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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Christian History: Biographies of Faith

Master Books is well known for their Creation based science books.  Now they are offering full curriculum sets for grades 4-12 (and also Pre-K), and individual subject sets.  I recently had an opportunity to use and review the Christian History: Biographies of Faith Curriculum Pack which is part of the 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Set.

In this study, students will study the lives of great US Presidents and Christian reformers to discover their influences, struggles, accomplishments, and how they were transformed by their faith, moral values, and pure courage.  The suggested schedule is to work on this over the course of one year (36 weeks) for 30-45 minutes per day 5 days per week.  The course is recommended for students in grades 7-9 to earn one credit in history.

Christian History: Biographies of Faith Curriculum Pack can be purchased for $75.44 and includes:

Life of John Newton
Life of Washington
Life of Andrew Jackson
Life of John Knox
Life of Luthor
Parent Lesson Planner.

Each of the books are beautiful, hardcover editions.  The Life of Washington is 295 pages long.  It was originally published in 1842 by ASSU and was written by Anna C. Reed, a niece of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  The Life of Andrew Jackson is 395 pages long and is written by John S Jenkins, an American author who wrote historical biographies.  The Life of Luther is 496 pages long and was originally published in 1850 by ASSU.  It is written by Barnas Sears who served in areas of education and pastoral ministries.  The Life of John Knox was originally published by the ASSU in 1833, and is 140 pages long.  The Life of John Newton was originally published in 1831 and is 144 pages long.

The Parent Lesson Planner is a paperback 189 page book with perforated 3 hole punched pages. In it you will find a suggested schedule for completing the course in 36 weeks, worksheets, quizzes, test, and answer keys.  Each of the worksheets contain vocabulary words to define, short answer questions, long answer questions, and activities.  The activities vary and will require some additional research and reading to complete.  The quizzes have vocabulary questions, short answer, and long answer questions and the tests have vocabulary and long answer questions.

I love books.  When I received this set my first thought was how beautiful the books were!  And they really are and will last a long, long time.  At this time in history when textbooks are being rewritten to become politically correct or just better suit those with whatever agenda happens to be on the table, it is important for us to go back and look at history from a different view point.  Even in texts that are well written and historically accurate, we often just get snippets of important historical figures such as what battles they won and what important things happened in their lifetime.  We are not able to see details about their character, morals, fears, courage, or faith. Biographies are a great way to take a deeper look.  Through the course of this curriculum, students will get that deeper look into the lives of some great men who made a big impact on history.  They will see what qualities made them great leaders and will also be examples for them to learn by.  We will see them live their faith and overcome in many difficult circumstances.  And rather than trying to memorize a bunch of dates and places, students will enjoy reading about the lives of these men.  The stories themselves are captivating.

The Parent Lesson Planner is a great tool to guide you in this course.  It is set up for 5 days a week, but that can easily be adjusted according to your needs or your students.  The books were written in the 1800's so the vocabulary is more challenging than modern books (and please don't think I am mentioning that as a negative because I think it is a positive.)  I could easily make adjustments to the schedule to work only 3 days a week.  The worksheets in the PLP will ensure that your child is actively reading.  The questions are thought provoking and require your child to dig deeper to answer.  The vocabulary questions will help improve reading comprehension.  The optional activities are varied and you can pick and choose which ones will suit your child.  Most involve internet research,but there are also things like  mapping and Bible reading. I really like that the quiz and test questions are not multiple choice and require the students to put thought into their answers.  Photocopying is allowed for use within your family which is another big plus for me.  The answer key is in the same booklet as the worksheets, but they can be easily removed and stored in a notebook.

Once again I am greatly impressed with Master Books and their subject sets.  Stop by the website and see the great curriculum offerings that are available.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of these books for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.
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