Mrs. Ruth Smith is well known in Biblical Principle Approach circles as a mentor and Master Teacher of the Rudiments of America’s Christian History (among many other topics). She saw a need for a Providential history text and thankfully she wrote it. There are to be 7 volumes in all, an this is the third. (The fourth is slated for release later this year or early next.)
This volume is written for 2nd graders but is easily adaptable to multiple elementary grades for home educators. The book set includes a textbook and a teacher’s book (with CD-ROM) for $55. The textbook is 25 chapters in length and is simple to read aloud and nothing is consumable, so you can reuse the book as needed.
Although it is American History it is true to the Biblical Principle Approach to America’s Christian History—it follows the Chain of Christianity from creation to modern day. So it is not a year of the Revolutionary War, but rather an overview of the Gospel moving Westward. It takes a Providential approach to history, meaning the worldview is one that believes God moves in the affairs of men and nations.
The teacher’s book prepares you for teaching with Biblical principles and leading ideas for each lesson. There are reasoning questions at the end of each lesson and suggested notebook work.
The Teacher’s Guide also includes fundamental information on BPA basics like expanding the principles and links through the grades, developing a course overview, developing lesson plans, sample lesson plans, map work and more. The CD-ROM includes several notebook pages for the child to complete.
There are more lessons than you will cover in an average year—150 in all. You can choose what to cover for your family, and for older children you can add extra lessons or you can have them do some of the supplemental activities listed at the end of the chapters (writing papers and other 4-R activities).
Drawbacks to this series for some families may be the cost, the Providential view, lack of step-by-step lesson plans and the focus on American history. For me none of these things are a minus.
If you are new to BPA or are just looking for excellent lessons without reinventing the wheel, Mrs. Smith’s books may be just what you are looking for: enough hand holding to help you along your BPA journey but still enough flexibility to chart your own course.