Monday, November 9, 2009

American Heritage Foundation -- free American history curriculum

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,
in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be." 
~~ Thomas Jefferson

The American Heritage Education Foundation  is a non-profit organization created to help educate our children in the history of our nation and the philosophies upon which it was established.  They believe that the focus on diversity in our schools is tearing the country apart and threatening its survival, and that it needs to be balanced with a study of our country's history.  They focus on four themes in US history:  Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility.

In order to promote these four themes, the American Heritage Foundation created an American history/citizenship curriculum for K-12.  They provide this $150 value curriculum free of charge as a free PDF download, as PDF documents on a free CD-ROM, or for $19.50 in a printed notebook format.

The curriculum is provided in 3 levels: elementary, middle school, and high school.  They also provide a Spanish language variation in the elementary level.  Each level of curriculum is over 180 pages long, with information for the teacher, lesson plans, group activities and individual activities.

These materials are designed for public school use, and some of the activities are obviously created with a larger group in mind than a typical homeschool family (like the Colonial America Simulation Game).  These could be adapted with some effort, or they could be used in a homeschool group or co-op setting.  Now, I will admit that adapting materials intended for a public school classroom to the family homeschool isn't always easy, but sometimes it can be worth it.

Although the American Heritage Foundation is a secular organization, the curriculum refers to the founding father's belief in God and the Bible with factual respect.  The Christian beliefs of the Colonial settlers and founding fathers is not ignored, but it is still a secular curriculum.  This makes it suitable for classroom use, or use in a homeschool group with members of varying beliefs.

Some of the citizenship topics covered include:

  • The American Revolution

  • George Washington

  • U.S. Presidents

  • The Declaration of Independence

  • The US Constitution

  • The Great Seal

  • Thanksgiving

  • The Bill of Rights

  • Our National Documents

  • Entrepeneurs in American History

  • The United States of America's Flag

  • The Star-Spangled Banner

  • The Gettysburg Address

  • The National Motto

  • The Statue of Liberty

  • The Pledge of Allegiance

  • America the Beautiful

  • What is An American?

The three levels include much of the same materials for the teacher, with age-appropriate differences in activities and discussion questions.  This means they can be used together in a homeschool or co-op setting to teach the same material to all the students.  This is NOT a complete American history curriculum, but can be used to supplement your American history or US government studies.

For myself, I have to admit that I will not use all these lessons and activities, but I will use some of them.  Most of our citizenship lessons are oral discussions.   We aren't likely to use most of the worksheets, but we are more likely to use the activity ideas.  I think this curriculum lends itself to a homeschool group or co-op more easily than to an individual family situation.

BUT, it's a FREE curriculum!!  Request your own copy and check it out for yourself. Even if it's not something you'll use regularly, there may be some helpful information or even one activity that makes it worthwhile.  Get it for your homeschool group ... or you might fall in love with it, and take the time to make it work for your family.  You have nothing to lose!

If you'd like to help promote the American Heritage Foundation, you can donate to their non-profit organization.  These donations will help them continue to share their curriculum free of charge to public schools, private schools, and home schools.

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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