When I went to the NCHE (North Carolinians for Home Education) Conference back in May, I had the privilege of meeting Jim Weiss’ sweet wife, Randy.  I ended up gaining a new CD to review!  So cool.

This post contains links to the sponsor of this review.  As always, I am totally genuine and honest in my comments below.

It was towards the end of the conference, and I had already spent my budgeted amount of money on curriculum for the year, so I was just browsing and passing the time before I was ready to go home that day.  She was manning the Greathall Productions curriculum booth, and I had stopped to talk to her about the various products she had available, particularly the ones of Jim Weiss reading aloud The Story of the World book series, which I have been dying to have for years now.  They’re on my homeschool wish list, and I drool over them every time I see them.  I have the books, but to have the CD’s of the great Jim Weiss reading them aloud… my kids would be fortunate (for now they have to hear me reading books aloud… all. the. time…).

Anyway, who is Jim Weiss?  Well, he’s only the most entertaining storyteller I’ve heard!  He has recorded 48 storytelling recordings of quality, classical literature.  He has won over 100 awards for his work.  He travels all over to give popular speeches, storytelling performances, and workshops.

As I talked Jim Weiss’ wife Randy, I browsed all the popular storyteller’s versions of various books and history lessons on CD.  There were so many resources to choose from.  I tried to remember what I plan to teach this upcoming year in our history lessons, which is going to be mainly American history.  So I began looking at titles that would correspond with our lesson topics.  (On a side note, we participate in our local Classical Conversations homeschool co-op, and this year’s cycle of learning in History and Geography is pertaining to American History).

Then, it dawned on me that I had begun blogging again, and perhaps I could offer a review of one of the products.  I decided to be brave and mentioned my blog.  I’ll admit I was nervous to even ask, but I’m so glad I did.  She was so sweet to let me use one of the CD’s to do my very first product review since I’ve been “back to work!”


So here I go, feeling privileged to now share my little review of Gone West: Bold Adventures of American Explorers and Pioneers.

This CD has been so much fun to listen to.  Laynie (my rising 3rd grader) enjoyed learning about Lewis and Clark, Fulton’s Steamboat, The Oregon Trail, The Louisiana Purchase, Sacagawea, Grizzly Bears, Railroads, and more.  She has now listened to some of them more than once.  She begs for me to buy more CD’s like them, instead of our usual homeschool routine of reading books from the library, she claims she likes Jim Weiss’ voice and reading style better than mine.  Well, I kinda have to agree, honestly!

Jim Weiss’ style makes stories about history so much easier for young children to understand.  I admit that Laynie remembers details from these stories that she wouldn’t have grasped from my own read-alouds of library nonfiction.  I see the value of bringing in a variety of presentation into our homeschool lessons, and these CD’s do the trick.  I highly recommend Jim Weiss’ recordings.  This CD was a breath of fresh air after a full year of the same-old, same-old.  I hope to collect more of his recordings for our future learning.