If I reflect back on how I learned about history, I would have vague memories of reading endless textbooks and listening to lectures with the occasional report being assigned. I’m sure I had some more hands on projects in early elementary, but the initial memory is what sticks. No wonder I had little love of the subject as a student.
Thankfully, there are more and more resources available for anyone teaching history now rather than a standard history curriculum.
A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America is a series of books that merges reading about history with the opportunity to draw different images.
President James Madison is who was featured in the volume our family was sent for review.
I’ll be the first to admit knowing very little about this president. I think it’s the ‘big’ ones (e.g. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.) that I could conjure up any ‘facts’ committed to memory. Then, there are those Presidents who’s administrations are contemporary to my life. But, throw out any other President and my knowledge is slim at best.
So, aside from remembering that his wife’s name was Dolly, we learned that he was a sickly child which kept him from fighting in the American Revolution. He served for eight years as Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of State. And, that with his wife he threw parties that had a variety of people in attendance.
I have to say that many of the selections to draw were quite challenging. My boys enjoy art, but are not the best artists. Portraits seem like an impossible goal to them and this title has three of them if you count the stamp.
The older boys started off having a competition of who could draw the best ship. I missed snagging a photo of the ‘event’ and then was dismayed that P hid his from me as he deemed it unworthy of a photo. Below is the small scale drawing R made..
D also met with frustration when he tried to draw…
But, he enjoyed reading some to his younger brother…
This particular resource is recommended for upper elementary grades. I won’t disagree that the reading level is spot on for that recommendation. However, if you have a child that frustrates easily over drawing, then it might be more challenging than is ideal. Of course, having only seen one volume from the collection, I can not say if others would have been a better fit for my boys.
You can see more about the features in this short video:
You can purchase the entire collection of A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America from Timberdoodle for $195. While that seems like a lot of money, it does get you 42 hardback volumes covering the Presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush to line your bookshelves. Select individual titles can be purchase for $9.95.
Disclaimer ~ As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank and unbiased review. You can find a wide variety of Homeschool supplies or homeschool curriculum through Timberdoodle.