Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TOS Crew: TruthQuest History

I was excited to have the opportunity to review the new TruthQuest Beginning. I've been happy to recommend TruthQuest to friends and fellow homeschoolers since I first became acquainted with their History Guides in 2005.

I had received the Middle Ages History Guide for review, and I took it over to a friend's house, as she was interested in booklists. We looked the guide over together, taking turns reading aloud from the introductory section where the author explained her approach to history: based on the foundation of Who is God? and Who is man? and why these questions are important.

Beginnings, as all the TruthQuest guides, is formatted after the same manner. An introductory section explains how to use the guides in your history studies. The author gives a list of "spines" to choose from (see the list for Beginnings here) -- using one of these books gives structure to your study, a skeleton as it were, to flesh out with further reading from interesting books, both non-fiction and fact-based historical fiction along with activity books and other resources such as related videos.

This is not just a glorified booklist. The author breaks up history into chunks, based on time and place, and offers an introduction to each section, with sort of a tour guide flavor that gives you the highlights (while reminding you of the foundational questions), with a breezy, conversational tone. I must admit, I was a little taken aback at the casual tone of the section titles, but don't be fooled -- there's meat to be found in the analysis that follows.

The author offers comments on the books listed, either her own experience, or what she's heard about a book she hasn't used herself. She provides guidance on sections to read, if only a section applies to the current time period under consideration, and sometimes offers caveats about the suitability of material, to allow parents to preview and/or edit the information for their students. Suggested grade levels are also provided for each book listed. Beginnings is versatile, providing resource suggestions for grades K-12, although the emphasis is on middle- and high-school studies.

Writing prompts are provided at intervals through the guide. (Beginnings has seven of these.) These are suited to further research, to essay writing, and intended to have the students integrate what they've been learning and synthesize the knowledge by considering and communicating their conclusions.

You can see the TruthQuest Beginnings Table of Contents at this link, and read a sample section of the guide here.

You could use TruthQuest guides to supplement your history study, but really, there's plenty of material here to stand alone as a history course. There's so much material, in fact, that you could slow down and make this a two-year study. This is history the way we like to study it in our family, reading aloud together, marking people and events on a timeline, doing projects, and discussing what we're learning.

Pricing and availability

The Beginnings TruthQuest History Guide is available at the this link. The book is available as a PDF download for $23.95, or in spiral-bound softcover for $29.95. At the TruthQuest History site, you can find more history resources covering periods from ancient times to the present day, as well as other helps.

Read more TOS Crew reviews of TruthQuest History Guides at this link.

Disclaimer: Our family received a PDF download of TruthQuest Beginnings for review purposes. No additional compensation was involved.

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