For those who follow the Charlotte Mason method of education, music/composer study is high on their list of must dos. With each term, at least one to two are studied, in enough depth so that the student has a general knowledge of his/her background, and can recognize their music upon hearing it. Even though we are not 100% CM with our approach, I try to remain faithful to at least some areas-such as the artist/musician studies.
I was thrilled to learn that I would be reviewing the Frederic Chopin Early and Later Years Special Offer from Zeezok Publishing. The package includes the Teacher's Study Guide, a free Companion CD (contains songs found in the books and PDF files of coloring pages that correlate to the material) , and the two books, Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years and Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years. I was wondering what who we could cover during the Winter Term, and lo and behold-Chopin ended up on our doorstep!
Envelope Book project to complement it, along with using the materials included in the package. The Early Years and Later Years (by Opal Wheeler) books are written in an engaging and charming manner (and yes, Jesus Christ is honored and acknowledged) that seems to be missing in many books today. These stories take you from the start of Chopin's life to the end. You learn about his family life, his love of music, and how he interacted with the world around him. The language Wheeler used, dances off your lips as you read it, drawing the listener in to the melody of the words and the stories they weave. I had no problem keeping my 8 year old interested, and even my 15 year old was drawn into this study. The CD was great for a music illiterate like myself...it helped to hear what the music sounded like, which is shown in the book penned in the musical note fashion (sheet music-well, OK don't laugh at me you musically gifted folks-that is what I call it). To add to it, I dug out a book (Lives of the Musicians-Good Times, Bad Times and What the Neighbors Thought) which I have on my shelves. When I turned it over-I saw that I had purchased it from the Book Peddler company, which is Zeezok Publishing's retail store. So, I am familiar with the Book Peddler company and recommend them-as I have shopped their company since-well, way back when!
Another nice feature in this package is the Study Guide, which was useful in clearing up some information for me, but for my son-it was "above his head and below his feet". I had to pick out a few tidbits that I knew he could grasp, and left the rest for my teen to learn from. I will dig that out again when we revisit Chopin to study in greater detail with him, a few years from now. With the images from the PDF file (on the CD) I was able to create a lovely cover for my son's keepsake book, and print off pictures of images contained within the 2 books (Younger Years and Later Years) that offered him some familiar scenes to color, as well. I am so impressed with this collection, that I am looking forward to procuring a few more of the famous composers special offer packs, for future studies. Zeezok's selection of books, which they reprint/publish, is quite admirable and refreshing. Their choice of Opal Wheeler's books about Chopin, most certainly meet their goal:
"Established in 2003, we believe "It is better to build children than to repair men." To that end we strive to provide quality literature and educational books for use in training the next generation. We trust our products will assist you in developing your family's love for God and country."
"Zee", you "zok" my socks off with this great collection!
The books themselves have mention of God and Christ, but it isn't totally dripping with it-hence this icon. Also, the folks behind Zeezok are Christian, but again-the icon is for the actual products I reviewed
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Zeezok Publishing Homepage
Chopin Early and Later Years Special Offer package: $30.90
Don't forget to read what my TOS mates had to say about this and many other fine homeschool products on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.
***Zeezok Publishing provided me with a free Frederic Chopin Early and Later Years Special Offer package, to test and use with my family. I have discussed my opinion regarding this product, and have not received financial compensation for writing this review.