Sunday, March 11, 2012

Creek Edge Press

Creek Edge Press
Task Card Sets
Price: Varies
Grades: K-8

Creek Edge Press has put together sets of Task Cards to help students learn information in a way that encourages children to explore and discover rather than memorize, take the test and forget it. The Task Cards pull together the best of Classical, Charlotte Mason, and Montessori education styles that have been sought after by homeschoolers everywhere. Amy K. Hilsman created handwritten task cards when her children were small and has now made her hard work available for us.

"Each Task Card Set includes a set of Task Cards and a Course Introduction. The cards are designed to engage the student in investigative, discovery based learning. Each card within a set is intended to be used at a pace of about one per week. The tasks direct students to research and explore concepts and vocabulary surrounding a particular topic which is stated on the card. Further key concepts and vocabulary are encountered within the subsequent tasks. The student engages in completing these tasks within a learning environment prepared by the teacher. The work is done during a work period set aside for Task Card use."

We received the American History Set of Task Cards. The set is a set of Task Cards and a Course Instruction Guide. This set of cards starts with Native Americans and goes to the 21st Century. This set is $20.

The guide is useful in knowing what to do with each of the tasks on the cards. There is a paragraph on what that task should look like when completed. For instance, Collages: "Students are directed to collect pictures and make a collage. This is not a mindless art activity, but is meant to provide the opportunity for students to engage with variety and distinctive features. Collages should include a title. Supporting links for pictures can be found at in the 'At Creek's Edge' tab."

The guide also gives tips for setting up the learning environment, gives book list suggestions for younger and older students and maps needed for each card.

The Task Cards have the outline that is needed for the student to complete that particular segment. Tasks cover research, map work, summaries, time line work, biographical figures, and simple projects designed to reinforce learning. Older students can complete the work on their own and work at their own pace...about one card per week, younger students will need help according to their abilities. These cards are especially good for those who are studying history as part of a four or five year history cycle and are worked chronologically. There may be some overlap, and larger time periods are divided among several cards.

What we LOVED: We loved that this was very student driven and heavy on reading books. I love when my children discover things in living books and really cling to the part that sparks their interest. I love that my student knew exactly what was expected. It was outlined on the card. I used these cards with my eighth grade son and he was able to work very independently. I loved that it used summaries and collages to show the work learned rather than the memorize, test, forget method that I grew up on. I love that literature is interspersed with non-fiction books so that the history comes alive for my child. I LOVED the price...$20...That is fabulous and the supporting materials I needed were books from the library and outline maps I found free online. Creek Edge Press also has Scope and Sequence and Supporting Links pages on their blog. All of the supporting links can be found here.

What was a challenge for us: The first challenge was that the cards are LOOSE...they are about 4x5" or so and I could just see that that was not going to work in my family. I punched holes in all of the cards and put them on a binder ring. That way, if they got lost, it would be all of them together...well not really, but a much better way for me to keep them from getting lost. The other challenge I had was the book list. I am not sure how this could have been remedied, but there were places where it was difficult to determine where to divide the books among the cards.

Overall, I think we are really benefitting from the work of another person with these Task Cards and I would recommend taking a look at them if you prefer one of the educational styles or like a book heavy program. Other subjects are available At Creek Edge Press. Thinking of buying...Enter the code MidWinter to get free shipping on orders over $36 until April 14.

See what my fellow crew mates have to say about Creek Edge Press Task Cards here

Disclaimer: I received this item for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation. All the opinions expressed are my own.

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