Thursday, August 9, 2012

This Week in History

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the last few years. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in review groups and I have enjoyed trying out these products and giving you my honest opinion.

Thomas Jefferson Education is an educational philosophy "discovered and articulated" by Oliver and Rachel DeMille.   The philosophy is based on Seven Keys of Great Teaching and the Four Phases of Learning.  You can read all about it at .

Thomas Jefferson Education is also home to a pretty cool resource called This Week in History.  This is the "baby" of Rachel DeMille who has put together an awesome lineup of resources to be sent directly to your email inbox every single week of the year.  (You will also have access to the same information on the Thomas Jefferson Education website.)  Your email will include information, pictures, and links to keep you and your students informed about historical events that happened on each day of the year.

For example, did you know that Florence Nightingale was born on May 12th?  On the This Week in History website you can see pictures of Florence Nightingale, read her poetry, and link over to Florence Nightingale crosswords, word searches, and paper dolls.  This is just one of the many events discussed for the week of May 12th.  Other events include:
~Louis XVI ascends to the throne of France
~the final spike was driven in the Transcontinental Railroad
~Minnesota became the thirty-second state of the United States of America.
~Israel became an independent nation
~and more!
Each of these events have information and links to more information and activities.  View Sample Weekly Lessons from

A subscription to This Week in History is $9.99 a month.  As I said before you will receive an email once a week (usually on Thursday) with the following week's information.  This is especially helpful if you would like to plan lessons ahead of time and gather any of the suggested reading materials or videos.  Personally, we have been using this as more of a fun "bonus" to our week.  I'll gather a couple of the older kids around the computer screen and we read through the material together.  I let the kids choose which subject they would like to learn more about and we do a little more research using the provided links.

I do feel that I need to give you one warning first, though.  It's so easy to let the computer occupy your kiddos for awhile, but I feel it is just so important that parents are reminded time and time again that Internet is not a safe place for children to be roaming around unsupervised.  Even while we were doing research on the This Week in History site we clicked over to a recommended link about '10 unusual Ice Cream Flavors'.  This sounded harmless enough but as we clicked through the flavors, one was titled 'Viagra Ice Cream' and the number 1 flavor was 'The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck'.  Each had a description as well...neither of which I wanted my 8 and 11 year old reading.  This wasn't a huge deal for our family, since I was there to simply turn off the screen and tell our kids that it wasn't appropriate material.  I emailed Rachel DeMille about the link and she very promptly emailed me back (within about an hour or so).  She had already removed the link and explained that the link from the previous year had died and she had recently hired someone to help her replace the links.  She also said, "I'll be personally reviewing every link now."  I truly appreciate someone who is that committed to her product!

Once again, you can subscribe to This Week in History at the Thomas Jefferson Education website for just $9.99 a month.  You can also read more reviews of this product at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.
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