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America's Heritage: An Experiment in Self-Government Review by Nicole Coffman-Cole(Middle School Edition and High School Edition)
Supplemental Social Studies Curriculum
(Binder full of printed/organized history resources.)
Miracle of America
American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.
3100 Weslayan St., Suite 375
Houston, TX 77027-5731
Multiple studies have been done regarding the education our students are receiving in American History, and the results are less than impressive. They reveal a major lack of knowledge in important United States History and we’ve all heard the sayings about history repeating itself, so we really have some work to do!
The American Heritage Foundation, Inc. is trying to do their part towards that cause. They have created a supplemental social studies curriculum entitled, “America’s Heritage: An Experiment in Self-Government”. There are two volumes. One is geared towards middle school age children and the other is geared towards high school age children. Both of them are actually offered as a free download. Alternately, you can purchase it and they will put it together for you in a binder with divider tabs. (This version is $55.)
The binder version is the one I have had the opportunity to use in my home and I much prefer it to a download. While I love the price of the download (free), it is definitely worth it to me to pay to have someone put it together nicely like this is done. I love how organized it is!
Each of the divider tabs is a unit in the curriculum. It begins with telling you what you will learn in that unit. Then it gives you reading on that information. After that, there is a page labeled, “Check Your Understanding” and it is basically a quiz over the information you have just read. And there are also writing prompts in each unit which stems from the information learned in that unit.
The goal of the curriculum is to teach students the ideals which America was founded upon. It begins with Colonial America and the American Revolution and continues on to teach about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address and more.
In addition to the “Experiment” curriculum binders, you can supplement your child’s learning with a textbook called “The Miracle of America: The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief.” As the title suggest, it teaches about the connection between Bible and our founding ideals. This textbook is not necessary to complete the curriculum, but it expands on what your will be learning and much of what is in the binders comes from this textbook.
I like the information presented in this curriculum. I love the passion behind the company and that they offer this information free of charge (unless you want them to put it together for you in a binder). I do wish it came with a bit more instruction for the teacher. It dives right in to the information without really telling you how to use the information in the binder. That being said, it’s not hard to figure out and you really can use it how you please. I just like to have a bit more instruction as a teacher as to how the company envisions someone using their program.
It seems to be designed as mostly a reading curriculum. There are not a lot of bells and whistles. That is fine for my kids, they don’t like a lot of extra arts and crafts just for the sake of it … they would rather just get to the meat of the program and this curriculum does that nicely. It is not only geared towards the homeschooler, so anyone could use it.
The price seems a bit steep for me since it is only a supplement and I know I would still need to buy another curriculum as well. However, I would be interested in downloading the free resource. If I were to buy it, I would choose the high school curriculum over the middle school curriculum. While both are wonderful, they are very similar. The high school curriculum uses older vocabulary though, to convey the information. In my state, and I think in most states, a student needs a U.S. History credit for high school and this would be a great addition to any curriculum to be able to get that credit.
All in all, this will be a great resource to continue to work through with my children, especially in this election year!
—Product review by Nicole Coffman-Cole, The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016