I’ve always been quite interested in studying history, and for the past several years have been enjoying looking over various history curricula to compare them. I’m always looking for the perfect history course, and have pretty well come to the conclusion that I’ll never find exactly what I’m looking for. I keep looking, though, because it’s interesting to see what people put together. When the opportunity came up to review a course offered by Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum, I decided I would like to check out one of their levels. I chose Year One, Universal History of Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, the first of four years that take students of all ages through the entire scope of world history. I chose this level because one of the first books studied in this level is one that I have been wanting to study with my children, and also because, when I’m comparing history courses, I like to look at the beginning of time.
Universal History starts with Genesis 1. After studying the first 11 chapters of Genesis in some depth, we will move on to studying the ancient civilizations. After studying Abraham, a couple of weeks are devoted to Egypt, and then the main focus is the history of the Old Testament, spending a little time with Babylonia and Persia as they enter Biblical history. A couple of weeks of the history of Greece wrap up the year.
So far, we have gotten through the first four weeks of this course. I requested two of the four levels, so I have Mr. Diligence doing Level Two and Mr. Sweetie and Mr. Imagination doing Level One. Level One is intended for K5-3rd grade. Mr. Sweetie is in 4th grade, but struggles enough with writing that I decided the lower level would be best for him. Level Two is for 4th-6th grade; Mr. Diligence is in 8th grade, but he, too, struggles enough with academics that I thought the lower level would be a better fit for him. (Levels Three and Four are for grades 7-9 and 10-12, respectively; they do the same reading and watch the same YouTube videos as Level Two, but do more in-depth research and writing.) Levels One and Two are quite different, but at the same time they correlate well with each other. For the first three weeks, Level One was a study of the days of creation and the character of God. Meanwhile, in Level Two, Mr. Diligence watched a video on YouTube each week and we began working our way through Ruth Beechick’s Genesis: Finding Our Roots, which I had been wanting to study ever since I borrowed it from a friend a few years ago. In Week Four, we all started studying Noah, and the younger ones are studying In the Days of Noah with me (I make Mr. Diligence sit in on reading that one, too!). One thing Level One includes that the older ones don’t is coloring pictures for nearly every lesson. My boys didn’t want to do them, but Little Miss loved coloring several. She also loved helping to make this poster of the days of Creation. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time, but it’s something that I don’t get done without something pushing for it to happen, like this review.
I have really enjoyed this study, so much so that I plan to go through the rest of the course that we were given. The boys grumble about taking time to do it, but they are learning and enjoying what they learn all the same. One thing we picked up on when we were reading the Book of Adam, from the 2nd-4th chapters of Genesis, was that the tone of the writing is that of an eyewitness. I was reading chapter 2 aloud, and Mr. Intellectual challenged me on what he heard; he was sure I had misread something. When he looked it up in the Bible, however, we were all rather excited as we talked about the rivers of the Garden of Eden. The wording could hardly have been anything other than an eyewitness account—read it for yourself if you’re dubious. Then, of course, as we worked our way through Beechick’s book, we came to that same conclusion.
The videos we have watched so far on Pathway to Liberty’s YouTube channel have been good. The first few didn’t really stand out, but the one we watched for Week Four about Noah and the world that perished, which we watched all together one evening as a family, was absolutely fascinating. The younger children probably didn’t get much out of it, but we stopped it to discuss points with the older ones a couple of times. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes up in the future!
This curriculum is available either as hard copies or digital. I received the digital copies, which means I can print as many as I want for my children. I three-hole punched the paper, then tied the books together with yarn, which is working well.
One part of this course we have done some, but not as much as recommended, is word studies. The recommendation is to choose five words every day to find definitions for from the Webster’s Dictionary 1828. We have done a few, but not that many. We also haven’t done the writing assignments recommended. We could go to a lot more depth with this study. It could easily replace a lot of Language Arts, tying it together with history, which would be great. I just don’t have the energy for that right now!
My conclusion about this history course? So far, it is very good. It looks like the entire year that we were given is going to be great. Looking ahead farther, I would guess that I, personally, would not do well with the slant of the year in which American History is studied; having moved away from the United States I don’t share the same view of US history that it looks like this author has. However, I do greatly appreciate the way she ties history into the Biblical framework. The study we did in Level One about the character of God was absolutely great. I will admit that it was hard to figure out what answers she was wanting for some of the questions; if I hadn’t had the answer key handy for the first three weeks of that level, I would have had no idea how to answer some of the questions.
Be sure to read some of the reviews that other people have written! All four years of this curriculum have been use and reviewed by various families, so there will be a lot of different points-of-view. If you’re looking for a Bible-based history course, this may be one you want to check into.