My firstborn is a thinker. My husband and I are thinkers. Because we love discussions about life and our faith, we thought that Philosophy Adventure by the Home School Adventure Co. would be an asset to our homeschool. The program is a homeschool philosophy curriculum taught through the lens of a Biblical worldview. My son is just reaches the recommended age of 6th-12th grade for the program. We received the Philosophy Adventure - Pre-Socratics digital download available for $39.95 from the Home School Adventure Co. for review. I loved the focus on writing skillfully, thinking critically, and speaking articulately.
There are print and CD versions available as well at a higher cost. This program seeks to to help the student learn the origin of ideas so that he/she can better understand and interpret current events. This is done through engaging, easy to use, empowering materials. Parents are encouraged to learn together with their student. There are three suggested paces depending on the way in which you choose to use the curriculum. We used it as a supplement and thereby went at a more leisurely pace of one lesson per month. This allowed us time to digest the material and go about it thoughtfully. This course can be used as high school credit in several disciplines including English composition and speech/communications and are outlined in the reader for the teacher. The digital download contains the following products:
About the Products
Reader: Everything in the package we received was in the format of a digital download including the reader. The reader is 160 pages and covers the stories, philosophies and lives of 8 great philosophers from history through the lens of a biblical worldview. I did not print out the reader. We just opened the document when we were ready to read the lesson each day. You could also transfer the file to an e-reader for more relaxed reading. There are several repeating components to each lesson:
- The Philosopher’s Story – this section gives the philosopher’s biography and explains his impact of ideas under the headings, “Meet the Philosopher”, “His Story Unfolds”, “Impact of Ideas” and “The Story Ends”.
- Write, Think and Speak – this includes assignments to complete that help you process the material read in the included articles. Learning to write speeches is part of this section.
- Geography – Each lesson includes a color map of significant places pertaining to the philosopher’s life.
- Contrast – this section is where the original source material of the philosopher is compared to the biblical worldview to see if the ideas align.
The key at right is used throughout the book to help the student recognize the purpose of each activity, whether writing skillfully, thinking critically or speaking articulately. The purple colored assignments are about writing, the blue colored assignments are about critical thinking, etc.
Student Workbook: This 154-page volume has notebooking pages with questions to accompany each heading from the lesson. The goal is to complete the appropriate pages after doing the assigned reading from the reader. The front part of the workbook is comprised of the notebooking pages, mapping activities and free writing exercises. The back portion of the workbook is a write, speak and think journal that guides the student through writing exercises complete with checklists and a glossary. The first assignment is a biographical speech. I printed out this workbook on my laser printer and took it to a local printer and had it spiral bound for ease of use. My son liked being able to fold the pages back and have the book lie flat while writing.
This ebook is 112 pages of materials for the teacher such as memory cards, a printable timeline and timeline resources, quizzes and master maps and map keys. I printed out the timeline materials and the memory cards and here is a sample of the first set of memory cards. I took the cards and glued them to index cards for durability.
Our Opinion of the Products:
We completed the first two lessons at a leisurely pace and gleaned some great truths from the material. We benefited from the free writing exercises and thought that setting a timer and writing with a few guided questions as a prompt was interesting. My son had never really done this type of writing before. As a young sixth grader, I didn’t push him through the material as much as I would have an older student. The age range of 6th grade and up is fairly accurate, though the pace for younger students needs to be slowed considerably. We felt that one lesson per month was very doable and would stretch the curriculum out over eight months. The reader was very interesting and informative. My student had no complaints while doing the reading. The journal activities were a little challenging for him. I had to encourage him to elaborate. He tended to want to put down short answers. I felt the assignments needed to be done in a relaxed manner without the student feeling rushed to gain the maximum benefit. We read a section of the reader each day four days a week and completed the notebooking or mapping activities that coincided. When the reader lesson was completed, we continued to work on the write, think and speak journal activities. The material is really written in such a way that the older student could do it alone. The teacher’s resource guide did not include as much teacher direction as I would have liked. Overall, I was very impressed with the materials and think it would make an excellent co-op class for high school students. I think this material would be excellent for group discussions and would probably generate some great conversations among the students. I think we will probably use this material again in high school due to the deep nature of the topics. I really liked the focus on speech writing and free writing, things I feel are not well-covered in other writing materials.
” I was surprised by the intelligence of the great philosophers and I enjoyed learning about their philosophies and comparing them to the Christian worldview. I discovered that some of the ideas that they believed were faulty and others were worthy of consideration.”
If you are interested in this curriculum, check out the special promo code that expires May 15, 2014. You can get 10% off digital downloads when you use code CREW10
If you would like to see what other moms are saying about Philosophy Adventure, the Mere Christianity Journal, Philippians in 28 Weeks and The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions be sure to click on the graphic below.