Friday, April 3, 2009

TruthQuest History~ American History for Young Students III

TruthQuest History~ What's that???

A QUEST for TRUTH in the study of history?
How does one find TRUTH in the past?

The typical frame of mind and worldview that public/secular schooling presents is that history is just events, and the dates, places and people related to those events. Michelle Miller would like to take that view of history and turn it on its head! She has put together a history program framework that looks at the BIG PICTURE using "binocular" lenses that focus on two "Big Beliefs" or main questions. Your answers to those two questions will color everything that you think and believe about the past, present and future, and indeed will shape the "history" of YOUR life.

The two Big Beliefs have been around for millenia~
Who is God?
Who is Man?

You will find, succinctly distilled, that a secular worldview and a Judeo-Christian worldview will see history through very different-colored lenses.
  • The secular worldview will see events as being orchestrated solely by man, because in the secular worldview, MAN is the driving force on earth.
  • The Judeo-Christian worldview sees God as the driving, indeed the CREATING force on the Earth, and that the study of history is actually the study of HIS-Story.

Understanding a little more about the philosophy of TruthQuest, let me give you a bit more detail about the program that I received for review. I asked for any one of the three American History Volumes for Young Students (Best for grades 1-5), and was sent Volume III, which covers the years of Reconstruction following the Civil War (1865) to pretty much the present (2000).

The introduction is written directly to the student, and each segment has a "Commentary" (written in bold type) written directly to the student. The bulk of the pages, however, are lists of books with age recommendations and some comments, depending on whether Michelle has personally read the books or not. (In this updated volume, she included current books that she hasn't read, at the request of many parents, so it is wise to pre-read most selections if you are assigning independent reading. Otherwise you can just edit as needed while reading.)

So... the concept is to read the commentary, which poses a question, or creates an inquiring thought process, and only then proceed to reading the literature recommended. Michelle has listed EVER so many books, that you are not likely to be able to read even half of them. She has given this plethora of choices so that you will have better success in finding books at the library that apply to each era. The books are rated according to independent reading level (Not read-aloud level).

This is a slightly different approach than I have used in the past. The other histories that we have done have had fairly closely scripted teacher's manuals, or at the very least, questions and topics to discuss. In TruthQuest, the topics to discuss tend to be indirectly referenced in the commentary, and it is up to you and your students to add them to your reading. An interesting way to help create curious, questioning, thoughtful children. I found TruthQuest for Young Students to be a great resource of historically arranged living books, that can be used as a framework for your chronological study of history, OR as a resource for you to pull reading selections from for whatever portion of history you are currently studying. Those applying a Charlotte Mason, Classical or Unit study approach will be most comfortable using these guides.

For more reviews, and particularly reviews of some of the older study guides(for 5-12th grade), which I understand include commentary of much greater depth, as well as deeper topics in general, be sure to check out the TOS Crew Reviews

The guides available for Young Students, Grades 1-5 are:
American Hist I (Exploration - 1800) ($24.95)
American Hist II (1800-1865) ($24.95)
American Hist III (1865-2000) ($29.95)

The Guides available for Older Students, Grades 5-12 are:
Ancient Egypt/Ancient Greece ($24.95)
Ancient Rome ($24.95)
Middle Ages (500-1400) ($24.95)
Renaissance Reformation Exploration (1400-1600) ($24.95)
Age of Revolution 1 (1600-1800) ($29.95)
Age of Revolution II (1800-1865) ($29.95)
Age of Revolution III (1865-2000) ($34.95)

If you click through to any of these pages you will be able to download the applicable table of contents, and a sample section of the guide to peruse and see if this will be a resource that you would like to use.

Let me know what you think!

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