Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Schoolhouse Review: A Thomas Jefferson Education's This Week In History


2012/2013 is the year of educational fun.  I've decided and you can't change my mind.  We need some excitement in our lives around Long Leaf Academy and I'm being intentional about having a good time while we learn.  As we begin Year 13 of our homeschool journey, I've been reflecting on what I've done right and what I can do better. I'm analyzing my methods and realizing that I want us to laugh more and enjoy this journey in some different ways.

There are some great resources designed to help families do all of these things and This Week In History by A Thomas Jefferson Education is one of the newest that I've found.  I like it so much -- and what it offers my family -- that I want to share it with you.  There's so much potential in this one resource!  It's crammed full of all the things I am intentionally introducing to our school year . . .  interest, activities, educational FUN.

PhotobucketSo . . . What IS This Week in History and why do I like it so much?  Why is it such a great fit for my family? Thanks for asking -- I'd love to share.  This Week In History is an interactive website that provides you a detailed accounting of at least one (but sometimes more than one) major event that happened on a given day in history.  Here's how it works:  Each week you receive an email that tells you all of the really cool things that happened historically in the days to come.  Your subscription gives you full access to a website that not only tells you all about the neat things that happened on that day, but also gives you loads of resources so that your family can enjoy lots of time exploring and learning more.  For example, during the week of my birthday we:

  • studied all about crickets (because the author of Pinocchio was born that week, too) and even learned how to tell the temperature based on the chirps of a cricket
  • took a close-up look at flowers (including learning all of their parts) and learned about the Fibonacci Sequence
  • mixed baseball and politics as we took a look at George W. Bush
  • did a little origami and studied the stars
  • talked about the Liberty Bell and made some noise with bells of our own
  • and talked about MY favorite author of all time, Mr. E.B. White.    {No wonder I always loved his books -- I had NO idea we shared a birthday.  How much fun is that?}

Rachel DeMille has done an OUTSTANDING job of making her "baby," This Day In History, family-pleasing and educationally sound.  Designed so that ANYONE can find something to explore, learn, and do, it has become one of my Top 10 resources for this school year -- and we just started our "official" first day of school today.  Please, Please, PLEASE do yourself (and your family) a favor and check out the sample weeks.

I really think that you will fall in love with all of the relevant resources right at your fingertips.  I LOVE getting my weekly email that tells me what special things happened in history in the coming week.  I LOVE looking through the ideas and activities and video clips to see how we can use them in our school day.  I LOVE knowing that we can start several days a week (or end several days a week or just take a break in the middle of the day) with a piece of the past that is just for fun.  {I have to confess here that although my kids THINK this is all fun -- because that's what I've told them -- there's really SO MUCH MORE to it.  We are learning by leaps and bounds and they just don't even realize how much.}

A definite bargain at only $9.99 a month, you can have ready-to-go activities at your fingertips by subscribing today.  A simple 3-step process will have you exploring history like you never have before. And when you have activated your subscription, you'll want to check out the rest of the A Thomas Jefferson Education website as well.  The 7 Keys of Great Teaching found there have inspired me and have reinforced my ideas about this school year.  I want it to be different -- and I want that "different" to be "great."

The 7 Keys of Great Teaching

  1. Classics, Not Textbooks
  2. Mentors, Not Professors
  3. Inspire, Not Require
  4. Structure Time, Not Content
  5. Simplicity, Not Complexity
  6. Quality, Not Conformity
  7. You, Not Them


~Disclaimer:  I was given the opportunity to try This Week In History by A Thomas Jefferson Education as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I received an online subscription in exchange for my honest review. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of  This Week In History  HERE.~

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