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Homeworks Guide to the History of Canada, The Review by Heidi Shaw

Pioneers and Patriots - Canadian History with a Difference
The Homeworks Guide to The Story of Canada
Vince Marquis

A Christian study of Canadian history for the middle and high school grades, these programs have proven invaluable to me. Having grown up in Canada, I fell victim to the all to common multicultural 'melting pot' mentality. I never knew what it was to BE Canadian until I married an immigrated American who knew more about my country than I did. Vince and the Homeworks have helped me to guarantee that my children won't have the same misconceptions that I did.

Pioneers and Patriots is one in a series of guides written to expose and inspire kids to the beauty and potential of this great country. Unapologetically Christian, Vince takes middle school students on an overview of both the history and geography of Canada as a whole; from our roots as an extension of European Judeo Christian civilization to the multicultural diverse nation we are today.

The guide is extremely user friendly and incorporates two main texts as well as suggesting many supplementary reads as you travel through. You will alternate lesson by lesson between history and geography, keeping things interesting, and varied. The main required texts are 'My First History of Canada', ed. by Rudy Krause and 'Canada, It's Land and Peoples' (2nd edition). The guide does a great job of introducing Canadian History and gives a good overview of the vastly diverse geographic regions across our country. Lessons alternate, as I mentioned, and each lesson has new vocabulary and questions to answer. There are also supplementary activities and novel suggestions for each place or time period. You will enjoy meeting favorite characters such as Leif the Lucky and investigating where the first nations lived. You will meet and enjoy real characters from our very colorful history, and begin to get an understanding of the weave that makes Canada what it is. I found that this guide helped steer me through the many books available and focus on the best for our family. Vince's guide helped make our journey across Canada cohesive and logical rather than jumping all around with our studies. Using My First History of Canada is such a great idea because it is a real 'living' book, not a dry textbook; it reads like a good novel and holds the children's attention effortlessly. As you progress through the guide, you can gather all your work together into one place and have a great notebook at the end of it.

Although Canada It's Land and People is a textbook, Vince has written lessons that not only make the text manageable, but really enjoyable. I was impressed with the vocabulary suggestions and the investigation ideas were very well done. I learned things about my own area of the country that were new to me.

I also appreciate how Vince has incorporated Biblical principles into his lessons so we can see correlations between historical choices and Biblical truths, and what happens when a people doesn't heed wisdom. Notes about topics like fiscal management of our government in the light of scriptures instruction on lending and borrowing were real eye openers for my children and myself.

Altogether, a great guide for middle grades to study through Canada with. Historically and geographically, you will have your bases covered with this great book. I should mention that you can purchase study kits for this guide that include the necessary texts as well as some of the novels and and activity books referred to throughout. Check out the website or email the Marquis' for more information. These kits should be extremely helpful for Canadians living out of the country who are desiring to educate their children on our history.

The second volume in the series is the HomeWorks Guide to the Story of Canada. Written for junior high and up, this guide is a great way to study through an essential book. The Story of Canada has become 'required reading' in most home schools across the country simply because it is an excellent, readable survey of Canadian history. With his guide, Vince has made the contents even more accessible and also sheds the very important Christian(or not) light on the behaviors of men and women as they molded our country into what it is today.Written as a chapter by chapter guide, Vince has written intriguing commentaries for each chapter and included both discussion and essay questions along with expansion activities that will encourage students to delve deeper into the historical period covered in the chapter. Map work is also provided and lots of supplementary reading suggestions to fill in any empty moments, and to enrich the students understanding of each snapshot in history. Running from the Vikings and First Nations all the way to the 20th century, this guide is all you will need to complete a thorough study of our history. This guide and book provided us with much more useable content than my daughter received when she went to the public school for a year. Even now, in college history, she remembers and refers to discussions we had that came out of Vince's guide. And with the indispensable focus on God's sovereignty and hand on our country, the Homeworks guide is just exactly what home schoolers across the nation have been looking for. I highly, highly recommend this book for any and all, Canadian or not, who have an interest in or desire to learn about Canadian history with a Godly perspective. Again, check out the web site for supplementary books along with all the other treats the Homeworks has to offer. Enjoy!

--Product Review by: Heidi Shaw, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine