Wednesday, November 11, 2015

U.S. History Detective, Book 1 The Critical Thinking Co. {TOS REVIEW}


Jam wanted to study American History this year and so we were really pleased when we were offered a review from The Critical Thinking Co. and it was their U.S. History Detective Part 1.  we received the physical book however, it is also available as a download for windows computers only. The course itself can be used as a stand alone curriculum or as a supplement. Since Jam was already taking another American History course before we had the chance to try this one we decided that the two together would give him a comprehensive year of study.



This history book is not a straight forward text. There are critical thinking aspects to the curriculum which I love, and the questions really make the student think.

U.S. Detective Book 1  starts at the time of the first European Explorers (think the time of Columbus) to the Reconstructive Era following the Civil War. This actually fit perfectly with some other work Jam was doing and he really enjoyed reading about the time period in a different text.

The book is divided into nine sections and they are linked together in subjects related to a specific time period.

Section 1 - The Colonial Era Introduction
  • Lessons  1-7
Section 2 - The Revolutionary War Era
  • Lessons 8-14
Section 3 - The Federal Era Introduction
  • Lessons 15-20
Section 4 - The Nationalism Era Introduction
  • Lessons 21-30
Section 5 - The Reform Era Introduction
  • Lessons 31-37
Section 6 - The Expansion Era Introduction
  • Lessons 38-43
Section 7 - The Sectional Conflict Era Introduction
  • Lessons 44-50
Section 8 - The Civil War Era Introduction
  • Lessons 51-59
Section 9 - Reconstruction Era Introduction
  • Lessons 60-65
History is one of Jam's favorite subjects. He really liked the way this program is set up. At the beginning of each section there is an introduction section introducing each time period. This introduction is followed by the lessons    The first section of each lesson contains the information on the subject being studied. Each sentence is numbered this helps the student refer back to it later while answering questions and using it as supporting evidence. After reading the information the student then moves on to answer multiple choice questions. After answering the question the student has to support his choice with sentences from the previous reading - This is why they are numbered. After this the student moves on to the Written Response Question, a statement is given and the student is required to support the statement using sentences from the lesson. However, this time they use complete sentences to express themselves.

The lessons are full of colorful pictures, maps and diagrams. At the end of every few lessons there is a review. These vary between labeling maps, diagrams, and flow charts.

I really love the fact the program incorporates so many different ways to learn history. I love the all the map labeling - I am a little crazy over maps! I love it because Jam is not as interested in Geography as he is History and so sneaking this in makes it a win-win. There is no large teacher guide for me, just a few pages at the front of the book to give me a quick overview. This is great for us as Jam is very much a self-led student. The answer guide is included in the book.

Jam is used to reading quite heavy reading material. Since we use living books for our main history spine I wondered how this would blend. However, because the material is not a regular 'boring' textbook Jam really liked it, and I did too.

Check out the other products being review by clicking on the link below.

The Critical Thinking Company Review
Crew Disclaimer


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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