Our curriculum choices are critical in the educating of our children, primarily because of the worldview inherent in books and resources we use. During our school-at-home days, I find I need a quick lesson myself on a subject area in order to be conversant with my children, or because they want to go deeper and learn more. I often find myself googling topics, but pull up information with a worldview I do not want to teach my children, and access to Biblical worldview lessons very limited or costly.
With the adoption of the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory in most states, history, and particularly American history, is promoted through a simplistic, reductionist viewpoint that doesn’t take into account the myriad of human complexities nor does it look at history through the lens of contemporary worldviews and assumptions. Judging and rebranding history based on modern ideologies and information causes us to miss much of what was going on in the hearts and minds of our forefathers.
“The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present.
History is a hill or high point of vantage, from which alone men see the town in which they live or the age in which they are living.” Here, G.K. Chesterton illuminates the necessity of knowing history, and seeing it aright. An historical study of American history through primary sources will teach students to cultivate historical thinking, learn facts, and gain and apply research skills and organization—all while engaging study of real people and events that have helped shape the nation they call home. These skills and conversations guide students as they begin to see the shades of gray and the nuances of people and events. Posing and answering questions can take them deeper into historical events and advance their thinking. Helping our children blend “surveying the landscape” (considering the whole) and deep dives into Great Books from American history will make them better thinkers.
But as teachers and parents, where do we find the resources to accomplish this? Here in Missouri, a group of politicians, teachers, and thinkers have come together to create such a resource. The Educated Citizen Project is an online, free, website with a growing database of American History lessons for all grades. “The mission of the Educated Citizens Project is to provide educational enhancement to secure a future of informed, insightful, and civilly engaged citizens. To secure this goal, we will equip professional and lay educators with instructional resources designed to clarify the ideals and practicalities of the American experience for students learning to participate in self-governance within our framework of a democratic republic.” If you find yourself needing ideas that won’t compromise your worldview, go to https://www.theeducatedcitizenproject.com and take a look at the lesson plans available. You may just find exactly what you are looking for!