Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Roman Roads Media: Dave Raymond's American History Part 1 {Schoolhouse Review}


For this review we used Dave Raymond's American History 1 DVD set which are lessons for home.  This program is for grades 6 and up.  This curriculum sells for $75 through Roman Roads Media.

Until this review, I had never heard of Roman Roads Media or Dave Raymond.  Both the company and Mr. Raymond were completely new to me so I didn't really know what to expect.  I have been pleasantly surprised by Dave Raymond's American History 1.

Dave Raymond's American History 1 is an 8 DVD disc set containing 26 lessons with 4 projects to be completed while using this program.  Also included in this multimedia disc are Teacher's Guides and Student Readers which help to complete the program's lessons.  These are found in files stored on Discs 1 and 5 and are accessible by computer.

I chose to review this DVD using the computer.  I found that it was a little tricky to get the program to work at first.  I had trouble accessing the menu through the DVD player I was using.  Once I figured that out, we were good to go.

The program begins with an Orientation in which Dave Raymond tells viewers what is expected by using the curriculum, how to take notes, and other specifics to using this program.  I must admit, though this part was extremely important, it was also extremely boring to view.  I was happy just to get through it.

Lesson 2 jumps right into to the beginnings of History.  The program is Biblical based and does discuss parts of the Bible throughout.  I found this nice since I am always looking to relate the Bible into our daily curriculum.

Dave Raymond teaches every lesson on these DVD's.  Viewing them reminded me of sitting in my US History class in High School.  He was quite animated and thorough in the information provided per lesson being taught.  He never strays from the subject and uses speech to help create visuals for students using the program.

Each video also shows photos related to the era of time being covered and the topic being discussed throughout the video.  This was a so-so aspect to me as I like videos that really bring places to life for my children.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting but it worked well for the program.

Overall, this program is like an online course with an instructor talking you through the lessons.  You check in for each lesson and complete the tasks he directs you through.  You are expected to take notes and also keep a portfolio as you work through the program.

Dave Raymond's American History 1 would be amazing for students who like that classroom feel.  It's also great for students learning to note-take in lessons and complete school lessons in preparation for a college classroom.  I can see structured students in grades 6 and up using this.  I found it challenging and fun to use, a definite review and reminder of American History for me.

My children were honestly bored with this program but I think in time it will be a great asset for our family to use.  I like they get to see a structured lesson that allows note-taking as this is not at all what we do normally in our homeschooling classroom.  The videos are packed with wonderful information about American History though and this was extremely beneficial to our learning at home.  Also, important words and phrases are written directly onto the video section where they are being discussed and I loved that because it allowed the kids to really see those words, helping to promote reading and recognition of these important words and phrases from History.  Really great stuff in my opinion.

I will be continuing to use this program for myself at this time.  I really enjoyed the videos and lessons personally though my children aren't quite ready for this program.  I can see us definitely using it in the future for schoolwork.  I personally found the review of American History refreshing and it has helped me remember important details to cover with my children as I teach them American History in the future.

This curriculum retails for $75 for the full set of Dave Raymond's American History 1 DVD program.  It can be purchased through Roman Roads Media and would be a great addition to any homeschool wanting to learn more about American History and looking for a more structured curriculum to use.  It is all on DVD but a Teacher's Guide and Student Reader are included and can be accessed from the disc through the computer.

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