Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Carole P. Roman Book a Homeschool Review Crew Reviews

My family loves reading books about history. We get pretty excited with just about any time period of history. Recently, we were introduced to books Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com was very generous to send me physical copies of:

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6) 

If You Were Me and Lived in...the American West (Volume 7) 

If You Were Me and Lived In...Viking Europe 

If You Were Me and Lived in... Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3).


These are fascinating books told from a child’s point of view. They are a softcover book. Each book covers the same topics. Where would you live, the difference between the poor and the wealthy lifestyle, what would your name be if you were a girl or a boy, how did gender effect what you could or couldn’t do in that culture. What would you live in, schooling, food, entertainment, and other fascinating facts about that historical era. 

All the books have a section of important people in that time period with a short paragraph about them and what they did. Also, there is a glossary of the vocabulary words are included in the back of the book. The glossary also includes pronunciation of the words.

There are occasional questions throughout the book to encourage discussion of the topics. On Carole P. Roman’s blog you will find worksheets to print off to ask your students comprehensive questions about the book.

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6)has 97 pages.

The illustrations are created by Mateya Arkova who lives in Bulgaria. The illustrations are depicted in a cartoonish and whimsical manner. The pictures are watercolors. They paint a wonderful picture of what life might have looked like in back then. The illustrations captured the intent of the text beautifully.

The year is 1072 in a small town in England. A time of the knights and noble men- when the land surrounded a castle or manor was worked by serfs (peasants). The peasants tended small plots of land to feed and supported the castle or manor. Maybe, you were a free serf or maybe un-free. What’s the difference? Well, you will have to read it to find out for yourself.

In this story you are the daughter of a knight. Your father was a soldier in William of Normandy’s army. You will learn about how your father was given land because of this battle. You lived in a house made of motte and bailee(castle) on a manmade hill. What was your house like on the inside?

You sat closes to the salt during meals while other that was less important sat away from the salt. What did you wear that made you different from serfs? What did you do for fun or what about education?

What was life like as a serf and what are the differences? The book is a treasure of information that is fascinating to learn about the culture in this era.

If You Were Me and Lived in...the American West (Volume 7)this book has 54 pages.

The illustrator is Paula Tabor who has very realistic pictures with so many details. We spent a lot of time on each page just exploring all the details.

What was it like traveling to Oregon? The year is 1843 and your family endured a long journey on the Oregon Trail. Your family previously lived in Ohio after severe flooding you left what is now called “The Great Migration of 1843”. You established a homestead in the Willamette Valley in Oregon but, that is only after traveling 2,000 miles and doing 10-20 miles a day in a conestoga with two oxen, one cow, two goats, and a pig. The majority of the time you walked next to the wagon.

What supplies would you need to make the journey? Each person had only two pairs of clothing but, what would you wear?

You still had chores like milking the cow or gathering buffalo chips. What else did you eat along the trail and how did you cook it? At night time you formed a large circle with the other wagons for protection.

The trip was hard and dangerous. You met Indians from many tribes. Most of the time they wanted to just trade but, some settlers died due to conflicts with indians. The trip was long and illness and accidents killed many settlers. You had to cross dangerous rivers which scared you.

One you arrived life was still hard at first. Over time a small town built up around you and you could go to school.
If You Were Me and Lived In...Viking Europe is 76 pages.

This book is also illustrated by Mateya Arkova in a whimsical pastel water color.

You would be born somewhere around 870 AD in the northern part of Europe. You are going to learn about what a Viking is. Your name might be Knut or Ulf if you are a boy. If you are a girl you might be named Sigrid or Hilde. Most went by two names a given name and a family name.

Where did the Vikings go and what did they bring back with them on their many travels?

The Vikings families have three classes. What are the differences in their homes and what determined the class of family?

You learn how to carve wood and make useful things for your home and maybe even a great ship.

You eat a lot of fruit, nuts, cheeses, sausages, porridge, bread, and berries. Your Moder (mother) cooked everything in a cauldron. You often ate with your fingers.

Some of your chores included bringing buckets of sea water home for the valuable salt. You spent a lot of time learning how to survive like learning how to shoot a bow and arrow. You were expected to learn from everyone in your village a skill. The summer was short and it was a busy time of the year preparing for the long winter.

You worshiped many gods and it was an important part of your culture.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3) has 50 pages. 

The illustrations by Paula Tabor are quite impressive in this book. The pages are colorful and have a lot of realistic details.

This story will give you some insight into the Elizabethan era in England starting out around 1578. It points out that the time period in perspective with the closing of the Middle Age to the beginning of the Renaissance era. It was the time of William Shakespeare and England became a superpower of the world.

The story talks about how the monarchy would dictate what religion you followed was who was, "on the throne". It wasn’t always pleasant if you worshiped differently. 

How did I use these in my homeschool?

First, let me say these are absolutely amazing books. My kids love the books and I don’t think they could even begin to tell you which story is there favorite book.

We did the books as a read out loud. We talked about the details in the pictures and the topics brought on a lot of discussions. I pulled up the worksheets on Carole P. Roman’s blog and used them to ask comprehensive questions about the story.

These are wonderful books to read about a historical era and a culture. You could use this story for a school research paper for kids just learning how to do a research paper. It would make a wonderful unit study, lapbook, or be used with notebook pages. The story packs a wealth of information in it without feeling overwhelming. 

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