Yes! We encourage you to "try before you buy." Many of our materials have an option to download a sample lesson or image contained in the collections. Look at the tabs at the bottom of each of the individual product pages to see if a Download Sampler is available for that item.
We do attend a few conventions a year, but if we will not be there, we do have several vendors that also carry our materials.
Returns of unopened materials are accepted within 30 days of purchase — refunds will exclude shipping costs and will incur a 15% restocking fee. Downloadable products are exempt from being returned.
The download version of our studies are delivered as a ZIP file, which is simply a collection of files and folders that are compressed into a single file for easy delivery. These ZIP files must be extracted before you can properly use the study. For help with extracting the contents of ZIP files, Click Here.
Although individual PDF files (as with most À La Carte projects) will download and open fine on an iPhone/iPad, the larger studies that are delivered as ZIP files won't work properly in IOS. You will need an app, like Documents by Readdle, that knows how to download, extract, and view the contents. However, running our studies on an iPhone/iPad is not recommended, as you will have limited control when printing the masters.
If the menu doesn't automatically appear after inserting the disc, browse to the CD and double-click on "Start."
Because the PDFs in our products are complex, it is essential to open them using Adobe® software (e.g., Adobe® Reader®). Some browsers bypass this and use their own “PDF preview tools.” These tools, though convenient, are not designed to render complex PDFs properly, nor do they offer as many printing options (this can manifest itself in many ways: missing images; wrong or garbled text fonts; chopped print-outs; blacked-out sections of text and/or images; etc.).
We recommend the following progression, to be stepped through until your problem is corrected:
1) Make sure you are running Adobe® Reader® (not a preview tool) when you open and print the PDFs from the menu. If you are certain you are, then…
2) Re-install Adobe® Reader® (available at adobe.com); this sometimes corrects issues with Adobe® Reader® itself. If this fails…
3) Change browsers; sometimes, the browser is interfering with proper display/printing. If you have tried several browsers and they all fail…
4) Bypass the menu completely: you can use the menu (running in a browser) as reference, but also open a window to the “PDFs” folder in our product CD or downloaded folder. From there, make sure that when you open a PDF file, it opens in Adobe® Reader® and not some other application. If this still fails…
5) Select the “Print as Image” option in the Advanced section of the print dialog box for Adobe® Reader®
All of our history and activity studies/paks contain a variety of projects that require various colors of both paper and card stock. The Time Travelers and Project Passport studies also are designed for you to pick and choose what you would like to do. By providing the pdfs individually, you have more options to use the stock you desire, and only do the projects that you choose. There is also less chance of your printer getting bogged down (or locked up!) due to so many complex PDF pages being printed at once.
This is a very good and valid question, and it has an answer I would hope many homeschools would put to use! We do not study our information from one source, but from many reliable sources. Whether information for a description on a timeline figure, or a lesson on a Time Traveler, we strive to utilize several sources, preferably from a Christian viewpoint. Here are some tips for doing research which we believe to be very important:
1) Try to include sources as close as possible to the original time period. For example, if you are studying about the fall of Jerusalem, read works written by Josephus as he was there and wrote about what he saw. Autobiographies are better than books written by others about a person, especially if the biography was written much later than his or her time. Some of this stems from the rewriting of history, which is shocking and very disheartening! The enemy is at work trying to eliminate every reference of God and His Providence from history! It is sad to see the founding fathers being misrepresented in modern writings and that children today are learning of them with distorted perceptions! The writings of the men and women themselves and those who lived at the time are full of quotes and references to their faith in an active and participatory God, rather than as deists which many of them are unfortunately described as today.
Whether an accurate or inaccurate view on a subject, bear in mind number 2.
2) Everybody has a bias. Even Josephus had a bias. He was writing under direction from the Roman Emperor--his view I'm sure would be MUCH different than if a persecuted Jew had written an account of the incident! Even an autobiography will have a bias, as a person can reflect his own thoughts, but can paint them as he sees them--perhaps not the same way others would see him! I'm sure if Queen Elizabeth had a published diary of her actions, it would be a bit different account than what Mary Queen of Scots would've written about her.
3) Try to access at least three valid sources: And "Wikipedia" doesn't count! (Wikipedia is added to by the public and is generally not validated.) If studying about a particular person, try to get an autobiography, and two trustworthy additional writings. In doing this, you are bound to see similarities and possibly differences in the writings. When you see information repeated throughout the other sources, you can pretty well assume it is trustworthy. If you are doing your searching on the internet, beware of personal and informal websites where information may be incorrect or based on assumption. Some will be intended to relay factual information, while others will tend to have an underlying agenda based on a judgement of the topic -- the latter is not bad; you simply need to be aware of which type it is. Always double check dates and facts, as typos can occur on even the more reliable encyclopedic online resources.
Have you heard the saying "The victor of the war writes the history"? It is very true! Let's take The Civil War as an example. Growing up in the North, schools here taught of the "upright North" and the "naughty South" and boasted that the war was based on slavery. However, reading and research in my later years caused me to find that there was much more than slavery alone as the cause for secession. With this revelation came a "distrust" of much of what I came to read after that. I felt information had been withheld and it wasn't fair! That was the same way I felt when I learned of all the information which supported Creation rather than evolution, and it was not being released in our school years--we were guiled into believing what was presented to us and that was all.
How do we resolve this issue? First, I had to realize that I didn't need to have such a contempt for all that I read, but a reasonable dose of skepticism that reminded me that every author had a bias -- and possibly a hidden agenda -- and may not be fully accurate.
If there are resources available, make sure to try and find ones that approach the topic from more than one side. Here is one example: Let's say the topic is Stonewall Jackson. Biographies abound regarding this amazing man and his military exploits and leadership qualities, but how about the view of his personal side from a soldier who was on Jackson's staff? You might want to read, "I Rode with Stonewall" by Henry Kyd Douglas, written from his collection of diaries and notes made during the war.
In a nutshell, bear in mind that writings are created by people--and as flawed as we all are, we must be wise in accepting information as truth. This develops discernment that will help in accessing even modern writings and news media. The only source that has always offered full credibility is, and always will be, the Bible!
This is a question which has a very important answer of which many people do not know about! As more and more evidence aligns with the Biblical 4004 B.C. date, (of which we agree with!) there is one factor that impacts almost all written works out there, including many Christian curricula; the Historical Record. The information given below is also included on our collection of timeline figures:
Bear this in mind when considering the earliest dates: We at Home School in the Woods believe in a young earth, with a literal 7-days of Creation. The problem we've encountered with older dates and existing texts and curricula is that just about everything in publication has been dated according to the Historical Records. These are found both in the early Egyptian and Sumerian history. According to the Egyptian calendar, our oldest dates can be off by as much as several hundred to 1000 years, placing Creation to c. 4000 B.C., and the flood more in the vicinity of c. 2400-2300 B.C. However, this throws the remaining early dates in a tailspin when it comes to almost everything in print out there! Within history texts and curricula, the Egyptian calendar dating is widely used. Vance Ferrell, author of Evolution Cruncher, writes:
"The earliest historical books are those of the Egyptians and the Hebrews. The historical dates assigned to the beginnings of Egyptian and Sumerian history are based primarily on king-lists."
"...The problem with First Dynasty dates is they are based on the king-lists of Manetho, an Egyptian priest who lived many centuries later, in 250 B.C. Manetho's writings have only been preserved in a few inaccurate quotations in other ancient writings."
"...Manetho's king-list gives us dates that are older than that of any other dating records anywhere in the world. But there are a number of scholars who believe that (1) the list deals with two simultaneously reigning sets of kings; (2) that they are not numerically accurate; and (3) that Manetho fabricated names, events, numbers, and history, as did many ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and historians, in order to magnify the greatness of Egypt or certain rulers."
"...In contrast, it is highly significant that well-authenticated Egyptian dates only go back to 1600 B.C.! Experts, trying to unravel Egyptian dating problems, have come to that conclusion."
"...Because cosmologists, chronologists, historians, and archaeologists heavily rely on Egyptian dates for their theories, Egyptian dating has become very important in dating the ancient world, and thus quite influential. This is because it purports to provide us with the earliest historical dates. There is evidence available that would definitely lower archaeological dates and bring them into line with Biblical chronology." -- Vance Ferrell, Evolution Cruncher (2001), selections from p. 150-153
So what does this mean to us? When it comes to the most ancient of dates, especially those pertaining to the period of Creation through the time of Egypt, bear in mind the unreliability of exact dates. As mentioned throughout this resource, should your research and findings lead you to place a figure at a different location, by all means do so! As you proceed beyond these dates, they will eventually line up and have records that back them accurately. However, the further back we go, the less apt we all are to find accurate dates without having been there or knowing the trustworthiness of the source and authors of the historical data; the very data that is used to write the history books and texts available. With the knowledge that earlier dates are based on the Egyptian calendar, we have designed our resource to align with respected Christian curriculum providers.