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120 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2008
I used these pockets to help me teach my children at home about ancient civilizations, although I mainly relied on Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times Audiobook CD: From the Earliest Nomads to the Late Roman Empire, Revised Edition (7 CDs). Fortunately they fit beautifully together. The Story of the World title gives a lot more information than the pockets, including stories from each culture, and if you get the Audio CD version, your children can play the tracks to their hearts' content. These two titles together work really well but don't supply any of the science, so to flesh it out I used Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids, which is also arranged civilization by civilization. The set of science experiments are couched in historical background, are well explained from both the scientific point of view and from the point of view of what each civilization discovered, and most importantly they really work!

So the pockets by themselves are not going to teach the history, but my children LOVED the pocket activities which had them make things that they can handle, that will remind them of what we covered in other ways. I'd also like to recommend Ancient World (World History Series) for your independent readers. It is also arranged by different major civilizations, but adds in some other peoples, e.g. The Celts, and includes spreads on key figures, like Alexander the Great. My 8yo and I both fell in love with this book. My daughter asked me to buy it for her as her very own copy, and she can remember tonnes of the details because the book is so inspiring.

Using these four titles together has created the best learning experience we've had in our home educating (except for classic read-alouds in the evening).
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I've been impressed by the content of the 3 "History Pockets" books we've used in our homeschool (Ancient Civilizations, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece). I think they would be really helpful for visual and tactile learners. Unfortunately, my DD hated all the cutting & pasting involved. She found it to be busywork.

I would recommend the "History Pockets" to students who don't mind all the prep work involved in making the folders/lapbook.

Edited to update: my 2nd child turns out to love the "History Pockets" books. So it really goes to show that it depends on the particular student.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2004
If you are looking for an easy way to add hands-on projects to your study of ancient civilizations in the primary grades, this is it. The blackline masters are very professionally done so the child's end product is high quality. All you need are basic school supplies including scissors, glue stick, crayons, and construction paper (and a few other things). You do need to photocopy the projects, so start up for homeschoolers might be a little more involved.

The projects touch on highlights of the culture being studied and create memorable products that facilitate discussion. My first grade daughter's interest in history came to life when we added History Pockets to our homeschool studies. She still enjoys taking out the stick puppets from various cultures and having them talk to each other a year later. It's been a great way to show relatives what she's studying and review it for herself in the process. Each culture has a written booklet of info. which creates a nice summary. They also include 4 vocabulary words per culture done in an appealing way. Then there are several other projects, most of which vary for each culture. For example, you make a Parthenon shape book for Ancient Greece.

There is too much coloring, in my opinion. We handled this by limiting what she would color per page and by using fewer colors. The projects still look good even if only certain aspects are colored or if some aren't colored at all.

I plan to use History Pockets with my younger children and look forward to trying History Pockets on other subjects.

Classroom teacher (former classroom teacher, myself): These projects are pretty simple and many could be done at a center with an example to look at. I would make the notebook pockets ahead of time for the kids or allow lots of time to create them with the kids if you're working with a large group. You could have small groups create a combined notebook per group to divide up the projects, depending on how much time you have to devote to projects. These projects would help bring any history text to life.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2006
We used this with our 2nd grade daughter with Story Of The World history. She enjoyed doing the activities and there were some really neat, creative things to do. No cheesy activities, these were unique projects that were fun and educational. This went perfectly with SOTW volume 1.

-Jeanne
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I agree with previous reviewers that this material should be used as a supplement only. It by no means comprises an entire history course, although there's a lot here.
And if your child(ren) are doing a lot of other hands-on history, it can certainly start to feel like busywork. But overall, I find these projects to be a meaningful, helpful addition to our Story of the World readings. If your child doesn't like colouring, skip it, or let him/her paint with watercolours instead. Another idea is to let him/her colour while you read from the "spine" text.
We are already using the Nursery Rhymes pockets with my son, who's 3.5, and my 6.5-year-old dd seems to like having these, more "grown-up" pockets to work on. yet the projects are not so far beyond the younger one that he doesn't occasionally like to jump right in and work on one himself.

My only caveat: I would STRONGLY recommend getting the eBook form of this resource. Keep it on your hard drive, and print off only the pages you need. I bought it in hard copy, and it's a real pain keeping the pages straight, photocopying the ones you need more of, and so on. That's the only reason I've given it 4 stars instead of 5 - the inconvenience. I learned from this and bought the Nursery Rhymes one in eBook and I love the freedom of never losing the book, misplacing the sheets, or having to fiddle with the copy function on my printer!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
I am a first year homeschooling mom with sixth and third graders. I purchased the History pockets: Ancient Eqypt for 4-6 grade, Ancient Greece 4-6, Ancient Rome 4-6 and the Ancient Civilizations for 2-3 grade. I have been able to teach both children simultaneously using these resources along with extra reading materials found at our local library. The Ancient civilizations pocket starts with Mesopotamia and then moves on to Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Where the Ancient Civilizations pocket gives an overview of each subject suitable for the third grade level, the 4-6 grade pockets are more in depth. I have adjusted my lesson to satisfy the needs of both of my children(which by the way love history)while also including biblical studies - Abraham was from Ur in Mesopotamia, Joseph in the Pharoh's house, Moses and the exodus from Egypt, etc. The pockets offer hands on craft and learning projects that made the subject interesting for both. Once we complete the study on Egypt, I will be starting the Ancient Greece pocket with my sixth grader to tie in with the next lesson in the Ancient Civilizations pocket - Greece. The pockets have been an excellent addition to our history lessons.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
While the History Pocket books are great for making a book, they are a little boring by themselves. There is too much coloring and not enough learning. We have learned more by reading library books, the encyclopedia, watching an educational show, or talking about the subjects.

When we purchased these, I liked the idea. But, after wasting a lot of our homeschool day with the children coloring (by day 3, coloring had turned into scribbles) I decided to use these as supplemental activities. We read and do art projects. We talk about the subjects. We did the puppets and had my daughter write postcards. The kids chose which ones looked "fun", and skipped the rest.

While it is nice to have a book to look at afterwards, I feel they do not serve a great purpose. They are nice if you need a "work sample" for school, but I feel they are just "busy work". History can be learned in much more interesting ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
I homeschool my children and I bought this to go along with their studies. It was an awesome book! The book has instructions on how to make a "pocket" (made out of construction paper) to keep your crafts and papers in. Each page has information and a fun craft to do. Most all of the crafts are cut outs from the book. Detailed instructions tell you how to put the craft together and color. Not only are the activities fun but they are educational as well. I really would stick with the grade level on the book though, most of the crafts are geared toward younger children. I wanted to recommend another book with tons of information and activities to go along with the HIstory Pockets book...its called Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors. It has a TON of fun information and really great activities and even ancient recipes that the Egyptians and other ancient civilizations ate. This book is great not only for mom or dad to read and do together with the younger kids along with the History Pockets but its also good for the older grades. My son is still into this book and activities even in 5th grade. I used both together and my children learned a ton and had alot of fun doing it! Highly recommend the History Pocket series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
I am homeschooling my daughter using 'The Story of the World' by Susan Wise as my main curriculum and this complements very nicely. My daughter is going into 3rd grade and is finding the projects a little too young and not indepth enough. At first, not wanting to purchase each civilization history pocket due to the amount of projects that would probably get passed as we moved on with the history, I think now the 4-6 age level projects would be more appropriate for a typical 3rd grader. However, if this is for a younger child I can't recommend it enough! Keep in mind a lot of the pages are printed double sided so you will have to make photo copies even if your only using this for one child. I look forward to using History Pockets again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2010
This is another product that we are using to supplement "Story of the World Ancient Times, Volume 1" in homeschooling this year. The 'words to know' section is especially helpful, my daughter loves the coloring/cutting/glueing to make the little flaps, and their overview pages are a great review for what we've learned. There is LOTS of coloring involved, we usually do just a page or two at a time, but I do think it's great review, and a great supplement to her history notebook.
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