American Heritage - A Great Curriculum at a Great Price!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I have mentioned before how much I love history and teaching history. I must admit, however, that when I saw that we would be receiving the American Heritage CD: America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty, I was not excited. I had already downloaded their curriculum years ago, and couldn't recall getting a lot out of it. In fact, I never used it. But, I gave it the old college try and, when, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free CD from American Heritage to try out and review on my blog. I opened it, previewed it once again and really liked it. I was thinking about something for Joshua, but after looking it over, decided that it was something that John Allen might actually benefit from. Especially since he is studying American History right now.
According to the CD America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty was:
Developed and provided by:
The Houston Independent School District
in cooperation with
The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.
They go on to say that:
Teachers are provided these resources as a supplement to school resources as they
deliver instruction focused on developing an understanding and teaching of our
nation's factual and philosophical heritage to promote Freedom, Unity, Progress, and
Responsibility among our students and citizens. (Emphasis mine)
The American Heritage curriculum focuses on our American history by dividing historical events into four themes which I emphasized above - Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility. They teach these themes by using games, puzzles, and, factual historical documents. The topics are divided by age level. The Elementary Edition is for grades k-5, the Middle School Edition is for grades 6-8, and the High School Edition is written for grades 9-12. There are some overlapping topics and some topics that are unique to the age group. Some of the elementary topics include:
- 1776 - The Declaration of Independence - Theme:Freedom
- 1782 - The Great Seal - Theme:Unity
- 1864 - The National Motto - Theme:Progress
The middle school topics include:
- 1776 - Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor - Theme:Freedom
- 1791 - Bill of Rights: Rights and Responsibilities - Theme:Responsibility
- 1776-1791 - Our National Documents - Theme:Progress
Included in the high school topics are:
- 1622 - The Mayflower Compact - Theme:Responsibility
- 1794 - Entrepreneurs in History - Theme:Progress
- 1998 - Religious Expression in Public Schools - Theme:Unity
- 2000 - What is an American? - Theme:Responsibility
So much of history today is what is called "revisionist history". It is rewritten to fit the needs of a specific people group, or of a certain philosophical group. Things are added or taken out in the name of "political correctness". I really like the fact that this curriculum doesn't water down what our country was founded on. The authors weren't afraid to mention that our founder's religious beliefs were behind much of the decisions that they made. Don't let the fact that this curriculum was written for a public school system fool you. This is no typical public school curriculum. It is very diplomatic in it's teaching, but overall tells it like it is. It is great for homeschooling, and I could see a public school parent using this to supplement what their child is learning in school. I'm definitely going to continue using it with my kids.
America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty is very well laid out and written in an easy to use way. And, everything is included on the CD's but the pencils! All you have to do is download and print out what you need for the day. But, do you want to know what the really, really neat thing is about this curriculum? It is totally FREE! Yes, I said free!!!. Their website claims that the curriculum would sell for $150 but they are able to provide it for free because of donations and grants. All you have to do is go to the website to download the entire curriculum. If you would rather have the CD version, they will send that to you totally free as well! Or, you can order the printed binder editions for $19.50 per level. What could be better than that? What have you got to lose? Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to go to the American Heritage website. If you are still not sure, then click here to find out what the other TOS Homeschool Crew members are saying about this curriculum.
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