{Review} Western Civilization Study with BrimWood Press

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Our family loves to study history! This is our 15th year of homeschooling and the bookshelves in our home are overflowing with history books of every time period. We especially love when we find new resources to incorporate in our history studies!

This summer we were newly introduced to BrimWood Press (affiliate link) and we took some time to review their Western Civilization Study. They have a noble mission as reflected on their website: BrimWood Press is dedicated to providing though-rich, visually stimulating materials that enable children to grasp essential concepts of learning through pioneering methods that engage the whole child.

When our review package arrived, we were thrilled to see all of the resources! Our daughter quickly snatched up the Calendar Quest fictional narrative. The first few paragraphs pulled her into the story and she disappeared until she finished reading the entire book! Upon opening the box, I was thoroughly impressed with the resources included in the Western Civilization Study. The resources included visually rich items with lovely artwork, maps, stickers, and colorful perforated history cards.

The Western Civilization Study includes four key resources:

Calendar Quest
This fictional historical narrative covers twelve eras in history from ancient Sumer to the 20th Century America. This intriguing tale captivates attention as Mr. S. Kronos (aka Father Time) guides children on an adventure through history as they discover the various historical figures who created the calendar. Our daughter read this through in one setting as she literally could not put the book down. This story corresponds with the chapter lessons of What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization.

What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization
This unique history program is comprised of multiple parts. The softcover text is a teacher's guide and student workbook combined into one. Each lesson is geared to correspond with multiple resources. The student receives an overview of the history lesson in the What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization book. Included in this book are 12 Hats of History cards with key figures in Western Civilization and sticker pages featuring historical figures and events. The stickers are for use in the workbook and on the Hats of History cards. Additionally, the lesson instructs the student on what chapter to read in Calendar Quest, and which pages to complete in Color the Western World coloring book.


Color the Western World
This oversize coloring book has a tagline of an Artful Journey Through 5,000 Years of History. It contains beautifully illustrated artwork that corresponds with the other BrimWood Press resources.

Kenny Kwiz
This resource provides questions and answers that correspond with the Calendar Quest book.

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This history program is structured into 16 lessons that span 5,000 years of Western Civilization. The focus of the study is to provide a broad overview of history in a relatively short period of time. The idea behind the condensed study is to cement the major events of Western Civilization history within a student's mind. As the student continues to study and analyze historical events in future years, they will already understand the broad scope of Western Civilization. The What Your Child Needs To Know About Western Civilization text includes a suggested schedule which demonstrates how to plan for the 16 lessons of study.

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The Western Civilization Study covers the following historical periods:
  • Sumer rules Mesopotamia
  • Old Kingdom Egypt
  • Babylon rules Mesopotamia
  • Ancient Israel
  • Classical Greece
  • Ptolemaic Dynasty
  • Roman Republic
  • Roman Empire
  • Roman Decline & Rise of the Byzantine Empire
  • Early Medieval
  • Carolingian Renaissance
  • Late Medieval
  • Italian Renaissance
  • Northern European Renaissance
  • Reformation
  • Reason and Revolution
  • Early America
  • Nineteenth Century America
  • The Twentieth Century
You may wonder, can you cover 5,000 years of history in just 16 lessons? Continue reading and I will share our experiences!

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What we enjoyed about the Western Civilization Study:

  • Calendar Quest is a fascinating journey through 5,000 years of Western Civilization
  • What Every Child Needs To Know About Western Civilization is an engaging 16 lesson study
  • The student book and teacher's book are combined into one softcover
  • The Hats of History cards are colorful and printed on sturdy cardstock paper
  • Color the Western World is a gorgeous coloring book
  • The illustrations in the book and coloring book are beautiful
  • The 16 lesson study includes history and geography topics 
  • The resources can be used with multiple students within a family
  • The "Teacher Preview" section gives detailed instructions on what to complete
  • Students can work independently through the study with a parent facilitator
  • Discussion questions, geography, and writing activities are included in each chapter

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What you need to know before purchasing the Western Civilization Study:
  • The program is a 16 lesson study but it can be adapted for a greater length of time
  • It is a great fit for a summer or semester-long study
  • The program is geared for 5th to 8th grade, but is flexible enough to be adapted
  • The stickers used for Hats of History require cutting out
  • You can use the completed resources for reference in future studies of history

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Typically, we study history in year-long chronological cycles. Last year, we studied Ancient History and spent the entire year immersed in the studies of the ancient world. This new school year, we are focusing our history studies on the time period from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the French Revolution. We enjoy meandering through the eras of history. There are times when we camp out for a long period in a particular area of interest.

The Western Civilization Study provided a unique experience for our family as we took a whirlwind tour through 5,000 years of history within a short period of time. This was the first time in our homeschooling experience that we were able to traverse through eras of history in a condensed manner. It was very beneficial for us to have a broad tour through Western Civilization as the study offered a general overview of key historical events. In future years, we will unpack those time periods and explore them in greater detail.

The concept of studying 5,000 years of history within 16 lessons as presented by BrimWood Press is a completely new method for our family. I appreciated the introductory pages for the student which explained that the Western Civilization Study is a "jet plane" trip that moves at a fast pace (16 lessons covering 5,000 years) rather than a "covered wagon" which takes a slow journey through history (chronological studies over a period of years).

I personally had to get acquainted with the idea that we were not going to slow down and study every historical event and figure of a particular era. Once I understood the focus of the BrimWood Press educational philosophy, explained thoroughly in the text, we were able to move through the studies at the recommended pace.

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Our family has traveled through history studies on many covered wagon trips. Taking a new jet plane trip through Western Civilization with BrimWood Press enabled us to recap some of our previous studies in an enjoyable way! This study also helped us look ahead for what we will study in modern world history.

Even though this was a whirlwind trip through Western Civilization, the study was meaty enough and filled with many meaningful learning opportunities. Our family thoroughly enjoyed our introduction to BrimWood Press resources! I am pleased to recommend their resources at The Homeschool Marm through their new affiliate program.


Product Details:
Title: Western Civilization Study 
Publisher: BrimWood Press
Format: Softcover books and spiral bound coloring book
Retail Price: $65 Bundle Price

Publisher Description - What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization:
In fourteen lessons, What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization builds a mental timeline of 5,000 years of history and an understanding of the historical contributions that shaped Western Civilization. This guide and its literature companion Calendar Quest will revolutionize the way children learn history.

This guide uses the story of the calendar as a springboard for telling the story of Western Civilization. As the Western calendar is the result of the contributions of many different cultures over a great span of time, so is Western Civilization. Following the same historical path as the calendar, children can see how today’s Western Civilization is the result of the unique contributions and beliefs that have shaped the culture in which we live.

By learning the story of the calendar, children develop a mental scope and sequence of 5,000 years of Western history to which all subsequent learning can be related. Calendar Quest and What Every Child Needs to Know about Western Civilization cover twelve historical periods. The WECN guide and its memory retention aids enable children to memorize the flow of these cultures and the contributions each made to shaping Western Civilization. Through the use of beautifully illustrated historical hats and portraits, twelve historical periods are captured on history cards which children learn to arrange chronologically.

The guide is made up of three parts, a 150 page workbook, twelve Hats of History cards with a portrait of each person that contributed to the calendar, and history stickers containing forty-six illustrations that students apply to their workbook and forty-six smaller companion stickers that are applied the back of the Hats of History cards.


About Brimwood Press:
2004 was the first official business year for BrimWood Press. However, with over 28 years of combined management experience in corporate America, we are harnessing our business know-how and our eight years of home schooling experience to start a home based publishing company. As an experienced husband and wife team, supported by three energetic and resourceful children, we look forward to accomplishing our mission of bringing visually rich, intellectually stimulating and engaging products to parents/teachers and the children they instruct.


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Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this product from BrimWood Press to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review. All opinions shared about the product are the honest responses of Sharra Badgley. Your results and opinions may vary. Please see my disclosure policy for additional details.

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