History At Our House

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ElenaSh

  • Reviewed on Monday, September 22, 2014
  • Grades Used: 2nd - 7th
  • Dates used: 2009-2014
We have been enjoying History at Our House for 5 years now. My oldest son started at 7 yo with Lower Elementary Level, and this year he has progressed to Junior High. My middle son started around 5 yo, listening with his brother from time to time, and now he is in Upper Elementary level. My experience is mostly with Lower and Upper Elementary levels. Both kids did the recordings and the live classes. In general they both prefer the live classes because they are more interactive and engaging.

History at Our House (HaOH) classes are very convenient for us. Online--means no driving, waiting, etc. Four times a week for 30-45 minutes (depending on the level, and I believe longer for High School level)--means everything is discussed in class, no additional reading, homework, etc, unless your child wants to do more :) Tests are about 5-6 times a year with preparation in the class and discussion of kids' answers. All the materials and notes are provided.

We like Mr Powell's style of teaching a lot. His love for history, for knowledge, for researching, for figuring things out is very contagious and he spreads his passion to students. Classes are well organised and conducted in a timely manner with minimum technical issues.

HaOH covers Ancient, European, American and Asian History. Though it is surely not all the history out there, I would call it very comprehensive. HaOH lays important foundations and helps students build a solid matrix. This matrix interconnects the web of history events both around the globe and throughout time. It also links history events to now (the very moment we live in) and helps to understand the necessity of learning history. To add one more detail important to me, I think learning history with HaOH helps build critical thinking and problem solving skills with real life examples (of our ancestors).

HaOH offers live classes and recordings on a monthly subscription basis and you can always back out if it does not work for your family. It is a secular program. In addition to history lectures, it has weekly geography and art appreciation components.

My oldest son (12 yo now) loves HaOH and cannot imagine homeschooling without it. I enjoy HaOH myself and have learned quite a lot from Mr. Powell's lectures. I actually make time in my schedule to listen to class recordings and we like sharing opinions. My middle son (10yo now), on the other hand, often finds himself in a 'love and hate' relationship with history classes. He is a visual learner and a very emotional person. He adores all the maps and charts Mr Powell uses with his lectures, and he loves the action parts of historic events, but sometimes gets distracted during the less interactive lecturing parts. Tests are not his favorite part either. The fact that the tests are 'at the parent's discretion' helped me many times to ease the tension. We modified his test experience by doing the tests slowly and by discussing the questions rather then writing the answers. Also, I found that supplementing HaOH classes with more visual sources, particularly historical fiction (movies and books) helped him to keep his interest. There are good book and movie suggestions on the webpage and on the parent's yahoo group.

I suggested HaOH to all my homeschooling friends and would highly recommend it to everyone.

Elena

PS Please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes. English is my second language.

saratchka

  • Reviewed on Thursday, July 26, 2012
  • Grades Used: K-2
  • Dates used: 2010-2012
This program has been fantastic for my eldest daughter. It covers both history and geography and even includes an art-appreciation component.

She started with recordings only in kindergarten and was fascinated by the story of American History. Because the recordings are not just a lecture but an actual class with student participation, they include questions that are entirely right for the age group of the class, which my daughter found very engaging.

She participated in the Ancient History live classes her second year and loved them even more. She loves being able to ask and answer questions in class, and I love that she is receiving instruction in an academic subject from a teacher other than myself. This is a valuable experience for her, I think.

The material is covered thoroughly and with a focus on deep understanding of the causes and effects of historical events. The subject matter is well organized and the instructor has a real gift for teaching.

Much of the academic work in our home is reading-based, and I am glad to include this auditory learning experience in our schooling plan.

I also very much appreciate the secular nature of these courses. Many history curricula available to homeschoolers have a religious agenda, but we wanted something that taught history with as little religious bias as possible. Religion is, of course, an unavoidable topic when covering the whys and wherefores of history, and this course does not shy away from that fact. The instructor is respectful of all the beliefs discussed in class, but does not play favorites, making this course appropriate for students of any religious background.

Andrew Layman

  • Reviewed on Monday, May 28, 2012
  • Grades Used: 5th - 8th
  • Dates used: 2007 - 2012
History at Our House starts each year with a lecture "The most important word in history is IMPORTANT." This reflects the curriculum's focus on the key ideas, events, and people that had big effects, shaped the course of civilization and created the context we live in today. The classes teach in terms of both historical facts and the abstractions that can be drawn from them. For example, in studying the ancient world, students learn in detail and by actual examples the various forms of government attempted, from the monarchies such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Archaic Greece, to the duarchy of Sparta, the gradual development in Athens from kings to democracy (unlimited majority rule) to the invention by Romans of a republic, a government restrained by laws and having a function of protecting citizens as against their government. Students learn these as a continually connected, intergrated story, leading eventually to the ideas of the Founding Fathers, and thus to the present day.

DonnaM

  • Reviewed on Monday, May 28, 2012
  • Grades Used: 7th
  • Dates used: 2011/2012 School Year
My son is just finishing the recorded HAOH Ancient History, which he took in via the computer (pre-recorded). We both LOVED this program! You can read the other reviews for the lay out but let me say that this is the BEST, most NEUTRAL, SECULAR (I am Catholic but appreciate the fact that there is NO Liberal or Conservative lean in Powell's presentation; just history and why it matters!). My son found this history program very engaging, he learned a ton, was able to write long answer complex exams with great success, and is begging to continue next year. I have been homeschooling for 5 years and this is the BEST History Product I have come across! It includes geography, history lectures 3x/week, art history 1x/week (our favorite), and great exams if you choose to partake in them. Look no further, this is a fabulous program! We will continue with the Middle Ages for Grade 8 and Modern History for Grade 9.

Donna
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