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
- Lessons 8-14
- Lessons 15-20
- Lessons 21-30
- Lessons 31-37
- Lessons 38-43
- Lessons 44-50
- Lessons 51-59
- Lessons 60-65
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.
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