Review: Learn Our History

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Mike Huckabee has become a very prominent figure on the U.S. political scene. Now, he’s partnered with Brad Saft to co-create a new DVD United States history series, Learn Our History.

Learn Our History Logo, Transparent Background

Learn Our History was created with the desire to make history fun and interesting for kids and to present it in an unbiased fashion, free from political correctness. The founders of Learn Our History were concerned about the tone of many history texts today that tend to present a “blame America” attitude.

Governor Huckabee and Mr. Saft maintain that, while America isn’t perfect, we can take pride in our history and our accomplishments. They wanted to instill a sense of patriotism in America’s young people, while presenting historical facts in an easy-to-understand format.

To that end, the TimeCycle Academy was created. The TimeCycle kids are a group of four friends and one bully of an older brother who use a bicycle-based time machine to travel around in history learning the facts behind the events that they’re studying in school.

TimeCycle Academy Logo, Transparent Background

While we found the computer graphics of the videos very basic (as in, my kids would say, “Are we going to watch one of the movies with the bad graphics?”), the historical facts were presented in a way that made them easily understood and the basics were covered very well.

All three of my kids, ages 10, 11, and 16, definitely had a better understanding of each historical topic covered after watching the DVDs. They didn’t complain about watching them (graphics aside) and they paid attention during the each episode, which lasted about 20 or 30 minutes.

In each of the videos that we watched, the TimeCycle kids made notes of what facts they were hoping to uncover on their trip and they recapped what they’d learned via web chat at the end, making it easy for kids to comprehend the key facts presented.

Of the five TimeCycle travelers, I found the Conner, the older brother, to be very annoying.  His behavior bordered on bullying and, although his belligerent attitude toward learning history is probably supposed to make him relatable to kids who haven’t had a positive experience with history textbooks, I could have lived without his character and the message it sends.

From the Learn Our History website, each episode in the series seeks to convey:

  • The need to stand up to bullies
  • The importance of self-respect and respect for others – including elders
  • Belief in democratic values such as freedom and equality
  • Faith in God as a key principle in America’s development and greatness

Learn Our History is a subscription service something like a “book-of-the-month” club. You order your first DVD for $9.95. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a refund. If you keep it, Learn Our History will send you a notice letting you know when your next DVD will be sent out.

If you don’t want the upcoming title, you can call customer service within 10 days to cancel that shipment or see if you’d like an alternate title. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Visit the Learn Our History website to view previews of the titles currently available, read the FAQ or see the titles of upcoming DVDs.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Kris, 

    Thanks for the review. I am doing some research on the Learn Our History video series, with special attention to the quality of animation. I see that you mention that the computer graphics are "very basic," and that your kids also noticed that the animation in these videos doesn't meet what we typically find in other cartoons and animation. 

    As an interested mother who has showed the videos to your children, do you have any thoughts regarding whether or not the quality of animation makes Learn Our History (a) more or (b) less credible for young viewers? 

    With computer animation continuing to progress toward realism, I'm wondering why Gov. Huckabee could not figure out a way to bring in more talented artists — this way, I think Learn Our History might be able to reach a much broader audience, perhaps even be shown on television. 

    Any thoughts you have on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I am also very open to any further reflections you have on the videos that you are willing to share. Thanks!!

  2. I posed your question to my kids. They didn't think
    that they would be more credible (i.e. believable) with better graphics — the
    information was presented in an easy-to-understand, relatable way. However, they
    did say that they would have enjoyed the videos more if the graphics
    had been better. They actually found the videos interesting, but the quality of
    the computer animation was a distraction for kids who are used to things like
    today's video games and computer-animated movies produced by companies such as
    Pixar and DreamWorks

  3. HI,
    I know you reviewed this set a year ago but I was wondering if you felt that is was a complete lesson on each topic or simply a outline that you had to fill in? Also, how many weeks do you feel each unit would cover? Would it be one week per historical event or more ( i am assuming they leave room for some flexibility?)
    Thanks for your time.

    1. Learn Our History is a DVD series. It’s something you would watch to supplement something you were already studying or to introduce a topic.

  4. The quality is not the best and the promotion on free DVD is a trick to subscribe you without promoting SO BE CAREFUL they will charge you again when they send you another DVD without requesting you. If you want to get the “free” DVD call and cancel if you don’t want any surprises!

  5. Hi Kris, I just found these as well, via the offer to sign up, etc. etc. How do you think they measure up to presenting true and accurate history? As in NOT the liberal, pc, white-washed versions we have all been subjected to ourselves over the past 40+ years? I want something for my 9 yr old son that shows the TRUTH – regardless of how messy, politically incorrect it may be.

    1. It was my opinion that they presented history in a true light. Of course, I’ve heard the politically correct version most of my life, so I could be wrong.

    1. I really don’t know. I would think that they would have a list of their current titles on the company’s website.

  6. I was not aware either that they would give you the first DVD for free & $4.95 shipping & then start sending me DVD’s each month & charging my account $16.95. It is pretty sorry if you ask me because this is supposed to be Christian based! I am very upset with the way they have done because it is almost like scamming! Sad!!!

    1. Actually, they do tell you up front about receiving one each month. Folks just don’t take the time to read everything over, then blame others for what they don’t know. Typical! Also, the folks in customer service are very easy to get in touch with, and they are extremely friendly and helpful. Maybe you should call them, instead of just fussing about it on a blog review, lol! I’m pretty sure your complaints are moot on here.

      1. I agree, this is a scam. They say you can cancel at any time but they do not respond to emails and they do not answer their phones. I have been trying to cancel for months with no luck. Yes, they make it clear that they will send them and charge you monthly bur once you’re in apparently it’s impossible to get out.

  7. I have purchased many of the Learn Our History DVD’s. I’m going to use them to supplement Notgrass America the Beautiful History for a co-op this fall. I agree, the animation/graphics are actually horrible given the technology that’s available today. I think these would be hand me down valuable for years to come had that been done better, as it is someone WILL come along soon with a much better quality product. I do however agree that the CONTENT is rich, understandable and memorable for youth. Also, each DVD has access to online study content such as a timeline, discussion questions and written information on the main characters/time/places of the unit. I find these very helpful and will allow me to guide discussions.

  8. I am a mom of 4 and a Democrat. I have already got 3 DVDs in this series and my kids love it. My kids range from 6 to 12. They learn history in a fun way. It is not too long so that is also good. It is a good way to use modern technology to educate our kids. It does not profess any particular doctrine.

  9. I don’t comment very often, but there are certainly some misunderstandings of the business practices noted here.

    With regards to this being a scam. It’s not. If you read the agreement policy before choosing to order the initial free DVD, it states very clearly what the terms of receiving future editions are.

    Most businesses and organizations actually need to generate revenue to stay in business, You are not a victim.

    If however you cannot manage cancelling your subscription after you receive your free materials, than it would be prudent and fair to recognize that as something about yourself, and not a flaw of the organization.

  10. I am a professional artist, and I honestly don’t find the graphics disturbing, as my young children enjoy trotro among other poorly animated videos, immensely. What made these unwatchable for us is the gross immodesty of the young ladies’ outfits. While American teens may dress immodestly, this is not what I want my girls to see in the sanctuary of our home where we strive to be modest and separate from the world.

  11. We just received our first video and soon to receive our second. My kids enjoyed it (6th grade) and the graphics did not bother them a bit. They are avid video game kids like most too. I appreciated how they did not focus on any one particular religion but on how religion was important tour founders and how it was part of their decision making process. Also, there are lesson plans on the website that I noticed no one mentioned. There are discussion questions, glossary, timelines, and a multiple choice quiz and those are very well done. Additionally, once you are charged for the next video, that video is available to you online. I have only received one, can watch the 2d online, but I think so far they are a winner.

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