Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

TOS Crew: Dayspring Christian Academy: The Pilgrim Story

on October 16, 2012

With autumn time comes a feeling of thankfulness ushering in the season for Thanksgiving and with that time I go back to why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Those that came before us seeking religious freedom so they could worship God as the Bible dictated, not man, gave us the impetus for Thanksgiving.  The Pilgrims – we tend to think of them in black and white outfits, buckles on their shoes and hats and well uptight.

When I was given a chance to review The Pilgrim Story from Dayspring Christian Academy and use it with my girls I was very excited!  Dayspring Christian Academy uses what is known as the Principle Approach, if you’d like to read a little more about the Principle Approach visit Dayspring’s website.  They also have a brick and mortar school located in Pennsylvania but also offer online courses as both self paced and live classes.

The Pilgrim Story is for grades 3 through 6th but some of it could even go up to maybe 8th grade depending on what you want your child to get out of it.  The class itself costs $99.00 which sounds steep but you will get access within 48 hours of payment and have access for 6 months, which will be plenty of time to finish.  I’ve had both of my girls doing this, my 8 year old 3rd grader and my 10 year old 5th grader and while the oldest is enjoying it my 3rd grader doesn’t like the writing.  This is mainly due to the fact that she writes quite large and the blanks on the note sheets aren’t large enough to accommodate her writing and it stresses her out.  Either I or her sister writes in some of her blanks for her to keep the peace.

The only other cost was to purchase a 3 ring binder for each child and printing pages off – I chose to print in only black and white or on gray scale to save on ink cost.  If you don’t already have them you’ll also need five tab dividers to go in the binder and those will be labeled according to the units studied and everything will be stored in the binder, creating a nice keepsake of what they’ve learned by the end.  I included this in our day usually after the rest of our school was done, since it’s self paced you can chose when to have your child complete the lessons – in the early morning, late afternoon or late at night.  I personally found it easier to have both girls working at the same time rather than listen to everything twice.

There were interactive features, the one that really caught my eye was the one where it showed a man, woman and child acting as if they were on-board the Mayflower describing the conditions on-board.  They clicked on the person and listened to them talk, complete with swaying ship sounds and gulls flying overhead.  There are writing assignments, and since I had one who has difficulty with that I chose to let them do them orally with me, which led to some great discussions.  There are mapping and other activities, like translating Greek (it’s quite easy for the most part and there is an answer key!) or making hard tack and sailing a mock Mayflower made from an egg carton.

A lot of what I learned from listening along with my girls I never learned in school and I think that is partly due to the fact that this is Christian in it’s viewpoint as well as using primary sources, or original accounts of the Pilgrims.  I also want to mention that throughout the lessons there are sheets for vocabulary, famous quotes and even a letter and other written accounts that go along with the lesson and are invaluable and should be included as you print the lessons out. The areas covered will be King Henry, the Geneva Bible, building Christian Character, the Mayflower Compact and much, much more!  Each lesson has taken about 30 minutes, but depending on which extra activities we do it adds a little extra time but nothing more than an hour a day.

At the end of each unit there is a unit test, your students should study for these as my daughters found out in unit 1, you can chose to have them complete a multiple choice or an essay – for the sake of time I let them each do the multiple choice but plan on having my oldest go back and do the essay ones at a later time.  Once the test is completed the grade is given and you can print it off which also includes the correct and incorrect answers.  I then put the printed results at the end of the unit in the binder since I will be using this as part of their portfolio at the end of our school year.  There are five units and my girls are on the last lesson in unit three and are looking forward to completing it which at the end gives them a virtual field trip to Plymouth, MA.

If you’d like to see what other homeschooling parents thought visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

****Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.



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