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Hold That Thought

Notebooking and Timeline CD-ROM's

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Hold That Thought note booking and timeline products. CDs and blank timeline books. Available from Hold That Thought.

Hold That Thought offers CD's loaded with pictures to use on timelines and enhance note booking methods of study. Author Elaine Depew drew from encyclopedias and popular books by Usborne and Kingfisher for the history timeline people and dates, while her husband, who holds a theology degree, specified the people and events in Bible and Church products with the help of a number of quality references. A team of other professionals assisted in the artwork, editing, and creative process. All of the CD's provided for review include Adobe Acrobat files that are readable on both Macintosh and Windows machines.

United States Geography ($19.95) -- This CD has a complete course for young children to study U.S. geography in a notebook format. Beginning with a notebook cover and basic pages about the child's home ("Where has the Lord placed you on the map?") and regions in the U.S., the family is led to further studies of the states with clearly labeled folders, "Step 1," "Step 2," and so on. Six pages per state guide the child to study the state's motto, geography, topography, weather, and history. Bible verses are on each page. In Step 3, the child considers national landmarks, terrain, boundaries, and capitals, with coloring, mark-the-map, and fill-in-the-blank pages. The "Time to Review" section quizzes the student. The last folder has a list of vocabulary words to define and a sheet on which the child may write his own vocabulary words.

United States and World History ($24.95) -- Many resources for history study appear on this CD. Over 300 biography sheets have a line drawing of the person and blank lines for writing a short report. A great variety of people are featured including famous figures of history (Charlemagne, Xerxes, Hitler), artists and writers (Homer, Chopin, Cassatt), explorers, rulers, and more. Detailed coloring pages highlight over 150 miscellaneous events through history including gladiator games in Rome, Cortes meeting Montezuma, Samurai warriors, and a variety of diverse scenes. Basic maps with titles provide the child with the chance to trace an explorer's journey or to differentiate sides in a war. Blank lined sheets for eleven religions have pictures of a symbol of the religion at the top of the page. Cover pages for history notebooks and blank lined pages are also provided.

World History Volume II ($29.95) has writing pages, with an illustration and lines for writing, for 11 architectural structures, over 350 biographies (with some duplication from the U.S. and World History CD), 221 events with a newspaper heading, 30 inventions with the year highlighted, and famous books. Charts on which to list presidents, colonies, and branches of the government, and forms that help teach note taking are also available. Coloring pages of famous art, flags, and maps (same as in the United States and World History CD) complete the disk.

Church History ($14.95) -- "Draft sheets" ask specific questions that help the child formulate reports about people on the 141 biography sheets, orders of priests, denominations (including the Unitarians,) cults (LDS, Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science,) and other religions (Buddhism, Islam, etc.). Charts have the child studying the difference between the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, life in the womb, and the Apostles Creed. Map studies highlight Paul's travels, the Crusades, and the spread of Protestantism during the Reformation.

Quiet Time Sheets ($19.95) -- Quiet time sheets are a brief Bible study that promotes basic concepts of the Christian faith and positive characteristics such as humility and compassion. Instructions are provided for making this into a notebook Bible study. Divided into categories that allow a child to explore a theme such as salvation or worship, the sheets ask the child to look up a Scripture reference and answer a thought-provoking question about it. A prayer request sheet allows the child to maintain a record of prayer.

Time Line Cut Outs

Bible and Church History ($19.95) -- Written from a conservative, "young earth" perspective, this CD includes instructions for making timelines and cautions for parents to preview material and decide what is appropriate for their family. A time line file specifies all the events on the disk for easy reference. Beautiful engravings have a date and title under them to illustrate both New Testament and Old Testament events. Line drawings, engravings, and black and white pictures show events in Christian church history from its earliest formation up to new Bible translations and the founding of "Focus on the Family" by James Dobson. Simple place cards show the dates in large print. A huge wall chart which the family may tape together is also included.

World and United States ($19.95) -- This CD includes both world and U.S. events (with some overlap with each other and church events) from about 3500 B.C. to 2003. Pictures are line drawings, engravings, and black and white photos. Time line instructions are provided along with the large blank wall chart mentioned above. Indices of U.S. and world events allow the parent to decide what "cut outs" are appropriate for use.

Blank Timeline Books

The Timeline of Bible History ($12.95) is a 5" tall by 14" wide, spiral-bound, blank book with laminated covers. It was designed to fit the cut outs with a little room to spare for notes.

Martha's Recommendation: The "Time Line Cut Outs" are amazing collections that are sure to make creating time lines a painless process. The pictures are high quality and very easy to work with in chronological order with an index for easy reference. While there is some overlap between the two "Time Line Cut Outs" disks, both are necessary to get a fully integrated view of history from a Christian perspective.

The worksheet and note booking disks will be very helpful to parents whose children enjoy workbook type activities. The "Quiet Time sheets" are thought provoking and could serve as a constructive alternative to "time out" punishment. The U.S. Geography disk offers at least a year's worth of geography study on its own. When compared to workbooks, these disks are a great value!

The blank timeline books are professional looking, but the budget-conscious homeschooler could manufacture something suitable on her own.

Mary's Recommendation: I had a very difficult time choosing images to post on this review! Hold That Thought has one of the best Web sites I've seen in a long while, and strongly recommend a visit so you can see that their product is really top-quality. I intend to use several of these disks with my own children. The CDs are very easy to use.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's Geography Section for interesting ideas and resources!
Review of Geography Songs
Review of Geography Through Art
Review of the Eat Your Way geography cookbook series
Review of A Child's Geography
Review of Trail Guide to World Geography
Review of The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide
Review of Uncle Josh's Outline Maps
Review of Hands-On Geography
Review of Wild Days, Creating Discovery Journals

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