And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Battles, Biographies, and Bible Verses #homeschoolhistory

Last year we got to review a really awesome history curriculum from Character Concepts. They were kind enough to send us the other set in that history series to review now! America's Struggle to Become a Nation: Understanding the Foundations of Freedom by Rick and Marilyn Boyer is an American history course for students in 4th- 6th grades. Speedy really enjoyed going through the whole Fight for Freedom curriculum last year and is thrilled to have this second dose of "History for Patriots". He was even willing to take a picture (which is RARE these days!).

America's Struggle to Become a Nation is a 384 page student textbook. There are 34 weeks of lessons included. The beginning of the workbook offers suggestions for a 4 or 5 day work schedule. Speedy works on history 4 days per week. Each weekly chapter is about 10 pages. Those pages include the main text as well as loads of colorful pictures with descriptions. There are also little extra boxes of information that are pertinent to the lesson. Sometimes, there is a mini-biography or a Bible verse highlighted in those boxes. Often, historic quotes are included in a sidebar. In additon to those extras, there are special blue boxes for "Storytime with Uncle Rick". The lessons take the student from the reasons for the War of Independence through the various events and battles in the war all the way to the signing of the Constitution. This textbook will give the elementary student a firm understanding of early American history. In a time when our Patriotism is under attack, I think it's more important than ever for my kids to learn how the American government began and why. The appendix section gives the student a chance to read The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, Washington's Inaugural Address of 1796, and Washington's Farewell Address of 1796.

The student textbook alone is full of rich history and lessons. To enrich those lessons, the teacher's guide provides weekly questions and projects. The suggested weekly schedules are included in the front and are followed by a worksheet with projects for each week. The projects range from something simple like a journal entry to research projects to designing a poster or newspaper page. There are 4 quizzes in this book as well to test knowledge retention from the lessons. There's even a bonus quiz! This teacher's guide gives permission to make up to 10 copies of each page. Since I only have 1 student and we won't be reusing this curriculum, I allow him to write his answers in my teacher's guide. It includes an answer key in the back as well as its own appendix of extras like Patriotic Song Lyrics and a timeline. Speedy misses the audio files that were included with The Fight for Freedom but Uncle Rick does offer an audio club for an additional fee.

As I said, Speedy works on this 4 days a week. That means he reads a few pages and answers 3-4 questions per day. On Thursdays, he finishes up anything left for the week and works on the project(s). He has become quite the history buff and America's Struggle to Become a Nation is one of his favorite activities each school day. He's very interested in the military and learning the specifics of many of the battles of the war against England along with the biographies of many historical heroes is perfect for him.

I really like this history curriculum because it is all inclusive. Everything he needs to complete his daily work is right there for him, and he can do it independently! He reads the schedule and completes the work on his own. I just grade it once per week and make sure he's staying on track. While I received this set for free for review, the price is so reasonable! Currently the student textbook and teacher's manual can be purchased for under $50. If you sign up for the Character Concepts emails, they often have sales with a percentage off and/ or free shipping.

If you are looking for a history curriculum with a Christian approach for your older elementary student, I highly recommend America's Struggle to Become a Nation or Fight for Freedom. Be sure to check out all the other great products that Character Concepts offers!

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