook my 15 year old now owns (thanks Grandma!), and he has a copy of the Study Guide too. We're just starting the second section, on the Saxons, Danes, and Normans (800-1154 AD) and he knows that he can choose which of the four Advanced titles he wishes to read. Okay, who am I kidding? He loves this time period, so he is reading them all. Beowulf from a Literature book, and a biography of Alfred the Great at the same time.
I put a mix of the Intermediate (brown) and Beginner (green) titles on the hand-me-down Nook my 13 year old now owns (thanks Grandpa!), and he knows that he can choose which he wishes to read. The titles grab him... titles like Boy's Book of Battles. He also fully intends to read Days of William the Conqueror. He's severely dyslexic, so I don't expect him to read many for himself. Since Connor was interested in a couple of these also, they negotiated that Connor will borrow William's Nook and read a couple aloud.
My Kindle is home to all of the Beginner titles, and some Intermediate ones. Thomas (11) borrows that to read Stories of Beowulf, and I read aloud to all three younger children (Thomas, plus the 8 and 6 year olds) from Our Island Story and Famous Men of the Middle Ages.
Everyone is studying the same basic time period. I read the material from the Study Guide aloud. We can discuss all kinds of things, since people are reading/hearing different parts.
It is fabulous.
Heritage History's Curriculum CDs can be used as a stand-alone curriculum for the history that they cover (you'd need something else for modern times, for instance). Or they are incredible as a resource for many other history programs out there. They talk about combining curriculums -- using Heritage alongside programs like Ambleside, Old Fashioned Education, or Tapestry of Grace.
I'm not completely sure which way we will use Heritage, but we most certainly WILL continue to use it.
Like I said, I loved it so much that I spent money. Each Curriculum CD is $24.99, or you can purchase all five for $99.99. Or right now, they are running a Buy 2 - Get the Third Free sale, which is actually 1/3 off on the purchase of three Curriculum OR Library CDs.
One of the things I bought was an extra CD-ROM of the British Middle Ages that I've been talking about here. Would you like to win it?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew had the chance to review various titles in the Heritage History Curriculum set. To see what my fellow crewmates had to say about these, click the banner here:
Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive products as mentioned above for the purposes of a review. The item I am giving away was purchased by me. All opinions are my own. For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.