Any time all or most of my homeschooling kids can do a subject together, we like to work on things as a family. Our latest review has a strong Biblical worldview, and is called Pathway to Liberty’s World History, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum.
I received several downloadable PDF files, each containing a different digital component of the program. With Pathway to Liberty, you begin by selecting a “Year”, which is the type of history you’re hoping to teach. If you’re familiar with classical education models, you’ll used to this type of grouping. The Years can be taught in any order you’d like, but to really make it a family history study, be sure to incorporate all of your kids into the same year. There are 4 different levels of teaching. Level 1 is for K-3rd grade, Level 2 is for 4th-6th grades, Level 3 is for 7th-9th grades, and Level 4 is for 10th-12th grades.
We received Levels 1, 2, and 3 as I have children in each of those ranges. I received the 380 page Teacher’s Guide with guidance and information, as well as answer keys, to every level for the Year 4 World History program. I also received individual PDF Student Guide books for Levels 1-3, which are between 290 and 362 pages long each. Additionally, the program heavily relies on a book called “Chain of Liberty” by Jayme MacCullough, founder of Pathway to Liberty. This thought-provoking book helps older students and parents to understand the curriculum and world history events in a unique and Biblically-based way.
How to Use the Pathway to Liberty History Curriculum
For an overview of how the program works, please view the video below:
So to be clear, you’ll first choose what “Year” of history you want to teach, then determine what Level(s) you need. You will need to purchase the Teacher’s Guide for either the individual Level(s) or you can purchase the guide that includes all levels (great for large family moms!). Next, you’ll need to purchase the Student’s Guide for the Level(s) you are teaching. You will also need to gather the required Core reading books and materials, either from the library or purchased. You can also add in additional reading books to expand upon the material as well, as suggested in the Guides and also on the Year 4 website.
Keep in mind that if you purchase the digital version of this curriculum, it is simple to use it with multiple children, and for years to come. Just print out what you need, when you need it. The papers would be very easy to print and place in a spiral-bound notebook or in folders to organize by weeks or by subject matter. On the other hand, if you purchase a print copy, each student will need their own guide to work in.
You can see from this snippet of the course outline that each level will be learning many of the same things, as well as a few different or additional topics of study for the various levels.
Each week’s lessons include a complete written lesson plan for the teacher, as well as all worksheets and handouts needed for the level you are using. If you have a large family, I recommend getting the Teacher’s Guide that has all of the levels and then purchasing the individual levels you will need depending on your students’ ages or grades. If you need to save money and can only purchase one level, I would say to aim in the middle of your students’ grades and assign more optional extra work to older students and help younger students more or omit some things for them.
Depending on your child’s Level and the amount of work you choose to assign to them, the lessons could be brief or long. I would say that about 30 minutes for Level 1, and 30-60 minutes for higher levels is about right, including time to read, watch videos, answer questions, complete writing assignments, and work on various other projects.
There are several books required and recommended for the World History program. I was happy to see that the Heny Ford book that we needed toward the beginning of this program was at our library. Several of the other Level 1 books are there, so in the future, we’ll be able to make use of that to save some money. We already own the Joy Hakim books, so that worked out well for us! As I mentioned, we also received a review copy of Jayme MacCullough’s book and study guide for The Chain of Liberty, so we were able to get started with the curriculum right away with all levels of my kids.
The order of the information and lessons for all levels of Year 4 (World History) are as follows:
Weeks 1-2: Foundations (learning about history itself and the chain of liberty)
Weeks 3-7: Welcome 20th Century (Age of Extremes, Liberty Births Innovation, Invention & Immigration, WWII, Boom to Bust, The Great Depression)
Weeks 8-11: The World at War (WWII topics covering Rise of Totalitarianism, Global Conflict, Unconditional Surrender, Conclusion)
Weeks 12-16: Around the World (Establishment of Israel, Around the World, The Cold War, Pop Culture, Civil Rights)
Weeks 17-26: Presidents (Kennedy & the Space Race, Johnson & the Great Society, Feminism, Environmentalism & More on Civil Rights, Nixon, Ford & Carter, Reagan’s Revolution, Researching Presidents – a 3 part/week series, and a Completions week where students complete unfinished work and finish putting together their notebook, as well as reflect on what they’ve learned throughout the year.)
Teaching Pathway to Liberty to Multiple Levels
Here is a glimpse as to how the Teacher’s Guide breaks down the lesson planning. Each week has a scripture, principle, and leading idea that will be touched upon throughout the weekly lessons. There are 4 lessons scheduled per week, and you could optionally add in some extra work on the 5th day if you want a 5 day a week schedule. That would be the perfect time to have students complete some optional writing assignments and history expanded work as mentioned on the Weekly Overview.
As you can see, it is all clearly laid out for you. It tells you exactly what to assign to each child for reading, written work, Bible work, writing projects, videos to watch, and so on.
I like that I’m able to teach my children all at the same time. While it is not identical coursework, or even reading, for each child, the fact that each student will be covering the same time periods and places at the same time makes it easier for them to have conversations about what they’ve learned, both formally and informally. I was able to use this with my students in 1st and 3rd grades (Level 1), 6th grade (Level 2), and 8th grade (Level 3).
During the review period, we’ve been working on the lessons 4 times a week. We first did any assigned reading together (especially my Level 1 kids), as well as watching any assigned videos. We also went over the Bible verses and talked about the principles and leading ideas for that week. From this point, some of my kids branched off from their siblings to complete the work and readings as assigned for their particular level.
I didn’t assign a writing assignment for every week, but I did for a few of them. It was a good way for my kids to show me what they were thinking and what they had learned in written form. On the weeks that we didn’t do the optional writing assignments, I did have them give me the same information verbally as just another way to check their learning and understanding.
We will take a break over the summer, but I think we’ll pick this back up in the fall. That’s the cool thing about the program. You can start and stop as you see fit. I do recommend doing the first 2 weeks as written so you can understand the program and philosophy behind it, and learn the Chain of Liberty information, but after that, it’s easy to start where you’d like or even do some of the topics as mini unit studies.
My kids have enjoyed the lessons. Biblical principles and values are the cornerstone of this program, so if you have been looking for a good history curriculum with a Christian worldview, this might be what you’ve been seeking!
The Chain of Liberty
As I mentioned, the curriculum uses a variety of books for each of the levels, and one of the required reading books is “The Chain of Liberty” by Jayme MacCullough. This, and its accompanying study guide, can be purchased individually from Pathway to Liberty as well and would be a good addition to your home library. It is assigned reading in the Year 4 program for Levels 2-4, but would be a good read for you even if you only have children using Level 1 of the program.
For some information from the author herself, you can view the video below:
The digital version I received is just 159 pages long and could easily be viewed from a device, or you could print it if you wanted a hard copy. The book is a seminar that Jayme MacCullough had put together for parents and students to talk about the key principles of liberty using a timeline called The Chain of Liberty.
The study guide is 93 pages long and contains short answer questions for each chapter, as well as the answers for all of them at the end.
Ms. MacCullough explains things chronologically, linking people, events, and ideas and exploring the question, “Do men have a right to think for themselves?” The different “links” in the chain that she discusses in great detail are: Creation, Dawn of Nations, Moses and the Law, Church, Reformation, First Colonies, First Constitutional Republic, Expansion and Erosion, and Restoration.
Find Out More
Pathway to Liberty has many products available, including US History, Universal History (which takes students through the Bible chronologically), World History (like we reviewed), and The Middle Ages. Each one has 4 different levels of instruction, and it is available digitally or as a hard copy. To learn more about those, and how other homeschooling families incorporated this history curriculum into their coursework, please click the banner below.