Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TruthQuest History


TruthQuest History
was already in my unofficial list of "Top Ten Homeschool Products I Love" (someday I may make it an official list!) and I was completely thrilled to have the opportunity to review their products for TOS Crew. We have been using TruthQuest (or TQ) for the past three years, so this review may be a little different from most, as I share what TQ is and how it's worked well for our family.

TruthQuest is a Christian literature based study guide for history. These guides contain book lists, both fiction and non-fiction, that correlate to the time period being studied. However, TQ is not merely a book list. The heart of TQ is the commentary by Michelle Miller that ties everything together and teaches your children to think and discern as they study historical events.

Michelle teaches the student to ask two questions; Who Is God? and Who Then Is Man? and, using these, to try and discover the worldview of historical figures, authors, artists, etc. When the student can deduct what the person believes about these two things, it helps them to evaluate their actions and writings. I find the commentary to be rich and thought provoking and the reason why I love this program.

The past two years we have all gathered in the living room together, grades 1-12 at this point, while I read the TQ commentary to them. We also usually have a spine book chosen for that year from the list provided and we'll read the sections listed aloud. I then assign independent reading at grade level. One of the nice things about the guides for grades 5-12 is that the author also includes reading suggestions for younger grades. ThinkWrite assignments are sprinkled throughout, which can be used as writing assignments if desired. We usually use them as discussion prompts. This allows me to see how much they are retaining and how well they are processing the information.

Preparation is fairly simple. I usually sit down with the guide and skim through the upcoming weeks. I decide which sections I will focus on and which I will be content with just reading the commentary. I'll hop on my computer and see what the inter-library loan has available from the books listed and if I can't find a certain one, I can choose another based on the topic. Any of the Christian books I want to use, I will purchase ahead of time and keep on my shelf until needed. I often order extra books, outside of the ones I will assign, and fill the book box with them for free reading.


I have used the Renaissance,Reformation,and Age of Exploration through Age of Revolution III guides and found them to be fascinating. This history curriculum also includes the study of scientists, artists, authors, musicians, etc. and I tend to branch out into various topics as we come across them, essentially using TQ as a history based unit study.

I love the fact that it is open ended and flexible. This is a great option for relaxed homeschoolers, as you can make it fit your family and use it however you'd like. I love that you don't have to have certain books, but can pick and choose and even find your own books on the topic. I love that the commentary ties together the literature based learning that I prefer. I love that you can sit down with your kids and teach them how to think and discern and discover what other's worldviews may be and compare them to the Scriptural worldview. To me, these are thinking skills that surpass any mere knowledge of historical dates and names and will last after graduation. I highly recommend TruthQuest for Christian homeschoolers wanting to delve into history from a Christian worldview!

There are currently ten guides available for purchase. For grades 5-12, you can choose from Ancient Egypt/Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance,Reformation and Age of Exploration (1400-1600), Age of Revolution I (1600-1800), Age of Revolution II (1800-1865), and Age of Revolution III (1865-2000). Remember, younger siblings may join in with the older guides, making this a good option for larger families. There are also three guides for grades 1-5. These cover American history and are divided by American History for Young Students I (Exploration-1800), American History for Young Students II (1800-1865), and American History for Young Students III (1865-2000). These range in price from $24.95 to $34.95.

2 comments:

Noel said...

I have just bought this for our history for the next two years. I'm so excited about it!

Lori said...

What levels did you get? I'm not familiar with the younger guides but LOVE the older ones. I hope your family enjoys them as much as we have!

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