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World History 1 Ancients through the Renaissance and Reformation Review by Lisa Keva

Dana Wilson
Train Up a Child Publishing

Understanding where humanity comes from, what went right and what went wrong, is paramount to being a productive and responsible leader for the future.  Train Up a Child Publishing does just that with their World History 1 Ancients through the Renaissance and Reformation curriculum.

“This course has been designed not to help students learn the dates of the major wars or the names of the Chinese dynasties.  Nor is our purpose to spoon feed students the opinions of others.  Rather, we encourage high school students to personally wrestle with past events and personalities and learn to see the positives and the negatives of decisions made and actions taken; and even more importantly, to understand the impact of those decisions and actions upon others.  By examination and analysis of past leaders, we hope students will ultimately formulate a person picture of effect leadership for themselves.”  World History 1 Teacher Guide.

It’s no wonder that this course is suggested for Junior and Senior students as it is rigorous in content.  With 3000 pages of living book reading and ample writing, your student will cover Creation through the 1620’s.

Made up of four units which are approximately nine weeks of study. The topics include:

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Middle Ages
Renaissance and Reformation

These time periods are studied with a variety of timelines, notebooking, mini research topics, mapwork, and ideal leader activities.

The Teacher’s Guide contains teaching helps to make grading this course easier.  These include an extensive section on how to evaluate writing assignments, oral presentations, and even Socratic discussions.  As a parent, I always found the discussion question answers to be a plus as this goes far in making the parent the part of the discussion without having to actually read all the pages of material.    As far as from a mom’s perspective I really liked how the book list section is put together.  At a glance, it’s easy to identify the book, the reading level and the amount of pages you’ll be reading.  As a bonus, many of the books were available at my local library.

For the Student Book, at the beginning of each unit, there is an overview of the unit time period before the book readings are introduced.   There are good suggestions to augment learning be it writing, oral presentation, or Socratic discussion. Of these assignment choices, some are book specific and some pertain to the general topic or time period of the unit. One thing to note that this curriculum assumes the student has a foundation in writing and is able to write the different types of paragraphs and essays already.

This is a great program for a homeschool high-schooler who loves to write and is good at doing more than filling in the blanks and rote memorization of dates.  It’s a lot to assimilate and your student will do much critical thinking.  For us personally, my Senior enjoyed the material, but had troubles with the writing assignments because he is not writing strong.  So for that type of student, this particular program would need some tweaking.  However, if you’re looking a rigorous, classical, Christian oriented history program for your homeschooler, that is easy to implement, you must check out Ancient History 1 from Train Up a Child Publishing!

-Product review by Lisa Keva, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017