Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Pathway to Liberty's History Curriculum: A Review

While I have never been a very political person, having children certainly has awakened me to the importance of our freedoms in the United States.  In our ongoing homeschool curriculum this past year, the kids and I have been doing an overview of the birth of the US and the 50 states. Today's review, Pathway to Liberty's History Curriculum from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum, paralleled our ongoing study very nicely, giving a liberty-centered context to some of the events we were already studying.  In a time when the media is continually shaping the information we receive, sometimes beyond the reality of what is happening, it seems necessary to seek out history from more than a single place.  Pathway to Liberty provides a Biblical worldview, a look at Christian history, and highlights all of this in terms of liberty.

 What is Pathway to Liberty?

Pathway to Liberty is a complete homeschool history curriculum for K-12th grades that covers the following:

Pathway to Liberty's Universal History, Year 1
Pathway to Liberty's The Middle Ages, Year 2
Pathway to Liberty's US History, Year 3
Pathway to Liberty's World History, Year 4

The levels are broken down as follows:

Level 1: K5-3rd grade
Level 2: 4th-6th grade
Level 3: 7th-9th grade
Level 4: 10th-12th grade 

Types of assignments include:

  • word studies
  • writing options
  • map work
  • videos
  • copy work
  • Bible study
  • extra reading

It is available in both digital and physical formats.

What We Received:

Since we were already studying this topic, we chose to study US History, Year 3. We were given access to 3 digital files, a Level 1, Year 3 Teacher's Guide, a Level 1, Year 3 Student Guide, the Chain of Liberty book and access to a Youtube channel of video playlists that coordinates with the curriculum. 

The Teacher's Guide begins with advice and explanations for how to use all of the elements.  It continues with a few different charts that lay out the entire 26 week curriculum by levels, books used and lessons.  It also provides a weekly overview for each lesson.

The Student Guide includes similar instructions and charts as the Teacher's Guide followed by each lesson's elements.  This includes reading passages, copy work, map work, fill in the blanks, and discussion questions.

The Chain of Liberty text is the basis and explanation for the curriculum itself.  It discusses the importance of certain people and events that result in a chain of liberty, working together to purchase this liberty we have.  The book also convicts the reader that our liberty could be in danger as we are lulled into a comfort that doesn't fully appreciate what we have been given and at what cost.

The video explaining the history behind the national anthem was one of our favorite parts of the curriculum!

How We Used It:

We started in the middle of the curriculum about week 16 because it approximately lined up with our ongoing studies.  I had initially considered incorporating my 5 (almost 6) year old daughter into this program as well, but aside from the videos, it was just a lot to ask of her.  As a result, it was just my 8 year old son using this program.  Every lesson begins with a scripture and principle that usually required filling in the blanks.  Most lessons we would begin with that and then move on to the reading portions.  I would include the videos at other times when we were not doing school which spread the learning out over the day.

What We Thought:

My son (8) enjoys learning about history, but he prefers more action than not.  He enjoyed the videos and didn't mind some of the fill-in-the-blank/copy work, but he complained about all the reading and extra writing. 

I have a lot of respect for the way this curriculum is designed and the liberty-mindedness of the author.  In the past few years, I have been seeing our liberties be shoved around and in some cases taken away.  I know this is an important topic to grasp and look forward to my children developing understanding themselves.

I do not do well with digital products that are more than a page or two long.  It seems that it gets jumbled somehow and find it difficult to keep it organized.  A digital version is wonderful for using with more than one student, but I think I'm having to face a personal reality that I do a less efficient job without physical books.

For my son's age and activity level, I think he wasn't quite ready to fully digest this program.  The layout and design of the text reminds me of a college class, which is something we hadn't really encountered yet.  Knowing now what it entails, I will use it sprinkled into our current overview of US History and come back around to the bulk of it in a year or two. 

My Recommendation:
This is a powerful resource and curriculum that would be great for middle school and high school ages.  To use it with elementary ages, I would highly recommend getting the physical books and allowing for ample planning time.  I would also recommend the book Chain of Liberty as an important read for every parent, whether or not you use the curriculum.  It puts our freedoms and our current political climate in perspective in a way I've never really heard before.

Pathway to Liberty on Social Media:


There are 60 families reviewing this product, including the other years and levels.  I would encourage you to read some of their thoughts to get a broader impression of how this curriculum can work in your home.  Check out the reviews through the link below:
Universal History,  The Middle Ages,  US History & World History Curriculum {Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum Reviews}
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