History is one of my absolutely favorite subjects and it is also our son Jake's (and Dennis's too) so I was very excited to review the US History curriculum called "Pathway to Liberty History Curriculum" by Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum. We were given the teacher book, the student book, a reading book called "The Chain of Liberty" and "The Chain of Liberty study guide".
Since I am using this with our 8 year old son, we started at the very beginning. First off, I am highly impressed with this curriculum. The author Jayme MacClullough has done a fabulous job of weaving the principles of liberty together from the creation of the world to modern day times. I learned many things about freedom and liberty that I had really never thought of before!
I will say right off the bat, the writing is not simplified and I wondered if it would hold my son's attention. I shouldn't have worried though, he actually begged me to keep reading because he enjoyed it so much! This is deep, meaty stuff and certainly not a fill-in-the-blank set of workbooks. I would say this is exactly what Charlotte Mason had in mind for children to learn history from!
The teacher guide is set up to be very user friendly, as is the student book. You could reuse the teacher guide indefinitely but would need new student books as they are consumable (or you can purchase a digital version that can be reused with your children). One thing I really like about this course is that you can modify it so easily for your age group and it will be super easy to use with multiple age groups at the same time!
I read "The Chain of Liberty" aloud to the boys as part of the program. The study guide has in-depth questions about it and would be really helpful to a parent as well as the older child!
The guides also have extra books that are read along with "The Chain of Liberty". For example, right now we are reading about Captain John Smith and Pocahontus. Its interesting how different the actual story of Pocahontus and John Smith was versus the movie about them!
We used this curriculum as a read-a-loud every morning. I love how it incorporates scripture, so we read the Bible as part of this program also. We did copy-work based on the scriptures it presented or the main theme of that section (such as "if a man does not work, he will not eat"). It also has coloring pages throughout the book that are based on what we are learning. Jake doesn't like to color but was persuaded to since several of them were maps (and he loves maps).
The author presents the idea of liberty as a chain and these events throughout history as "links" in the chain. I hadn't really thought of this concept before, but it makes so much sense! The first link is "creation", then the "dawn of nations", "Moses law", "Church Link", "Reformation Link", "First Colonies Link", "First Constitutional Republics Link", "Expansion and Erosion Link" and the "Restoration Link". We are currently working on the "First Colonies Link".
It really delves into the why and how behind the events in our history and how this has shaped us as a nation. One thing I found interesting was the first colony tried a communism or socialistic system of government and it failed miserably. Only when they instituted personal property and personal responsibility did it begin to thrive! A good lesson for us to consider!
I could go on and on about this program, its really that good! But I encourage you to check it out for yourself. I can guarantee that you will learn just as much as your children with this curriculum and be very interested while you're doing so! Another thing to consider is you can easily use this over and over even with one child (for example, you could redo it again in a few years to go even deeper especially if you are doing this with a younger child).
Check out the other reviewers at the link below!