If You Were Me and Lived in ... Living History Book Series - Review

History has always been one of my favourite subjects.  Do you love it too?  To help my children develop a love of history I try to use as many living books in our studies as I can. I've recently fallen in love with a set of living history books for children.  It's a series titled If You Were Me and Lived in ... Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com

 Fun living history books for children. They can look back in time and see what life would be like if they lived in the middle ages, ancient greece, pioneer life and more! A great homeschool history resource to. | www.passionatehomeschooling.com

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links my full disclosure can be read here.

Books in the If You Were Me and Lived in ... Series

This review will focus on the following books:

These books take historical facts about how people lived during a time period and turn them into a story journey for children.

I love how these historical books focus on more of the day to day life of people rather than the wars that took place. Some of my children are very interested in cultures but the topics of war turn them off.  Really, I understand that and while so many history books seem to move from one war to another these ones are a wonderful break from that pattern.

If You Were Me and Lived in... the Middle Ages

 If You Were Me and Lived in the Middle Ages

Since we've been slowly studying the Middle Ages I decided to start with this book first. Most of our history studies are done as a family so I added the book to our morning time ( circle time) and it was a perfect fit. Each day I would read a few pages of the story and then my children would take turns narrating back parts of the story to me.

The Middle Ages book begins with "If you were me and lived in the Middle Ages".  As soon as I started to read I noticed my younger children relax.  Perhaps it reminded them of a storybook "Long ago or Once upon a time".  The introduction connected with them and brought them right into the story.

The book starts off by introducing children to a what a small town in England looks like today.  Then it quickly jumps back to what a rural village would have looked like in 1072.  The definition of the Middle Ages time period and the Roman Empire are briefly covered.

Then the fun stuff begins! Children learn about how the land was divided and called "fiefdoms" and how private soldiers became knights.  How the land was worked by peasants called serfs both free and un-free.  How moats and castles were built and why they were so important.

Many more topics such as religion, cooking, hunting, farming, medical care are covered in short but fun lessons.

The end of the book has a section for famous people of the Middle Ages and a short paragraph biography for each. After that, there is a large glossary.  I've found the glossary makes a great copywork resource!

If You Were Me and LIved in Ancient Greece

If You Were Me and Lived in... Ancient Greece

This story book about life in Ancient Greece follows the same format as the Middle Ages book. It opens with a few pages about modern Greece and where in the world it is located. Then quickly moves into "If you were me and lived in Ancient Greece, you would be born around 2,300 years ago."

Children learn about the greek political system, the gods they worshiped, what food was common and the various occupations people often worked at.

Like the Middle Ages book at the end is a brief biography of important people from Ancient Greece and a glossary.

If You Were Me and Lived in the American West

If You Were Me and Lived In... The American West

The American West book is one of my favourites. We've read this one as a fun afternoon read aloud and plant to use it again later in the year with our pioneer study.

When the story begins there is a 2-page spread one the left side you see a drawing of a home in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  The right side of the page you see the same area set in 1843 with a homestead.  Children learn that a homestead was a farm and quickly move into a story of a 12-year-old boy whose family has given up farming on the East coast because of bad weather.  They join the wagon train heading west with the "Great Migration of 1843".

Some of the topics covered are:

  • Fear of moving

  • Clothing

  • Farming

  • Supplies the pioneers brought with them and the food they ate.

  • Native American tribes

  • Illness

 If You Were Me and Lived in Elizabethan England

If You Were Me and Lived In... Elizabethan England

The Elizabethan England books takes children back to the year 1578. This is just after the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance when people were eager to try new things.

Children learn that this is often called the Elizabethan age because it took place when Elizabeth the 1st was the queen of England.

In this story, children learn about both the lower and upper-class life.  They journey through the poverty that the boy's family lives in after leaving their farm to run a bakery in town.  This is compared to the home your Aunt worked in that had hundreds of rooms, art, and servants.

Some other topics covered are:

  • Shakespeare & Plays

  • Food

  • Working conditions

  • Living conditions

  • Architecture

My children have really enjoyed the If You Were me and Lived In... series.  I really wish that we had found them sooner!  What my children loved the most is there are large pictures on each page.  The text although short covers many topics in just enough detail to both keep their interest and learn at the same time.

Often we used these books as a starting point for our lessons.  As I would be reading someone would have a question about what a buttery or a dovecote was.  So we would take some time to explore these areas more by looking up more examples in books and YouTube videos.

The biographies in the back of the book all have dates so if you're building a family timeline you can easily add famous people.

We use a lot of copywork in our lessons and I've found that using passages from the text as well as the glossary make for a wonderful copywork resource too.

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