by Kim H.
Subject: Unit Study - multi-subject history-based
Level Used: Expansion of Civilization, 9th & up
Dates Used: 2009-2010
LIKES: This is an AMAZING program. Very detailed and erudite, I am thrilled with the level of literature demanded of them. Original works from each time period studied are included - such as an excerpt from the Popol Vuh (Ancient Mayan) or an extensive piece from Plato's Dialogues (Greece). I'm using it completely as directed with the additional Economics credit for one DS, 13, and adapted for 8th grade for DD, 12. It also incorporates the Institute for Excellence in Writing program into each unit (we also have really appreciated that gem of a writing program).
They are given a series of questionnaires for each unit, which they then have to research (using library books, encyclopedias, or the internet) to find the answers to. These are not terribly simple questions either (example from Economics: "Did this civilization tax its citizens? If so, how? If they did tax, did the taxation benefit the society or contribute to its demise? How?"). There are many vocabulary words in each unit as well. Some children may need to look up vocabulary just to answer the questions! (Such as "zenith", "apex", etc.)
My children talk about their unit together alot - out of the blue, even when not studying. That is the best benefit of all. They tell me they find it very challenging, but not overwhelmingly so. It does take alot of time some days (3-4 hours on long days), but high school should take time.
It includes history, literature, economics, philosophy, rhetoric, science (overview - not a lab course), composition, intro to government and more. It is accredited by North Atlantic Regional Schools (can view this on their website) as well. There are even online groups for students to discuss studies and for the parents too. We had done Story of the World before this, but this is definitely more in depth. You make this study as deep as your student can handle. We are very impressed with this curriculum. HIGHLY recommended.