History is something that is so very important. But we have to understand it properly; we also need to consider the worldview with which the information is being presented. Our children need to see how it is all connected; when they see how it all comes together, I do believe that is when we really begin to learn and love history. Needless to say, I was more than happy to review Year 3 U.S. History, Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum with my three older children.This is an amazing, slightly overwhelming, program to help our children understand for themselves, the history of our great nation. After all, as someone once said, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I think of how God tells His people over and over again about the value of telling others of God’s goodness; we must testify of His great works so that others know and believe and walk in a greater faith. We received Year Three Materials, along with The Chain of Liberty (and study guide) for our family to enjoy.We need to be taught the principles of liberty. Truthfully, when I think back to my education, what I learned of American history, there isn’t much. And it certainly wasn’t taught from a Biblical perspective.This program has four levels of study and 26 weeks of lessons. This curriculum was designed for teaching one or multiple students ranging in age from K-5 through 12th grade. I especially love how the material is presented in a way that encourages our children to engaged and to think biblically, reasoning for themselves as they go along because if learning doesn’t transform us, have we really been learning?Each of my older children received a student book, for their level of learning, so we received levels one through three.
- Level One- Kindergarten thru Third Grade
- Level Two- Fourth thru Sixth Grade
- Level Three- Seventh thru Ninth Grade
- Level Four- Tenth thru Twelfth Grade
All of the books are spiral bound (this made things tricky for my lefties) but they are full of very clearly laid out plans for each week. I was thrilled to see that all three levels my children were working in were very similar in content. Each week involved specific videos on YouTube (not my favorite location for viewing honestly) along with a Scripture, Principle, and Leading Idea. In the Level 1 book my daughter had to fill in the blanks to complete the lessons for the week, while my older two boys had to write them out each week. We also had word studies to complete each week (so glad I still have that old 1828 Webster’s Dictionary); this consisted of writing out a definition both as recorded and as understood. For my older boys they also would record the word related to their life. I like that. Honestly, I never thought about that before but I think it helps us better own and understand things when we can relate them to our own life.Do men have a right to think for themselves? As we read The Chain of Liberty, together as a family, we explored the concept of liberty. We read and discussed what it means to thrive and what sort of things help the individual and the nation, to thrive. We also spent time in the accompanying study guide where, after reading each chapter, we answered questions to ensure that there was understanding. Some of these explored words that were “new” to us while others encouraged us to explore our understanding of the purpose of the law. To consider problems and solutions that we see in these days and times. Defining words such as equality; searching for ourselves the purpose of the creation of public schools (that’s a good one since my oldest has begun to desire a public education). This touches on so many things that perhaps we are unsure, or leery, of introducing to our children. Socialism, humanism, evolution, existentialism – Some of these, do we even know where or how to begin? These are topics that are very well discussed, briefly, within the pages of the book in a way that encourages us to see if and how these fit into liberty and prosperity.This does an amazing job of covering the history of America, from the very foundation to the Civil War.One thing I have found in so many history materials, is that we tend to dive right in. There is no exploring history itself; what it really means for something to be “history.” This program (I love it) records history as: ” The record of God working in the lives of men and nations.” I have never loved a definition so much. Truly, this is what history is. It is a testimony of God’s hand at work among us. From the beginning of time, to this very moment (okay, maybe a moment that already occurred). For our children to see and understand God in all of this – I sometimes feel like God and history are together but separate. We need to know for ourselves that one cannot be without the other. And there is such value in seeing how it all is woven together; one event and one person inspiring and pioneering the way. What if every one of us, our life, is paving the way for another?We are really enjoying our journey through the history of America; so many amazing resources. Recommended books and videos (we saw Pocahontas and my daughter instantly connected that with this!) that have really brought these events to life for all of my children. As Bible Quizzers the weekly scriptures were fun (so many my kids already knew and recognized – how’s that for exciting!) and the principles and leading ideas really help them to focus on something more. God prepares every one of us for a good work, which we were created for. We need eyes that see His work in the lives of the many men and women who were a part of these big and small events, that made America a place of liberty. That fought for and stood for liberty and freedom. Even more, we need to know what it means historically and for our own lives. I think of the value of ownership; when we claim this as our own, isn’t it that much more valuable? It is cared for, treasured. So should our history be and God gives wisdom and understanding that we can know and see His hand, and His work, in every part of it. I am constantly reminded, He has a plan, He is always in control. We can see that though the studies we do in these books. Our younger ones have a foundation being built; our older ones strengthen their foundation and then, dig a bit deeper. Exploring specific individuals and events (there are suggested topics broken down so nicely to help our older kids get started) so that we can see and learn from them ourselves.I do wish we would have started with the very first set of books in this series because I had no idea this was going to be so involved, so thorough and so exciting! This is one of those materials that I truly have to say is a blessing from the Lord. All of my children have enjoyed some aspect of it; I believe growing in them a desire and a love for a deeper understanding of the Bible and history itself. My girls love to color and draw and the maps and coloring pages within the lower level materials were something they really enjoyed. I am a big fan of history, especially when it can be alive and personal; this is one of those materials I cannot say enough about! I do believe it is lighting a fire within all of my children for understanding and seeking to know the way we have been and the way we should go. History should inspire and excite us. We should see these men and women, these life changing events, as a part of our own story. For awhile now I have sought out something that would do more; that would draw my children in and also be a bit easier for momma to manage; there is definitely plenty of inspiration and wisdom to be found within these books. For young and old, let us build, with our children, on the solid foundation that is Christ – who never changes – bringing His wisdom to hearts and minds that are transformed and renewed daily, for Him.
Be sure to read other Crew’s reviews on other years and levels of study:
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