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The Story of God's Dealings with England and Wales--Volume 1: Earliest Times to the Tudors Review by Krystin Corneilson

C.A. Eastwood
Ichthus Resources
(available in the U.S. through

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 a Savior.

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.

Product review by Krystin Corneilson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010