Drive Thru History

Drive Thru History is a video series that teaches history and how God’s word fits into it. The Series is broken down into:  Holy Land, Ancient History, and American History.

We got the entire Ancient History series from our local library, which includes “East Meets West…”, “Greece and the Word…”, “Turkish Delight”, and “Rome if You Want To…” from our local library.

Drive Thru History
Drive Thru History

We follow the host, Dave Stotts, on location to where history actually happened.  Each video has 3 episodes each approximately 30-40 minutes in length.  We see the underground caves in Cappadocia where Christians hid in order to worship.  We learn all about Paul and see how he fits into history. We visit the Colosseum in Rome and the Temple of Delphi in Greece.

He took us into the Hagia Sophia, an ancient church that is now a museum.  I loved this part because when we studied this in history I searched the library for pictures of the Hagia Sophia and came up empty.  In this video, he actually goes inside the church and shows us an early mosaic of Jesus that scholars speculate may have been the model of what Jesus looks like in art for centuries to come.

We get to visit Biblical locations without actually “visiting” them.  Great stuff!

The host, Dave Stotts, does a superb job of mixing the facts with funny antics my kids enjoy.  He makes fun of his rental cars, picks a fight with the pretend Roman soldiers at the Colosseum, and talks to turkeys and camels.  My kids love the outtakes at the end. Hilarious!

This is a great series I would highly recommend to bring a visual aspect to history.  Visit their site http://www.drivethruhistory.com/ for detailed descriptions of the videos as well as clips.

You can also order on Amazon and read reviews (all were 5 stars–that’s the first I’ve seen on Amazon!).  I cannot say enough about this series that is sure to entertain and teach–something us homeschooling parents constantly strive for!

Review of MapTrek’s Atlas and Outline Maps of World History

Introductory Note:  I purchased all of these on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

As most of you know, I’m a visual person and I love maps.  I have to know where everything is/was when learning about locations.  So I looked into finding blackline maps for my kids for history study.

Terri Johnson’s MapTrek program (offered through her company Knowledge Quest) is one of the few out there that won’t break the bank.  I bought all 4 years (Ancient Times through Modern Times) called the Complete Collection, both the print book and the CD.

I like MapTrek but a lot of the maps are redundant if  you also purchase the Activity Book for Story of the World (SOTW) by Susan Wise Bauer.  She actually uses some of Mrs. Johnson’s maps in her book as well.

However, I like the detail of MapTrek’s maps better but I usually use SOTW’s because it’s already printed and saves on paper.  If you buy the activity book I would say you don’t need MapTrek.

I also purchased Knowledge Quest’s Timeline Map of Ancient History which is awesome!  I love being able to see the highlights and if I forget something I just run over to the wall and the date is right there.

Conclusions:  Great products by a homeschooling mom herself at reasonable rates.  Quick timeframe on answering emails.  Time saver when it comes to map work during history/geography lessons.

Review of The Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times

Introductory Note:  I purchased all of these on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

I have loved everything about this series by Susan Wise Bauer so far.

Affectionately known as SOTW, this series is perfect for the younger kids.  The book is written in short sections at the child’s level with just enough simple drawings that my 4 year old will listen.

I also purchased the activity book which my kids LOVE!  It’s their favorite part of history.  They love doing the maps and the other suggested activities.  We mainly do the worksheets and rarely do the projects just because we have a full day as it is and don’t have the time.  I always look  up the selected reading lists at my library to read to my kids which helps to shift through what’s good and what’s not out there especially when studying Egypt, Greece, and Rome of which there are volumes of information.

I have skipped around and added a few sections here and there but overall this hits the highlights of the ancient world that everyone should know.  There will be time later for in-depth study the next go-around.

I also purchased The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia for use for 4 years of study as well as Usborne’s Encyclopedia of the Ancient World both of which I use extensively.

Conclusions:  Along with library books this is a great spine for History.  I’m looking forward to Volume 2: The Middle Ages next year!