Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crew Review: The Pilgrim Story

There's something fascinating about the Pilgrims, isn't there? Can you imagine making the decision to travel across the barely known with your family in the wooden ships of the 1600s? Yikes! But they did! And here we are! 

Learning about Colonial America is something we do most Novembers. I wasn't sure how we were going to go about it this year though as I'm kinda, well, bored with our usual books and resources. The Pilgrim Story came at a good time!

The Pilgrim Story is a "self-paced, interactive" on-line Christian curriculum program ($99.00) for kiddos in grades 3-6. This program consists of "5 units with 17 lessons" that include such topics as the conditions on the Mayflower and Christian character. There are also additional activities that can be done to delve further into Colonial America including map work, crafts, and reasoning questions. Each lesson takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete (without "enrichment activities") and there are available "student note sheets and vocabulary lists". The course wraps-up with a virtual tour of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Our Review
Once I figured out that I need to change my pop-up blocker, everything went MUCH smoother. ::wink:: Anyway...

Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir settled down on the sectional and watched The Pilgrim Story on my laptop. I did print of the accompanying notebook pages and vocabulary list from Unit I, but found that our experience was more enjoyable just watching the videos rather than pausing them to record information on the sheets. I do see the sheets being a valuable learning tool with this product and great for adding to portfolios for records. But, for us, perhaps as a review following the completion of the videos? 

The information is read to the kiddos while the words are displayed on a screen with an accompanying image. (Underlined words are for recording on the notebook pages.) This makes learning easier and more multi-sensory. It wasn't like watching a video or movie however and this disappointed Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir a little. 

One thing we found frustrating was that there didn't seem to be a way to stop and start again in the same place we left off. Each time we ended for the day we would have to find our place again in the program the next time we watched lessons. This would take 5 minutes? each time. I know that doesn't sound like a lot of time, but with 2 anxious and ready-to-go kiddos, 5 minutes feels like "forever"! So, I remedied this concern by searching and setting up the lesson(s) prior to our school start time.

At the end of each unit study was the option for a test over the material. What's neat is that you can chose between a multiple choice test or an essay one or both. Since both my Saplings were doing this exam together as my youngest isn't a confident reader yet, I had them do the multiple choice tests. And we found out that they needed to review the information again. ::wink:: 

he lessons themselves were interesting, quick and even interactive! Occasionally the kids were asked a question to answer by clicking a bubble and seeing an explanation of the answer. And being self-paced was a definite positive! We could watch as little or as much as we wanted. We've enjoyed watching the lessons and will continue when we're closer to Thanksgiving.

Would we recommend The Pilgrim Story? Yes!

For more information about The Pilgrim Story head over to Dayspring Christian Academy here. And, as always, check out more TOS Crew Reviews here. I think you're going to like this one!

Disclaimer: Our Side of the Mountain was given this product to use in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.  

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