The Story of God Dealings with England and Wales, Volume 1,
is a non-traditional history book for grades 4-9 written from a
Protestant viewpoint. The introduction, penned by the author, explains
why the manuscript was written and the philosophy of what is and
is not covered. She cites the ill effects of removing the teaching
of objective history and that students are led to believe it is
men and events that have shaped history rather than God using those
men and events. Mrs. Eastwood has chosen to cover more church history
than is usual in other history books. She intentionally included
things not covered well in other books and left out items that
are thoroughly covered and easily found elsewhere.
In Mrs. Eastwood's philosophizing, she points out that learning
about Romans who watched Christians thrown to the lions or the
conduct of ordinary Germans during Hitler's regime demonstrates
human nature left to its own sinful nature. She said our kids need
to recognize the need for God's restraining hand and that prayer
is critical to keep our countries from reaching that place of complacency.
Finally, the author identifies the underlying evolutionary attitude
in many history textbooks that we humans have progressed from primitive
to modern. She bluntly reminds us that Christians should recognize
that man remains the same in all of history, a sinner in need of
Each of the 12 chapters, appropriate for reading aloud or assigning
as reading homework, is broken up into smaller, digestible sections
and includes illustrations and/or photos. At the end of each chapter
is a listing of things to do, where to get more information, and
a one- to three-page worksheet of review questions. Some chapters
also include map work. A free downloadable answer booklet for the
worksheets is available online.
The era covered starts in Genesis, with God creating the earth.
It moves on with Noah, the Flood, and the ancient Britons. The
Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and Plantagenets are next, followed
by the Reformation. Lastly, the time periods of the Lancastrians
and Tudors are covered.
Although limited to two countries, this book would be a good start
for someone interested in British history or in serving as a missionary
in Britain. It would also work as a study in church history or
perhaps a resource for someone with British genealogy. The book
could be used for a single student or for several. as the worksheets
and maps are reproducible. Although not specified, I assume that
this book could be done in one semester or could be supplemented
to last a whole year. The second volume, which covers the Stuarts
to Elizabeth II, is also available from Ichthus Resources.
Pros: It is refreshing to find an interesting history
book rich in its recognition of God's influence and handiwork.
The writing is colorful and engaging, and the tidbits are wonderful.
Cons: This book is limited to the history of Wales and
England only, so for a complete study of British history, you would
need to cover Scotland and Ireland separately. It also seems pricey
($25) for the soft-cover, spiral-bound edition.
The Story of God Dealings doesn't fit neatly into a
typical homeschool schedule. However, because we have the flexibility
to tailor our children's experiences and classes around their interests
and ambitions, it is great to know that a valuable resource like
this one exists.