Category Archives: History

Experience History Through Music . . . My Review

I am so excited to bring you this review of Experience History Through Music, which is just now being released by noted homeschool author Diana Waring!

I grew up in a musical family, with a father who was very much an amateur historian. Everyone in my family except for me played an instrument. I sang. I have been taking piano lessons over the past few years along with my two oldest kids, which made the three books in this series even more fun for me, and for my kids.

Experience History Through Music contains 3 book/CD sets:

America 1750-1890:The Heart of a New Nation
From the French and Indian War to the first transcontinental railroad, America is a chronological tour of American history through its music.

Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West
America’s westward expansion is amazingly rich in stories and songs. In Westward Ho!, you will find the pioneer spirit that stirred the hearts of thousands of Americans to leave the safety and comfort of home expressed in folk songs of or about that time. Now you can experience the pioneers’ adventures, dangers, joys, sorrows and hopes as you join in and sing along.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The well-loved stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder will come to life all over again as you listen to the songs that were a part of life for the Ingalls and thousands of other pioneering families. Written by William Anderson, noted Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, the book also includes beautiful photos by internationally known Little House photographer, Leslie A. Kelly.

It is really impossible for me to choose a favorite. This series of three books with accompanying CD’s is a must have for anyone who enjoys history and music, whether they are homeschoolers or not. I was not homeschooled, but I believe that if this series had been around when I was a child, my dad would have bought them for sure.

Author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and Diana Waring’s History Revealed world history curriculum, Diana discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.”
Beginning in the early ’80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high-schoolβ€”the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was honoring Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history), Diana cares about how people learn as well as what they learn. Audiences on four continents have enthusiastically received her energetic speaking style.

This is MY first experience with anything Diana Waring has written, and I’m very impressed. These books are easy to read and understand, and each song has a short, two page segment explaining the historical aspect of it. The CD is bound into the back of each book, and the books each contain sheet music for the songs, so that we can learn how to play them! In fact, here is a quick video of “The Artist” playing “Boll Weevil”, from the “Westward Ho” book:

There have been days when we did several more than one segment, because it really didn’t feel like school work! We love the music, and it’s so much fun to learn the history behind each song in the series. Our country has used music for all of it’s history, to tell the sad tales, the happy stories, and to tell history itself. I’m very glad we’ve gotten to be a part of it by reviewing the new series “Experience History Through Music”, and being part of the book launch for this set.

I encourage you to get these book/CD sets soon! Each one retails for $18.99, but through this July only, you can get the entire set for $50.00!

As always, I’d love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss an update! If you DO enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and give it a “like”. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Diana Waring, History, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Music

Home School in the Woods . . . a TOS Review

My kids have enjoyed learning with lapbooks ever since we discovered them several years ago, so when I got the chance to review a lapbook package from Home School in the Woods, I grabbed for it!

Home School in the Woods has long been well-known for their Timeline figure sets, Timeline Notebook and Olde World Style Map Sets, but I have to say that judging by the one we got for our review, they have also really hit the mark with “ready to go” lapbooking! Amy Pak and her family do live in the woods, and because she didn’t care for the thought of teaching history, she decided to use timelines. Eventually falling in love with the topic, she began to create timeline figures that are realistic. You can read more about Amy Pak and her family here.

We had to choose between:

Hands-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America

Great Empires


Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composers

I decided that I really wanted to focus on American History with this one, so we chose to request the Hands-on History Lap Pak: The 20th Century in America.

Because I thought it might be beyond the capabilities of my other three children at this time, I decided to have “The Artist” be the student this time around, deciding with him that he could “do” the Lap-Pak projects and create the lapbook, and we would, at a later time, use his finished product as an educational tool for everyone. Once he got started doing the projects, he decided that they were a lot of fun, and he was learning cool, creative things (like learning how to make a pop-up card because of one of the first few projects), and really went with it, with MUCH more enthusiasm than I’ve seen for other educational endeavors. πŸ™‚

For this review, I received the Hand-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America as a download product. In my download were files for the following:

Booklet directions
Introduction and lists of additional resources that can be added for deeper study
Project assembly directions
Lapbook assembly directions
Reading text pages, to either print as a booklet or on 8 1/2 x 11 paper for a notebook
Lapbook project masters

The download version of Hands-on History: The 20th Century in America is available for $21.95, or you can purchase it on a CD for $22.95. Since I personally am not skilled in the art of waiting (my personal motto appears to be “instant gratification takes too long”), if I were purchasing this or any other downloadable vs. CD product for our home-schooling, I would most likely always choose the downloadable version. πŸ™‚

This download gives you a very complete unit study, which touches on so very many important historical events, movements, topics, and/or people. You can use the lists of additional resources, and take a much longer time with this unit by “digging deeper” into each subject, or you can do the entire thing “as is”, because everything, and I do mean everything, that you need is included.

Here is our “project center”, all printed out and kept neatly in a three-ring binder and in the actual file folder we would ultimately use for the lapbook, until each page was needed (the only “extra” in the photo is the colorful booklet tucked into the binder pocket. This is a list of the missionaries supported by our church, because we decided to use it for the Modern Missionaries project) . . .


“The Artist” really enjoyed the “putting together” aspect of the projects, but often needed to be reminded to read the text first, and then to go back to the text for his research, so he would know what sort of information to write into each project. In fact, we discovered while assembling the final lapbook that he had completely skipped reading the text and writing information into the project on music, so after completely finishing the assembly, he went back and read that portion of the text, and wrote in the information needed. πŸ™‚

Here are some photos of “The Artist” working on individual projects for the lapbook . . .





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And here is a photo of the completed individual projects, waiting to be put into the assembled lapbook . . .

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Really, we liked all of the individual projects, although he had a problem with the project for “Slang Terminology”, because the pocket as printed out and assembled was not large enough to hold all of the printed cards and still be able to be adhered to the lapbook. “The Artist” worked around that by making a separate backing out of the same color of cardstock, so that there would be something to adhere! The only other issue in my opinion, was with the Modern Missionaries project. It is a beautiful little booklet when completed, but it is really beginning to bother me more and more that Christian home education companies seem to be completely disregarding the use of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible when there are Bible verses used. I’m usually having to measure the area and print out the KJV version, hoping that it won’t look like a bad patch job (which, of course, it usually does). I realize that the King James Version has fallen out of favor in a lot of circles, but there are still an awful lot of us who use it exclusively, and would appreciate having it included as an alternative option in the print outs. Other than these two things, we are VERY pleased with this lapbook, both the building of it and the completed product! “The Artist” is excited about the plan to use it later on as an educational tool, adding in the resources for “digging deeper”, and learning as much as we can from it. πŸ™‚

Here are photos of “The Artist” proudly showing off his completed Lap-Pak . . .

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Didn’t he do a great job? After discussing it further, we’ve decided we might like to also do the Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composers, and eventually the Great Empires, because “The Artist” so enjoyed putting together the Hands-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America.

We enjoyed this product, and I think you might, as well!

To see what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of this and other products from Home School in the Woods, please click below . . .


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Filed under education, History, home education, Home School In The Woods, homeschool products, homeschooling, Kids, Lapbooking, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post