Drawing USA Presidents Review Our Busy Homeschool 7
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A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA–A Timberdoodle Review by Our Busy Homeschool

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Drawing USA Presidents Review OurBusy Homeschool 1

One of the things we love about unit studies is the opportunity to combine subjects under one topic. When Timberdoodle offered to let my family review one book in the “A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA” series we jumped on the chance.   Combining history  and art curriculum in one, the series of 42 volumes will take your family through the life, times, and key events from George Washington to George W. Bush’s presidencies.  Originally over a thousand dollars for the set, Timberdoodle has a limited supply of these sets for only $195.00.

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A few titles are available individually for $9.95 as well, including the one we received: How to Draw the Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln.  It was rather convenient to receive this volume as my children had studied the Civil War in the fall and were already familiar with good old Abe.  We snuggled up on the couch and read about Lincoln.  The book covers his life from childhood through death by first beginning with two sections that give you an overview of life before and during his presidency.  There is a timeline, glossary, and website list in the back of the book for more information.

The rest of the book is laid out like this:

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On the left is a photograph of an item related to Abraham Lincoln with the story, while on the right page you see step-by-step instructions to help you draw the item yourself.   Each step is explained in text AND shown by red lines.  On subsequent steps the newest lines to add are red, while the previous lines drawn are shown in black.

Some of the things you’ll draw with this book are:

  • A log cabin.
  • Lincoln’s desk when he was a lawyer.
  • A banner used during his campaign for presidency.
  • Abraham Lincoln himself.

After reading a few pages to my oldest four children (ages 9, 6, 5, 3) we gathered at our table to draw.  We chose to draw Lincoln’s desk when he was a lawyer.

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To make this work for a group of children I used a small dry-erase board to illustrate each step, keeping the book in front of me.  I read the explanation and then demonstrated it.  My oldest would have easily been able to do this on her own with just the book, but we like working as a group as much as possible at our house.

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My children worked at their own level, following my demonstration or playing with their pencil (my 3 year old, who insisted he wanted to draw while his younger two brothers were napping).  Want to see the finished products?

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Makayla’s drawing – she’s 9.

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Joseph’s drawing – he’s 6.

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Emma’s drawing – she’s 5.

What We Thought
The information pages themselves are well-written and worked in a read aloud situation easily.  My children loved seeing photos, especially of the items they were going to draw.  The art portion of the book works well with the combination of instructions and new lines shown in red.  Our only complaint – In trying to keep the books at a certain number of pages the publisher kept each art project to one page.  This makes the illustrated instructions rather small, with too many lines added at once for the more detailed drawings.  It would have been better to give the more detailed drawings two pages of space with more steps to break down the drawing even more.  If you’re looking for a fun addition to your American history studies then check out this and other history curriculum available through Timberdoodle.

{Disclaimer: As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions presented herein are my own.}


Posted by Joy | 20 May 2011 | 5 star, All Reviews, Reviews

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