Tan Books recently sent me the textbook version of Volume IV of The Story of Civilization The History of the United States along with the Activity Book for the same series to review.
I am somewhat familiar with this series. My eleven-year-old daughter and I have been listening to Volume I The Ancient World’s audio book this summer and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The Story of Civilization is written by Philip Campbell who does a wonderful job conveying the facts of history while also incorporating stories that help it come alive. The four sets of materials in this series each contain a textbook, audio book, activity book (for grades 1-4), test book (for grades 5-8), video lecture series (which seems to be the audio book, but available on video), teacher’s manual, and timeline poster.
What is great about this series is that it can be used with multiple children in a family on a four-year rotation. Each child can approach the material at whatever level he or she is able to comprehend and interact with the text.
Volume IV The History of the United States begins with the Conquest of Mexico and ends with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It provides a solid overview of American history and does not gloss over some of the uglier parts of the American story. The textbook itself is most appropriate for strong readers. There are few illustrations in the book and the ones that are there are black and white drawings. The audio book or video lectures are more accessible for the age group this curriculum is intended for. One would want to supplement this curriculum with some visual aids.
However, for those seeking a Catholic-friendly look at history, the Story of Civilization makes for a great foundational program. For more information, please visit: https://tanacademy.com/curriculum/story-of-series/