We had a lot of philosophy in college while studying worldviews. This course reminds me of the approach our college used and combines philosophy with important skills that should be part of a good in-depth study: philosophy, worldview, writing, speaking and thinking. The author's three goals for this text are for it to be easy to use, engaging and empowering; I believe she is very successful at achieving her goals. This course may be used as your primary curriculum, to which you would just add math, science and foreign language: or use it as a supplement. Guidelines for using the program either way are included in the front of the reader.
I find the study of philosophy intriguing and have really enjoyed reading through the Reader (text) of this curriculum. Students will spend time learning about Thales, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Protagoras, and Democritus: what they really believed and what they contributed to the world. Learn how what they believed was shaped by their predecessors and how their thinking shapes culture even today. The idea behind this course is that students will be equipped to understand our changing world.
The Reader is a spiral-bound, 125-page, softcover book that is printed with full color illustrations. There are specific components found in every lesson presented. First, the student will read the philosopher's story (the Reader's first component). They will find anecdotes and facts about their lives, accomplishments, beliefs and contributions in sections labeled at the top of the page - Meet the Philosopher, His Story Unfolds, Impact of Ideas, and The Story Ends. The second component is the Write, Think, and Speak sections. These are labeled down the side of the reading text and the actual assignments are found on the adjacent page. In the Write section, students will be shown the 7-step writing process, beginning with the first draft, how to build ??pauses' into their writing, how to polish their writing, how to critique, evaluate and revise and do a final draft for a final project. The Think section may include assignments, but also includes information for deeper thinking. Speak works to improve and enhance the student's ability to speak orally - put their thoughts into words that sound intelligent and well thought-out. The lesson's third item is geography. Students will learn about the geography during the featured philosopher's life and includes a map and a short summary about the time period. On the adjacent page, students will learn about the philosopher's School of Thought. The final section of each lesson is the Contrast section. This is where students read statements, quotations or documents from the philosopher and compare and contrast them to what the Bible says (Biblical Worldview). Scripture found in the reader and workbook is from the English Standard Version (ESV).
The back section of the Reader is full of valuable resources. There are checklists for writing assignments and what to look for in the writing process and assignments, peer critiques, and evaluation. For each of the philosophers, writing assignments are included with the guidelines and required contents included. These are timed written assignments (15 minutes), but you could turn them into a research paper or essay if you would like a more detailed writing assignment - let them choose their favorite philosopher for a year-end project. These assignments are in addition to the writings found within the lessons. A list of recommended resources is also included, just in case your student wants to learn more in a specific area. A Teacher Resource CD is included inside the back cover and includes answer keys to mapping assignments, timelines, and "at-a-glance" instructions.
The Student Workbook is more like a notebooking journal. There are formatted pages on which students answer questions from each section of the lesson and blank maps to label. The second part of the workbook is the Write, Think, Speak Journal. This journal is referenced in the lessons and this is where the students answer questions found on the Write, Think, Speak pages of the lesson. There are also the same checklists, peer critique and evaluation in the back of the student workbook as those found in the Reader. The glossary pages at the very back of the student workbook are for the student to write the meaning or definition of words. The words even have page number references to help them out. The Student Workbook is not reproducible.
There are a couple of products referenced in the Reader and recommended for use with this study: Philippians in 28 Weeks and The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions. Adding these books will enhance your study.
If you are ready to tackle a meaty study, this one is great! Well-laid out and easy-to-use, this course will engage your deep thinking high schooler. Give them a reason to write and help them put their thoughts together for a solid foundation in a rapidly changing world - all from a Biblical Worldview. ~ Donna