Studying American history is my favorite! I love America and I enjoy teaching my kids how America was discovered, how it became a nation, and about all the great men and women who made America what she is today. Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, the Revolutionary war, the Founding Fathers, George Washington, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and so much more… It’s all so exciting to learn about the events and people that made our country so great.
We’ve been studying American history this year and I was very pleased to add some fresh new material to our study these past few weeks! We received both The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set by the very generous company, Memoria Press, to review this past month. We were very excited to dive into these new materials!
Memoria Press was founded in 1994 by a former homeschool mom, Cheryl Lowe. With an emphasis in liberal arts, Memoria Press provides a variety of Christian educational materials for homeschools, Christian schools, and private schools. We’ve been able to review their Latin curriculum, Latina Christiana, as well as their Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set, and we’ve not yet been disappointed!
Memoria Press sent us The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set, which includes three softcover textbooks:
- H.A. Gruber text
- H.A. Gruber Student Guide
- H.A. Gruber Teacher Guide
We also received the 200 Questions About American History Set, which comes with:
- 200 Questions About American History Teacher Guide
- 200 Questions About American History Student Book
- 200 Questions About American History Flashcards
Geared towards grades 5-8, these books cover key events and people who helped shape America, from the Natives and Vikings, before America became a nation, all the way to the Spanish-American War.
The two sets really work well together. The 200 Questions About American History Student Book and Teacher Book contains a recommended reading and activities schedule at the front. This schedule incorporates recommended reading selections from the Gruber text, drill questions, tests, quizzes, and more. No preparation needed by the teacher!
Each lesson in The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set usually covers about three chapters from the Gruber text. The chapters are short and easy to read and are filled with interesting pictures.
Thoughts and Usage
My son, 6th grade, used this curriculum with me and we followed the recommended schedule outlined in the font of the book.
The curriculum suggested having the student read aloud from the Gruber text, so we decided to take turns reading aloud. My son would read the first chapter aloud and I would read the second. This worked out well for us and I really like how small the chapters are, just one or two pages, which made the reading very doable and not overwhelming at all. My son does not like reading aloud so he was very happy the chapters were kept short and to the point. He was happy to read! I also really loved all the pictures in the Gruber text. The visuals enhanced our reading time and made it more interesting.
The lessons go over facts to know, vocabulary, comprehension questions, and lastly there are enrichment activities, which include map work, creating a timeline, and research/writing prompts. Students eventually create a thirteen colonies chart as well.
My son enjoyed the lesson activities for the most part. Sometimes he had to look up the answer in the text. The writing got to be a little too much for him, so we went over the questions orally when needed.
The drill questions are wonderful! We went over a few each week and built upon them each following week. The idea is that your child should be memorizing the answers to these drill questions, reviewing them daily. I think if my son can continue to memorize these drill questions he will have a most wonderful knowledge of American history to rely upon. This is also where the flash cards come in so handy. Each drill question is on a card. The question is on one side and the answer on the other, making it easy to quiz your student!
There are lots of resources in the back of the H.A. Gruber Teacher Guide, which I love! You’ll find the Mayflower Compact, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and much more!
We couldn’t be more pleased with this American history curriculum. Easy to use and full of great information, we are eager to continue using these materials in our homeschool!