My review of the Girls of American History curriculum boils down to my interpretation and expectations of the word curriculum. I expect new content or a creative text to outline and lead a person through the material. Others view curriculum as a collection of existing pieces to be used when or if the teacher chooses. Please remember, the Girls of American History curriculum was given the honor of being one of the Top Picks of 2015-2016 in the Homeschool Curriculum Guide.
That said, this is my review of my use of the curriculum.
The Molly® Curriculum Unit was designed to cover 1944, World War 2. This Unit is the eighth in a series of thirteen. The unit is priced separately at $7.95. Homeschoolers can purchase 12 units for $72, plus the 13th at $7.95.
The Molly® Unit was password protected and contains 16 pages (counting 4 pages of front matter). The remaining pages contain a two page explanation of the overall curriculum followed by a content list, resource list, a weekly plan and a timeline. The unit is expected to take 6 weeks to complete.
Here is my issue: To purchase this curriculum you will pay $7.95 for 9 pages of useable content (actually 8 if you omit two images that take up half of two pages). It just isn't meaty. The most helpful aspect of the curriculum is the weekly layout which shows how the author intends the unit to be used. However, the weekly layout makes the assumption that the parent teacher has purchased multiple supporting materials which, when assembled, will cost over $78.04 plus craft supplies and field trip expenses. For me, that's not a reasonable cost for 6 weeks of learning.
The unit is very heavy on reading (most of that $78.04 is used books plus shipping costs). That's an exorbitant amount of reading for my 10 year old. The curriculum claims to be multisensory, but it only supplies the ideas (not the tools) for a multisensory approach which you would have to make happen.
This curriculum was not a good fit for me or my family.
I messaged the author with my concerns prior to my review and she replied:
This product seems to work really well for those that want a multisensory approach and do not want to or have time to put together something on their own. This is great for kids who love American Girl and parents who want their kids to retain historical knowledge - as it opens the door to actual history vs fictional history. Every unit does offer some free resources on the website. Additionally - some vocab, spelling and word searches have been created and sent out with our newsletters. Once our website is updated, later this summer, we will be making these resources available for download to customers who have bought the corresponding units. This product is a unit guide and works great for people who want something different, engaging and that they don't have to hunt themselves.
I will admit - it likely does not work for everyone - but nothing does. The feedback I get from my customers is great and I really cherish them.
I give this product 3 stars.
Disclosure: I received this Curriculum Unit directly from the author, Justine Gamble, in exchange for my honest review. Learn more about Girls of American History at http://www.girlsofamericanhistory.com/
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