Friday, April 6, 2012

Truth Quest History

Ever since I first heard about Truth Quest History I wanted to give it a try. I was so excited when I received this to review as a part of the TOS crew.

TruthQuest History is a deep and rich literature-based history study…but with a difference. You will not learn the story of mankind; you will learn the lovestory of mankind. You will not focus on the rise and fall of human civilizations; you will focus on the arrow-straight line of God's unchanging existence, power, love, truth, and plan for civilization. You will not simply 'meet the culture' or 'get the facts;' you will probe the truths of history so deeply that your students will be equipped to change their world!
-from the website 

TruthQuest History is unlike most history curriculum.  It is written from an unashamed Christian viewpoint; the perspective that history is first about what God does and says, and secondly about what people believe and do in response.  Throughout the guide, commentaries are given as an introduction to each topic and thoroughly discuss the consequences of mankind's Big 2 Beliefs which are 1)Who is God? and 2) Who, then, is mankind?

For a book lover like me, TruthQuest History is a dream come true.  You will find extensive book lists for every topic you can imagine in chronological order.  We reviewed the Age of Revolution I: America/Europe 1600-1800.

In addition to the commentaries and book lists you will find ThinkWrite exercises (13 in this guide) to help students internalize and express the history lessons they are learning through literature.


One thing I really appreciate about TruthQuest History is you do not have to buy a certain set of books.  You can use what is listed or what you can find.  Read more here:
It is not intended that you purchase, find, or even read all the books cited in this guide! You can see how impossible that would be! TruthQuest History is completely different from curricula which depend on certain books, so users must think differently about it! Here, the goal is not to guide you through books, but through history...using books...whichever books are readily available! That’s why so many are listed here–to give you the utmost opportunity to harness your public or church librarywithout missing a gem!
When you (wisely!) decide to homeschool using real books, no matter what curriculum guide you choose, you’re only able to use what’s available. Therefore, this large booklist is not a burden, it’s a benefit! It vastly increases the chances of finding the best available books on every topic!
                                                                       -quote from TruthQuest history


So the layout of TruthQuest is that you first read a commentary by the author, followed by a list of reading from the "spines" of the curriculum, then there is an extensive list of books to choose from.  I did not have any trouble finding books in our library system.  Almost everything I searched for was available through our fabulous state ILL program.  Each book also lists a grade level (love that!). The Think/Write sections are placed throughout the guide.  Click here for a sample from Age of Revolution I and here to see the Table of Contents.

While I love TruthQuest for the book list, I am not at a point in my homeschool where I want a curriculum that isn't really laid out for me day to day.  There have been times when this would have been perfect for us and I suppose with a large family we could all study the same topic using this.

We ended up using this to study state history because we are studying ancient history this year but we're still required to study state history and we happen to live in one of the original 13 colonies so there was plenty to choose from in that section.  I am very impressed with the books that we found and even learned about a place in my state that I'd never heard of even though I've lived here for 44 years (all my life).

We reveiwed the pdf version of Age of Revolution I.  I would recommend spending the few extra dollars to order a book version. This guide is 378 pages long which is just too overwhelming as a pdf in my experience.  Also, the page numbers of the pdf do not match the pages in the book.  For instance, Maryland history is listed on page 64 in the Table of Contents but you will actually find it on page 81 of the pdf.  The Table of Contents is not linked though there are bookmarks that will get you where you want to go if you are using this on a computer.  I did load this on my Kindle (just a regular Kindle) and on my iPod touch but pdfs really aren't great on either of those anyway.  I read the commentaries to my kids on my Kindle but the font was very small and as I said pdf's just aren't that great on the regular Kindle.  I also used my laptop for reading and that was better but reading from the computer is not my favorite thing either.  I think I would have liked this a lot better if I had a hard copy.

You can see samples of each of the eleven guides, read How to Choose, read about long range planning using TruthQuest or listen to audio presentations.

Click to enlarge

Guides include:

Level 1 for Grades 1-5
American History for Young Students  I
American History for Young Students II
American History for Young Students III

Level  2 for Grades 5-12
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Middle Ages
Age of Revolution I
Age of Revolution II
Age of Revolution III

You can see more detailed information about these here.

So as you can tell, I have mixed feelings about this curriculum.  Though it could be used a complete curriculum if this is your style, I prefer it as a rich resource for finding historical literature.  I do have to say that I enjoyed the perspective of the commentaries and view my state history a bit differently now than I did before.

You can purchase TruthQuest History guides for $24.95-$34.95 or ($19.95-29.95 for a pdf version) (Prices vary according to the guide you choose).  Visit the website to see other companion products available for purchase including A Journey Through Learning binder builders, notebooking pages and a map/timeline/report package.

See what others are saying about TruthQuest History on the TOS crew blog.
disclaimer: I received a free pdf version of Truth Quest Age of Revolution I in exchange for an honest review.

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