Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Pilgrim Story

The Pilgrim Story is an online course from Dayspring Christian Academy (a school in PA) for students in Grades 3-6.  It is a self-guided, interactive power-point style history course. The Pilgrim Story is taught using the Principle Approach which holds a providential view of history. Students learn about Christian character, Christian liberty and other biblical principles such as self government, hard work and perseverance.


The Pilgrim Story is divided into an Introduction, 5 Units and a Virtual Field Trip to Plymouth, MA.  Each of the 5 units are broken down into lessons designed to take 30-45 minutes to complete.  There are 17 lessons in all.  Students create a notebook (using a 3 ring binder) from downloadable pdfs that include note sheets,, quotes, maps, activities and more.

Course Objectives

Lessons include:

  • King Henry
  • The Geneva Bible
  • Life in Scrooby
  • Liberty of Conscience
  • Leaving England
  • The Second Escape Attempt
  • Leiden
  • Preparing to Go
  • Leaving Leiden
  • Conditions on the Mayflower
  • Building Christian Character
  • The Mayflower Compact
  • Exploration
  • The First Winter
  • Spring, 1621
  • The Wampanoag People
  • The Rest of the Story

Each lesson has fill-in-the-blank note sheets. When a pencil is shown on the
screen, students are to complete the note sheet with the underlined information.

You can jump to any part of a lesson and access the pdf files using tabs at the bottom of the screen.
This picture shows the resources tab opened with the documents to be printed for this particular lesson.

At the end of each lesson, there are 2 options for tests.  One is an interactive test that students complete online and receive a score at the end.  Students have the option to repeat the tests if you wish.  The second option is an essay test.  You can download essay questions if you choose that option. Interactive test scores are available in your account. (The most recent result will show.)

Here is a video intro to the course:

My daughter, Emma (9) has been doing this course.  I set up her notebook on the first week we started.  I print out the lessons one week at a time.  The pdf's all need to be downloaded individually and it is time consuming. I would like it better if all of the pdf's were one document, or at least one document per unit or even one per lesson.

Emma seems to really like this course and actually loves taking the tests.  She likes to take them multiple times to improve her score.  I like this because I know she is really learning the material with this constant review.  

a sample of the notebook pages

I am not a huge fan of the power point style of lesson and wish there was more video, but I love the idea of building notebooks and the material is excellent.  I also really like that Emma can work independently and once the pages are printed I really don't have to do anything.

Depending on your students and how much time you want to invest in the course you could complete it in just 5 weeks (perfect to start now and finish before Thanksgiving) or you could stretch it out over a longer period of time.  Emma takes 1-2 days to complete a lesson.  Some lessons are longer than others.

There are activities that include mapping, recipes, building a model pilgrim house, building a model wetu, drawing and optional writing activities.  Most of the "fun" ones are in the last 2 units which we are just starting. 

A mapping project

Emma with her Mayflower and map

At the end of the course, you are taken on a virtual field trip of Plymouth, MA.  You are shown various landmarks around Plymouth as well as the Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation.  I was a bit disappointed with the amount of coverage from The Plantation which, in my opinion, really is the highlight of visiting Plymouth. However, students will get a very complete tour of monuments and places of interest in Plymouth.

We were able to visit Plymouth this weekend.  The Pilgrim Story was a great introduction to the Pilgrims (we've completed 3 of the 5 units).  I do recommend it and think it would be valuable even for those older than the recommended ages. (I don't think it would hold the attention of younger children.) However, the price is more than what I'd be willing to pay even if more than one of my children were participating. It is just more money than I would spend on a short course for an elementary student.

The view is just beautiful
The view was spectacular

Jenna and Connor with the wetu

paddling the canoe

If you can't take your child to Plymouth, this might be the next best thing.  If you can take them, this will be a wonderful course to use before or after your trip.

Purchase a 6 month subscription to The Pilgrim Story for $99.00. Once purchased, you will receive access to the course within 48 hours.  You will then have access for 6 months from the date of registration.

Visit Dayspring Christian Academy

See what others are saying about The Pilgrim Story on 


disclaimer: I received a 6 month subscription to The Pilgrim Story  in exchange for an honest review

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