Over our years of homeschooling, I have tried different curricula for history. One factor was a common thread….books. Well written, engaging books that cause my child to think, question and learn. Living books. I can remember history in high school. Boring, short snippets about various people and events that shockingly left out so much exciting and relevant information! History is important! Studying history and how God’s hand has moved over the course of time is so crucial to teach to our children.
We had reached a point in our homeschool where we had finished up a year of study with a curriculum. I was really torn on moving forward with it for another year. After much thought and prayer, I decided I would create my own course of study for history. And then I had the opportunity to review TruthQuest History. God’s timing is perfect,yes? I was thrilled to choose the Age of Revolution II guide. It was almost exactly where we need to pick up in history!
Age of Revolution II 1800-1865
Taken from the TruthQuest Website:
TruthQuest History is a deep and rich literature-based history study…but with a difference. You will not learn the story of mankind; you will learn the lovestory of mankind. You will not focus on the rise and fall of human civilizations; you will focus on the arrow-straight line of God’s unchanging existence, power, love, truth, and plan for civilization. You will not simply ‘meet the culture’ or ‘get the facts;’ you will probe the truths of history so deeply that your students will be equipped to change their world!
The Age of Revolution II might be mistaken for a lovely booklist but that would be such a disservice to this resource! In this guide, this period of time is divided by significant events and important people. For each section commentary is given to help the student (teacher) pull the previous studies in line with what is up ahead, to offer reminders to see and think about how God’s hand is moving and what that means for that time and for now. ThinkWrite questions are offered with each major section and can serve as great “writing prompts” for the student or a starting point for some in depth family discussions.
Family discussions are an important part of what I desire our day to hold. With children ranging in ages from baby to teenager, I love having the ability to bring us all together and to share in our studies. While that doesn’t work so well in math, it is attainable with history! The Age of Revolution II guide is designed for grades 5-12. However, book suggestions are included for the elementary years. (If your family just has younger learners right now, TruthQuest has American History guides just for them.) While my older daughter may be reading How Should We Then Live and my little ones are cuddled up with a picture book, we are all learning and studying the same part of history. It can make for lively discussion around the dinner table. Maybe more like a race to see who can tell daddy the most information first!
In the Age to Revolution II and other guides, several types of books are suggested. Spine books that provide a steady course as you travel through history. More in-depth, focused books on a particular person or events and even subtopics are provided. Mrs. Miller also includes activity books and movies when applicable.
I know that some will look at the TruthQuest Guides and think “That will never work for me!” , “Why doesn’t it come with a schedule?” or “I can’t buy all those books!” It can seem overwhelming at first glance. Take a deep breath. Here is how I make it work for me:
For me. Very important words. What I enjoy doing is reading a core or spine book aloud to everyone. We are a read aloud family so this flows along with how we spend our time. While I’m read aloud they may be drawing pictures, writing, building with Legos or knitting. I learned early on that if you keep the hands busy, the mind stays engaged so well. Once I’m done with our read aloud, the independent readers will have their reading assignments and can go about their day. Throughout the day I can sit with my younger ones and share some picture books on our topic or person so they are learning as well. (It is not surprising to catch my older ones listening in or reading the picture books on their own. There are some fabulous picture books!)
To enhance our reading, I have the children do other activities as well. I assign them to pick a person or event to write about that week. We may use the Think Write for the writing assignment or just discussion. Some will just narrate to me what they have read or draw a picture of something that they found interesting. It is sometimes helpful to have the older ones search Scripture for issues we see occurring in history.
A schedule/lesson plan isn’t provided so we move at our own pace and I don’t have to feel guilty for spending two weeks studying Madison and only a few days on Lincoln. I love having flexibility with our learning. It is one of the beauties in homeschooling! as we work through the guide I don’t even attempt to utilize all the books suggested. I am a faithful patron of our local library. While I sometimes can’t find as many books as I desired or just the one I wanted, I usually find just what we need. There is no way our budget would allow for purchasing a huge bundle of books and it has not been an issue with Age of Revolution II.
Key Thoughts on Why TruthQuest May or May Not Be For You:
*Christian Perspective - this curricula is written clearly from a strong Christian perspective. The purpose behind TruthQuest is to see how God’s hand has moved through History.
*Learning is mainly through living books. By reading a through living books, we learn so much. You can choose to incorporate other methods such as notebooking, geography, timelines, writing, etc but at the core, TruthQuest is about using literature to bring about understanding.
*No Schedule or Lesson Plan. If you like to check off little boxes you will have to make your own. While TruthQuest.com offers suggestions on how to “plan out” a guide, it is completely up to the discretion of each family how they work through the guide and how long it takes.
*Conversational Commentary. Throughout the Age of Revolution II guide, Mrs. Miller’s commentary may come across as “too relaxed” or “simplified”. She is writing to the student and she is aiming it at various grade levels. I don’t care for books that “dumb down” the information for children. By no means, do I think Mrs. Miller has over simplified the information. It is just in a more casual tone. At times, I may chose to summarize it in my own words.
*Supports/encourages family learning. While you could definitely keep your children separate and learning on their own cycle of history, TruthQuest is definitely a curriculum that can work for a wide variety of ages and learning abilities. If you are looking to study history as a family, then check out TruthQuest.
Age of Revolution II is available in two formats.
Print copy - $29.95
PDF copy – $24.95
Interested? Take a look at a sample lesson, table of contents and spine information. Be sure to check out FAQ , How to Choose and Families Share for some great information on using TruthQuest.
TOS Crew members reviewed various guides. So if Age of Revolution II (1800-1865) isn’t the guide you need, check out what others are using!
Disclaimer: As a meber of TOS Review crew, I received a complimentary PDF copy of this product for the purpose of review. No compensation was made. The opinion/thoughts expressed in this post are my own.