Cross Seven is a support platform for Claritas Publishing’s Memory Work program. Claritas Publishing’s Memory Work program covers selected facts from all of history, divided into four, year-long cycles. They also teach material from geography, science, math, English grammar, scripture, hymns, and Latin. All of the facts are set into songs to make it easier for students to memorize. While Claritas Publishing makes the audio files available on CDs or flash drives, Cross Seven makes everything available online, and also adds images, videos, quizzes, flashcards, timeline cards, and a parent dashboard. Many families will find the online files more accessible, and maybe more portable. Cross Seven also includes original timeline songs that tie together history, geography, and scripture facts in an abbreviated fashion.
You can subscribe by the month or the year to whichever of the four cycles you need and access files through smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. Instructions are included for watching Cross Seven's material via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, which makes it easier to have the whole family watching and participating in at least some activities at the same time.
While it might be sufficient to listen to only the audio for some files, the videos have the memory content on the screen along with illustrations, animations, or other visual content that will aid student understanding and memory. For example, the science video on types of galaxies shows images of the different types of galaxies while the song plays. This video component might make learning the material easier for some students.
When a student (or parent) logs in, they can see all of the material for that cycle that is to be learned for the entire week for all subjects, or they can click on the subject areas and get to whatever content they wish. Videos for history, science, scripture, and timeline include alternate videos showing hand motions in sign language while the song (for scripture) or content (for timeline) plays in the background. Timeline songs include versions with only the music that might be very useful for practice and review.
Songs are all performed by Beth Fox who has a wonderful voice. She uses a variety of musical styles and instrumental sounds to keep things interesting.
In addition to the memorization material, Cross Seven has many valuable extras that enhance the coursework.
Interactive puzzles and exercises that help reinforce learning are available for all subjects except hymns. The flashcards work within a five-box system (Leitner system) that lets students place flashcards in boxes according the level of mastery. The system then provides periodic review of all flashcards, but with an emphasis on those that need the most review.
Quizzes in various formats check to see if students have mastered the material. These are automatically checked by the computer. However, the quizzes and the parent dashboard will work best on a computer or laptop, so if you want to track or check on student progress, make sure students are logged in on a computer or laptop when they take quizzes. There's also a teacher dashboard for those teaching group classes.
Six types of badges and two types of certificates (all digital) can be earned by students when they score 100% on quizzes.
Fun Links include a link to instructions for "How to Create a Timeline Notebook, a link to recommended reading lists for Claritas Publishing's program. There are also a number of curated links for each week of each cycle that take you to other sites for extra material or activities. For example, the first week of Cycle 2 is titled, “The Beginning of the Dark Ages.” The Fun Links start with a brief Prager University video titled “How Dark Were the Dark Ages?” for history. Science links direct you to a PBS video, “Galaxies, part 1: Crash Course Astronomy #38” and "The Milky Way for Children, Galaxies and Space: Astronomy for Kids" (from FreeSchool).
Math links take students to online skip counting games and instructions for "Storm the Castle" game that requires math skills. One link for English goes to a “Parts of Speech Game,” while a second link goes to a subscription site for “Grammaropolis.” A Latin link takes you to a tutorial video on the present tense. Geography links are to printable outline maps for the continents and their countries and to an online, interactive game about continents and oceans. These links offer an amazing amount of content that might be useful to you.
In addition, Cross Seven has started creating homemade history videos about each week's topics. Videos are available for the entire third cycle and more than half of the fourth cycle. There are just a few completed for the first two cycles.
All of this should be very helpful for busy parents since it helps direct and enhance student learning for Claritas Publishing’s Memory Work program.