An Honest Review of History Unboxed “Ancient Israelites”

  I first heard about History Unboxed about six months ago.  I was really excited to try out these subscription kits that delve into the history of other cultures.  We have spent the past several years delving into ancient cultures in our homeschool curriculum.  I was extremely pleased to see a box about the Ancient Israelites.  I searched the internet and there really isn’t anything like it for homeschool.  So, I knew I wanted this to be my first kit.  While I am an affiliate for this company, I really wanted this to be an honest review of the pros and cons to the History Unboxed Ancient Israelites kit. Upon receiving my first box, I found it to be quite plain.  It was a standard cardboard box.  It seemed odd given the price point of the kits at $50 each. Since purchasing, I have additional boxes from History Unboxed that are in much better packaging.  So, I am assuming that they ran out of the nicer boxes.   Each of the kits comes with a brief history of the culture you are learning about as well as fun projects to create, food to try from the culture, or other historically important items to use. In the History Unboxed Ancient Israelites kit it comes with a full-size ram’s horn that is fully functional.  A package of honeycomb to eat, and sculpted clay, olive oil and a wick to create your own oil lamp reproduction.  It also came with some cheesecloth to make your own farmers cheese.  The recipe is included. If your a fan of subscription kits you will want to check out these other posts: Kiwico Eureka Crates Subscription Kits Overview Unboxing Language Subscription Kits The Pros The products in the kit are very high quality.  The ram’s horn is full size and works well.  Honeycomb is an expensive product you wouldn’t find in most adult subscription boxes let alone a childs.  The modeling clay is a name brand product that is easy to use. The projects are very simple.  Your child can complete most of them without much assistance.  This box does require baking in an oven and heating milk on the stove.  But an older child could complete most everything on their own. It’s also worth noting that if you have a child with food allergies, all of the food is individually packaged and sealed. The Cons I’m sorry to say that I have some issues with this particular History Unboxed Ancient Israelites kit.  Not with the quality of it, as I think it’s very nicely put together.  My issue is with the actual history they are telling.  It is very clear that the authors of it are writing biblical narratives.  The two lessons are from the Bible, that of Solomon and David.  I can’t figure out if the writer wants this box to be Christian, Secular or Neutral because it isn’t any of them.  The writer is either trying to write the lesson from a secular perspective or to make both secular and non-secular homeschoolers happy.  I don’t believe it is successful either way. The writing style makes it seem like these are interesting “stories” without any basis in fact.  They make sure to point out the lack of archaeological evidence to support Solomon’s existence more than once.  But they choose to leave out the fact there is archaeological evidence that supports the existence of David and many other biblical records.  It feels as though the author is purposefully trying to make the Bible seem fictional, all the while only using the Bible as its narrative for the entire unit study.   The writers would be more successful by adjusting this unit study to completely factual information and making it a secular curriculum that could be tailored by Christian families, or they need to make it a Christian curriculum.   My Thoughts I found the entire lesson rather off putting.  I did not feel that this information would suit Christians as they would not take kindly to being made to feel that their beliefs are a nice made up “story”.  But, as the entire historical lesson was based in bible theology, I also do not think that a lot of secular homeschooling families would enjoy it either.  There may be a few that don’t mind either way and would enjoy the fun of the experience.  But I found more than once I ended up skipping portions of the lesson that I found didn’t resonate with me. Also, I think it’s worth noting that the ram’s horn is very, very loud.  If you have a child with sensory issues like I do.  It will not be liked.  However, I do think the average kid will enjoy blasting it as much as they can through your home.  So be prepared!  You’ll want to take it outside. Would I buy this Again? Okay, so while I would definitely not purchase this History Unboxed Ancient Israelites box again, I did think that the quality of the materials in the box was well worth their cost.  If I had to purchase the items myself and curate it on my own, it would be about the same price.  So, it’s definitely a good investment.  If you don’t mind having to adjust the information to suit your family’s particular religious views, then I think you will find good value in this box. I actually have several other boxes from History Unboxed that I will be reviewing from them in the future.  I was able to pick them up at a local store near me for a steal!   I’m very excited to see what else this company has to offer.  So, I’ll keep you posted as to how these stack up against this one.  

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