Tuesday, October 4, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived in …(A Homeschool Crew Review)

Learning about other civilizations can go one of two ways. It can be really exciting and engaging or it can be a complete chore as students find it boring.  Recently, we were given four books from the "If You Were Me and Lived In...." series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com to help introduce Ash and Garrett to four different time periods.

For this review, we we given:

 About Carol P. Roman

Carol P. Roman is an award winning author who began writing
books after being dared to do so by her son. After writing her first book based on a video game that she liked to play, she has now written over 35 books.  The "If You Were Me and Lived In..." series allows elementary grade readers to explore what life would have been like for people around the world living in various period of time. Describing clothing, food, education, games and religion for each time period, readers are introduced to cultures that differ greatly from their own.  She also has a similar series of non fiction books for older readers. Her books, both fiction and non fiction, have won over 100 awards

Our Opinion

These books came at the perfect time for us as Ashleigh is beginning to learn Chinese as her foreign
language.  While we have previously talked about the Han dynasty with our history lessons, that had been some time past.  The "If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient China" was the perfect introduction to Ancient Chinese culture and to get Ashleigh excited about learning a language different from our native English.  Since Ash and Garrett are on the younger side of elementary school, we opted to break down the reading over a longer period of time, choosing to break the book into 6 lessons.  The book itself consists of 76 pages illustrated beautifully by Bulgarian artist Mateya Arkova (who also illustrated  "If You Were Me and Lived In...the Middle Ages").

This particular book discusses how life would be like for a young boy born during the Han Dynasty to a father who is a doctor.  It talks about the food that you would eat and how your house would differ compared to those who lived in both a lower and higher social class. It also discussed how the social class you were born in dictated your future career.

The kids really enjoyed this book and learned so much from our readings.  Ashleigh even began referring to Garrett as "Older Brother" and her sister as "First Sister".  We also had so much fun talking about how some of the foods eaten by the Emperor (dog stew and bear paws??).

Also included in the back of the book are pages dedicated to Important People in Ancient China as well as a glossary of words used in the course of the story.  The Important People pages make for a great platform in which parents can easily find books about these people in order to expand learning beyond just the pages of the book.

After we finished reading about Ancient China, we decided to read "If You Were Me and Lived In...The American West".  We haven't started talking about American history too much just yet, so this was great material for them.  Both were quick to make many comparisons to the family in this book to Laura Ingall Wilder's family in Little House on the Prairie.  They also both said they were glad they didn't have to work as hard as children did back in the day of the American West, although they did wish that for their birthday they would receive their own horse (lol).

This book also includes pages about Famous People from the American West as well as a glossy of terms used through the book.   This book was slightly shorter (54 pages) and is illustrated by award winning American artist Paula Tabor, who is also the illustrator of "If You Were Me and Lived In...Elizabethan England".

While we haven't read the other two books yet, we have read other books of this series in the past and we're looking forward to when we can tie the remaining two into our lessons later down the road.  Of the four books, "...Middle Ages" is the longest at 98 pages and "...Elizabethan England" is the shortest at  50 pages. I'll probably hang on to the "...Elizabethan England" book to read before we go to the next Renaissance Festival and hopefully the kids will be able to remember the information as they see reenactments there.  Like the previous two books, both of these books also contain the "Famous People" and glossary at the end of the book.

These are great books and I highly recommend them when introducing students to ancient cultures or for just casual reading for curious children.

#hsreviews #childrenshistory #historystorybooks #culturalstudies

For more information about Carole P. Roman and her many other titles, please be sure to visit her on the following social media sites:

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

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