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TruthQuest History: Middle Ages Review by Nancy K. Baetz

Michelle Miller

Are you in the dark about the 'Dark Ages?' Is your timeline missing a huge section - the middle by any chance? History is not such a mysterious subject when you have a compass to go by. Michelle Miller has created a fabulous resource for those of us who were muddling about in the dark, and the really wonderful thing about this resource is that it brings the light, meaning of course God, into the picture. Of course, that's His rightful place!

This course is for grades 5-12, but right away you find out that younger children can participate. And it's not a cut and dried "do all these things" type of work. At the beginning, Michelle dispels all the worries of parents who aren't sure how to go about it. In her "Notes for Mom" section, she shows us how to leave "regular history" behind, and how to learn real history: "God's initiation and our response."

The Middle Ages, from 500 to 1,400, are also known as the Medieval period. It was almost a millennium's worth of time where Roman governmental beliefs warred against the authority of the God of the Christians. Then with the fall of Rome came darkness (or more of it!) which gave way to renaissance and revival - and on to reformation of the Church which changed the face of the world forever. (The renaissance and reformation periods are covered in depth in her next guide, Renaissance, Reformation, and Age of Exploration, 1400 - 1600.) That is my simplistic view of this time period, but I can guarantee the book will sort out the details for you!

Her description says that this is just one of a series of "Deep, Thorough, Literature-Based Study Guides." What better way to study history than reading real books - real literature? Not just a lot of names and dates, but real stories of real people and the time in which they lived and most importantly, the common thread which holds all things together; the Lord. And it's not just information because included in the study are "ThinkWrite" boxes for each section to get both you and your children to probe deeper into your thoughts and discuss the why's and what-if's.

This is one resource that will bless you Charlotte Mason devotees and Classical homeschoolers alike, not to mention you Unit Study moms and dads out there! You will learn new things about old familiar names such as King Arthur, Charlemagne, Leif Erickson, and Shakespeare and discover new insight in to castles, crusades and gothic cathedrals. The sheer volume of information is amazing - and even more so to me since many of the events described and touched on were not part of my early education!

We in the homeschooling world today are blessed that there are people out there like Michelle Miller, who have taken the time to put together excellent guides like this one. I encourage you to take a look at what she has so painstakingly produced. This is not force-fed textbook boring - it's comprehensive and thought provoking and reads in a fresh, lively way. Who says history has to be boring? Not I; at least not any more. Her material is anything but dry and is dripping with a wealth of information, detailed resources along with commentary to boot! You can find more information about her study guides and more at

-- Product Review by Nancy K. Baetz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2006