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Monday, November 9, 2009

American Heritage Education Foundation Review

I first heard of American Heritage Education Foundation and their FREE American History curriculum a few years back. I even ordered the FREE CD at the time. And then it has sat on my desk ever since. To be fair, we haven't intentionally covered American History yet, so I had no reason to use it, but you'd think I would have at least looked at it!

Thank goodness the TOS Crew was asked to take a look at the AHEF curriculum!

The first thing that blew my socks off about this curriculum is that it is developed by a PUBLIC school system, but openly refers to GOD. Yes, you read that right. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a "point to God's providence in everything" curriculum, but it does strongly emphasize the faith of the founders and their intent that that faith's principles would be the unifying moral standards for our nation (while still giving the individual citizens the right to even accept that faith or not). In fact, the curriculum, which is provided at three levels (elementary, middle, and high school), highlights four themes throughout American History: Freedom, Unity, Progress, Responsibility. The CD, which is also available in bound format for $19.50 per level, also contains a Spanish version of the elementary level. It has all the documents and activity pages necessary to complete the lesson plans, and references the national standards the lessons address.

The pros: It's FREE. In today's day and age, that's just CRAZY, but here it is FREE for the asking. The lessons are purposeful and really lay a solid foundation of our American Heritage. Although it was designed for a public school system, it certainly is easily adaptable for homeschooling application, and it is very easy to take what works for you and leave the rest.

The cons: This is not a complete American history curriculum, but rather a supplement. IT covers people and topics into the early 1900's, but after that you are on your own. And it is not really chronological, but rather topical (studying the Mayflower Compact, etc.). While I think that makes it easy for you to add it in to any existing curriculum you are using, it may be a detractor to some. I do think that you could just use this curriculum over the course of a year even without supplementation, and your students would have an amazing framework on which to build any future learning you do.

The bottom line to me is that this is a no-brainer. Of course you should order it. IT'S FREE, for goodness sake, but more than that, the AHEF is dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America's factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility among our students and citizens. How can you go wrong with that? Plus, you control what you do with it, so you really have nothing to lose. I love that each level of the CD devotes time to WHY this public school system has chosen to acknowledge and embrace America's faithful heritage and even includes letters from the Secretary of Eduction explaining the "official" position of the government on religious education in the schools (not so applicable to homeschoolers, but interesting nonetheless).

To order your CD, go HERE. You can also download the lessons directly from their site for free if you have a high speed internet connection. To see what other members of the TOS CREW had to say, go HERE.

Legal disclaimer:
As a member of the TOS crew,I received a FREE CD of American Heritage Education Foundation's curriculum in exchange for my honest review. That free product is the only "payment" I received for my opinion.
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Cheryl said...

Wow! I'm ashamed I've never heard of this... even with my guys in
11th and 12th, I think I'm going to order it just to see if there are any gaps... thanks!

DebiH. said...

Thanks, Amy!
I am going to download all of these, they look great.
I just printed the Thanksgiving history ones to do this week.

Julie said...

Thanks! This just might be what I've been looking for to supplement our history curriculum.