Sunday, June 19, 2011

History Revealed: Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries Part 1- Introduction

I believe it was my second homeschool convention, fresh off my first year of homeschooling my oldest for Kindergarten. New to homeschooling, I didn't recognize the names of the speakers yet, but I decided to check out a workshop by Diana Waring.

Her enthusiasm for history was contagious and really connected with me. I decided at that time to base our schooling choices on history, moving in chronological order but not worrying about cycling through or any time limit. Our goal would be to love history, to learn about the people, to recognize they were living and breathing, and to see how God worked throughout time. It may have become a cliche but history is His Story and I wanted to view it from that perspective all the way through. Diana Waring sparked a fire in me that hasn't died these twelve or thirteen years later.

Many years after hearing her speak, I discovered she had a history curriculum. After purchasing it, I was left disappointed. I found it to be somewhat confusing and not user friendly. We shelved it and then sold it down the road. When I recently heard it had been redone and reformatted, I checked out the web site and the available samples and became super excited.

The same "flavor" was present. The excitement, the love for history, the integration of His Story, the various activities designed for each learning style to be able to present what they've learned; everything I loved was still there but formatted in a way that was easy to follow and user friendly.

We were coming to the end of the school year and needed something new to keep us going. I wondered if this might not be the right curriculum for us in the fall. I wondered if it was as great as it appeared. I wondered if all of you knew about this newly redone program yet? I wondered if they'd be interested in having it reviewed?

They were.






We received the box, I opened it up, and my heart fell. Ugh. Textbooks. I hate textbooks. This was not what I expected from the website. I began flipping through and reading the text. Much too academic, much too dry...this was not going to work. But I'd promised to work through the first unit with my kids and that's what I was going to do. Whether I liked it or not.

And this is why I love reviewing. Because first impressions are not always correct and sometimes things that look like textbooks are not textbooks. By the end of Unit 1, we all agreed that this was the choice for the fall. My upcoming high school junior asked if he could join us in our history studies next year and I will be placing an order for extra student books soon.

We loved it. And I'm sure you'd like to know why we loved it (and the couple of things we didn't love), in order for you to best determine if you would love it. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of this review, when we get into the nuts and bolts of the program itself!


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