One of the products we’ve had to review this summer is This Week in History from Thomas Jefferson Education. It’s been a nice way to incorporate little bits of history into our time, making it as simple as reading the information for the day or delving deeper into the subject matter.
A Thomas Jefferson Education encourages parents to apply the 7 keys of Teaching:
- Classics, Not Textbooks
- Mentors, Not Professors
- Inspire, Not Require
- Structure Time, Not Content
- Simplicity, Not Complexity
- Quality, Not Conformity
- You, Not Them
Using these keys is meant to help parents educate their children to their full potential.
This Week in History is a subscription product. You enroll by the month with a subscription costing $9.99. However, instead of needing to log into a website to access, you receive a weekly email with material to read, photos that illustrate the topic, and plenty of links to click through to further explore the topic. The weekly email covers one week and arrives usually a day before the time period begins.
While it arrives in your email, there is the ability to log into the system and read the daily information from there. Also, while you are a member you can access archived issues of this Week in History.
I’ve had the boys taking turns to come learn something interesting that fits the day. While they were not always eager to come over and ‘do school’ for a few minutes with mom given it is summertime, they have always walked away with something to share with their dad and siblings.
One of the ones that R thought would NOT be interesting was on August 2nd. The topic of the day was the San Francisco’s cable (trolley) cars. He’s seen the trolley on Mr. Rogers and saw a functioning one in New Orleans. However, we talked about the challenges of San Francisco. That was after going over the “How Steep are the streets of San Francisco?” game.
Here’s a ‘snapshot’ from the email of his favorite image from that day’s lesson:
Although the starting point for that day was about the first piloting of a cable car down Nob Hill on August 2nd, 1873, that was NOT the stopping point. There were numerous options for learning more about this city and surrounding areas. They even rounded it out with a few You Tube videos of songs inspired by the city.
While we are still doing what could be considered more ‘traditional’ study of history, this resource helps to bring new life to things and could also be a great way to alleviate burnout in your homeschool. I’d even be tempted to use it as the primary source of history studies with younger elementary students as you could add in visits to the library for additional reading when a topic really sparks their interest.
What really has me hooked is their philosophy of “Inspire, not require” as that is truly my goal for the boys. Add in the time saving of pulling together historical topics by day, and I’m sold that this is a great resource homeschoolers wanting to delve more into topics with the rabbit trails already laid out for them.
Curious to see more detail about how the daily lessons look? Check out This Week in History sample weeks to give you a good idea of the breadth of material covered.
Disclaimer ~ We were provided with a subscription to this service to facilitate a review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own. You can see what other Crewmates had to say about this product and others by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew website.