Thursday, April 24, 2014

Philosophy Adventure by Home School Adventure Co. (TOS Review)

Home School Adventure Co.
I have always found philosophy confusing. Honestly, I don't feel like I have tried to avoid it yet in today's world it is a topic that can't be ignored. But how to teach it?

When Home School Adventure Co. first published Philosophy Adventure I was very intrigued by this program and hemmed and hawed over it wondering if I should do it. When it came up for review I jumped at the chance to do it even though I knew life was going to be very busy for us.

Philosophy Adventure is for students in 6th-12th grades. Middle school students will need parental involvement, but high schoolers can use it on their own. This program will teach kids not only about the history of philosophy, but will also give the parents and the student an opportunity to discuss how philosopher's ideas impacted their culture. Students will also spend time learning to write skillfully, speak articulately, and think critically.

Philosophy Adventure

I received for review the Philosophy Adventure Reader, Student Workbook, and Teacher's Resources Digital Download. The Reader and the Student Workbook are the heart of the program. There are seven components that repeat in every lesson. They are:
  • The Philosopher's Story
  • The Write, Think, and Speak articles and assignments
  • Geographical information
  • The philosopher's School of Thought
  • Contrast which explores ideas presented and how they align with a biblical worldview  
A schedule is included for a 4-5 weekday, though encouragement is given to be flexible and use it the best way it works for your family. Suggestion for using Philosophy Adventure as a high school credit are included along with recommended literature (Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, Philippians in 28 Weeks, and The Wise Woman Literary Analysis Journal) that complements the curriculum.

The Student Workbook includes the notebook pages, map work, and free write assignments along with the Write, Speak, Think journal. The writing checklists and glossary pages are also included in this workbook.

The Teacher's Resources includes a list of all the resources available and how to implement them. It also has the memory cards that are used, master maps and keys, and the quizzes and quiz keys.

I used Philosophy Adventure with Destini and Caleb. I had two reading notebooks printed off at Staples and just printed off each lessons pages as we did it. Looking back, I would have benefited from printing off the whole student workbook at the same time. In my honest opinion it is the worth your money to just invest in the printed copies that Home School Adventure Co. offers for $89.95. I struggled having to look between the different digital files trying to make sure I had everything that I needed for each lesson. Give me the print books any day!

We did all of the reading together each day and then my kids would work on the notebook pages, timeline, mapping assignment, reviewed their memory cards. We also read together the Write, Speak, Think, and then they did journal pages and assignments separately, though in the same room and many times would help each other with answering questions.

We all enjoyed the the reading about the philosophers, filling out the journaling and notebook pages, and other sheets that were included, but ran into problems when it came to the speech and writing assignments, which I am going to state up front that this is probably due to my lack of know-how rather than the program's instructions.

When it comes to instructing my kids in writing I personally need a lot of hand holding and that wasn't to be found--at least for me. Somehow both my kids and I missed writing out the whole biographical narrative assignment until we got the next week's assignment and we all  realized that they had only written a small portion.

If your children are confident writers than the writing required in Philosophy Adventure won't be an issue. If you or your children have a writing phobia I do recommend slowing way down when coming to the first draft of the biographical narrative and working through it slowly. A wonderful selection of writing checklists are included for the students (and poor helpless mothers) to help them with improve their writing.

When it came to the speech portion, which is based off of the writing, it was easy to take the advice and apply it to other things we are currently doing. My only complaint is that some of these great suggestions were given and then I was left hanging wondering exactly how to implement them. I felt like I was learning a new language and couldn't find the translation.

Overall, Philosophy Adventure was a big hit in our house. My kids loved learning about the different philosophers and their philosophies. I loved that they were learning to cultivate a biblical worldview. We have had many great conversations and it has enhanced our learning in many different areas. We will definitely continue to use this. 

Philosophy Adventure is available at Home School Adventure Co. and comes in these formats:
Print Reader & Student Book, Digital Teacher's Resources on CD - $89.95
Print Reader, Digital Student Workbook & Teacher's Resources on CD -  $69.95
Digital Reader, Student Workbook & Teacher's Resources on CD - $49.95
Digital Download of Reader, Student Workbook & Teacher's Resources - $39.95 

Home School Adventure Co.

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