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Around the World in 180 Days Review by Tina RiceSherrie Payne
Apologia Education Ministries
Around the World in 180 Days, A multi-grade guide for the study of World History and Cultures (ATW) by Sherrie Payne is AWESOME! This curriculum consists of a softback teacher book and a set of student pages for a notebook. ATW uses the notebook approach (the 4 R's - research, reason, relate, and record) to study the geography, history, culture and current events of all seven continents. This is not a textbook.
Sherrie Payne writes in the introduction to ATW, "As you begin this history course, it is good to think for a moment about why we should even study the life and history of other countries. For the purpose of this multi-level history study guide, there are two major reasons the author had in mind when developing this course. The first reason is "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us..." (I Cor. 10:32). The second is summed up in the words of Jesus--"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19-20). In other words, as citizens of this country and of this world, and as Christians, we need to be aware of what "things happened" to whom and why so that we can be properly "warned". And by gaining an understanding of another's culture, we can better learn how to share the gospel with any that we encounter as we "go" through life. The more we know and understand, the better our witness will be." If you ever wondered why to study history and geography, this is a very compelling reason to do so.
Students of all ages can use ATW. Students below 3rd grade will most likely need help from parents or older siblings. ATW is appropriate for use in a co-op setting or by an individual family with various aged students. I suggest using the "bus stop" approach and let the little ones do a little work, and thus exit the bus first. Have middle school students do more work and exit the bus later. Expect your high school student to do all the recommended research and reading and they ride the bus the entire trip. While not designed as an all-inclusive course of study for a year, you could add additional reading and writing and make it your total history, geography, Bible, language arts, current events, and art program. Just add grammar and mathematics and you have a full schedule. One word of advice, there is a lot of work involved to finish this course in one year if you want to study each continent in depth. Take a second year to get thoroughly into the material or pare it down a bit to fit into a 'traditional' school year.
The teacher guide includes suggested resources for each continent, teaching suggestions, sample answers to research questions, and suggestions for further research. Suggested resource books include Streams of Civilization by Christian Liberty Press, World Studies for Christian Schools by Bob Jones University Press, and World Geography in Christian Perspective by A Beka Books. Each continent includes a listing of books of interest and readers, and some include missionaries and other people to read about. You will also need a good atlas. Access to the Internet or library will help students research answers to questions found in the student pages.
I think Mrs. Payne has designed a fabulous approach for studying the history and geography of all seven continents. I love history and have never seen a study of Antarctica. I have often wondered when someone would incorporate it into their curriculum. I applaud Mrs. Payne for including it! I highly recommend Around the World in 180 Days! Visit the Apologia Science web page for more information, to view the table of contents, author's notes, and samples from the student workbook.