The following is a review of The Story Of The Thirteen Colonies & The Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set from Memoria Press and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.
The two sets we reviewed compliment each other and blended easily into one lesson. Designed for grades 5-8, they were a good fit for my 7th grader. The Story Of The Thirteen Colonies & The Great Republic by H.A. Guerber has been edited by Memoria Press combining the two original texts published in 1899 into one book. "Designations of ethnicities and descriptions of peoples that are considered offensive today" have been changed, but the text is otherwise the same. This set also includes a complimentary student workbook and teacher's guide. The second set we received: 200 Questions About American History includes a workbook, teacher guide, and flash card set of each of the 200 questions. A lesson plan is also available to purchase.
The Guerber book includes a two page "hints for teachers" in the front of the book which gives a few ideas for incorporating the information in your lessons. My twelve year old son used both sets together for his middle school survey of American History lessons. He completed the reading selections independently, then we went through both workbooks together. Read aloud recommendations were also included in the teacher hints, but I'm a confirmed read-aloud failure. The two teacher guides were both basically the student workbooks with the answers provided. I think I would appreciate the additional lesson plans but I did not purchase those. We used the flash cards as a reinforcement to practice the facts. The questions in the 200 questions workbook are the same as those on the flash cards, so he kept the stack of flash cards he was learning with his schoolbooks. He brought them to me to quiz him after studying them, which was more enjoyable to him than re-reading the book.
Sometimes our lessons just have to happen wherever we are. Pictured here, my son is reading The Story Of The Thirteen Colonies & The Great Republic at our library during his sisters' knitting class. Most of the chapters are only two pages long, and many include pictures. Our weeks with these sets typically followed the same plan. My son read several chapters at a time on one day (usually Monday) then reviewed with me using the workbooks, completed map work, filled in his timeline, then at the end of the week we reviewed the flash cards as well as any vocabulary words he had previously missed.
In addition to the questions in both workbooks, there are facts which can be memorized or discussed and a list of related enrichment activities at the end of each lesson. These included timeline, map, essay writing, and more. I did not assign all of these but let my son choose from the selection each day. He completed all of the map/geography assignments and most of the timeline ones, adding drawings and facts to our existing timeline book. Instead of writing the essays, we discussed the readings. An extensive section of primary source documents is included in the Thirteen Colonies workbook appendix. The appendix also includes related poems and then tests. When given a choice from several of the included selections, my son chose to memorize Old Ironsides. He is learning, and we still have 2/3 of the 200 questions to cover, so we plan to continue these lessons even though our review time has ended. I may also have him memorize the poem at the back of the book which covers the American presidents through 1898.