My sister-in-law, who first introduced me to homeschooling, is a big fan of Sonlight curriculum. I like it too. But I’m a little more partial to Truthquest History . It’s what we use in our homeschool room. My sister-in-law and I have often chatted about how our different personalities, gifts, etc… constitute the departure between our history curriculum preferences. She likes to have it all mapped out for her; I like to figure it out as I go along. She likes to do. I like to think.
But of course, that’s kind of a blanket statement, and misses the mark by a mile. With 9 kids, she does quite a bit. With 9 kids, and their wonderfully different dispositions, she undoubtedly is called to think. A lot. About many, many things… So it’s a falsehood to say that she doesn’t think.
Or, that I don’t do. Because believe me, I do an abundance of things!
But I’m one of those personality types that is a global thinker. I intuit. I look for, and try to find the meaning of ideas and beliefs and how it all relates. It’s interesting to me to understand how patterns create possibilities. But… that’s just me. Still, it’s why I’m drawn to Truthquest.
Both Sonlight and Truthquest use literature to help students learn about history. Not stuffy textbooks, but “real” books. For instance, instead of reading some professor’s generic description about WWII, a 9th or 10th grade student may read “All Quiet on the Western Front” or “The Hiding Place.” Both use instructional guides to help the student gather the appropriate information from the literature. Both have an impressive and vast list of books from which to teach any period of history for any and all ages.
The contrast between the two is mainly found in the instruction guides. Sonlight gives the instructor the exact information that the student should know. After reading specific books, Sonlight asks specific questions of the student. For instance, one of their guides might ask what years Douglas McArthur lived, and what his role was in Japanese history. Truthquest, on the other hand, might recommend what books to read, offer a commentary on that period of history, and then ask the student to infer meaning about how McArthur’s role fit into God’s plan for the world. In other words, “Who is God?”, and “Who is McArthur in relation to God?”.
Sonlight takes the guesswork out of the planning and teaching; Truthquest makes the teacher AND the student think. You read, you filter, you induce, you draw conclusions. You figure out how every decision, act, or choice has had a consequence throughout all of history. How every opportunity by individuals since Adam and Eve has affected the world that we live in today. With Truthquest, you start to see how each person is a tiny cog in an enormous wheel. You start to see patterns showing how choices that were made hundreds of years ago has influenced our lives today. It’s teaching my kids – and me! – that God has always been in control. How, even though He gives us free will, He uses everything for His glory!
I love how Truthquest makes us think. Because how we think, directs what we do.