Brookdale House recently offered us the opportunity to review a digital copy of their program Writing Through Ancient History, Level 1 Cursive. They offer multiple eras of history including Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern History. I chose Ancient since it corresponds to what we’re studying in Classical Conversations this year, and I thought it would be a great way to go deeper in what we’re learning.
Brookdale House offers their programs in a variety of levels. Level 1 is designed for grades 1-3, and Level 2 is for grades 3-5. I chose Level 1 since we are new to this program. The difficulty level of the reading selections has been just right for Super D. Their programs also come in either a softcover book or a digital ebook. If you’re going to be using this with a single kiddo, you might want to consider the physical book. If you have multiple kiddos, you might prefer the ebook because you can make copies as needed. It is a lot of pages though! Our level has 308 pages!
The Writing Through History series was written by Kimberly Garcia. It’s based off Charlotte Mason methods. Charlotte Mason was a British educator who believed in using living books, written by someone who has passion for a subject as well as breadth and depth of knowledge. She rejected using textbooks unless they met those criteria. She also felt it was important to communicate big ideas instead of just facts.
This series was developed to help students learn to write by modeling their work after great authors from the past. In the same way that we seek to learn a sport by working with excellent trainers (I’m writing this at our tae kwon do school 🙂 watching Super D train for his green belt), we learn to write well by studying excellent authors! Students summarize and narrate the works they read – this helps them really understand the works. If Super D can summarize what he just read, then I know he understands it!
The Writing Through Ancient History, Level 1 Cursive program is broken into four different chapters. Historical Narratives include such characters as David and Goliath, Cincinnatus (a Roman ruler), Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Ruth and Naomi, and more.
The next chapter is full of Aesop’s Fables like The Bears and the Bees, The Farmer and His Sons, The Monkey and the Dolphin, The North Wind and the Sun, and more.
Chapter Three is Poetry from/about Ancient History. It includes Psalms 23 and 121 :), The Vision of Belshazzar, Horatius, and The Mouse and the Lion, among others.
The last chapter is Cultural Tales including Diana and Apollo, The Golden Touch, Great and Little Bear, and The Tricky Wolf and the Rats.
In all four chapters, the reading selection is followed by a page to summarize the material. Then, they are given two models to practice writing. In the first, the words are written out double spaced, so the student has room to write in between the lines. The second model requires them to write the entire paragraph while looking at the model.
You can see a sample of the program here: Writing Through Ancient History Level 1 Cursive Sample.