The author recommends completing this course over a 2-year period. There are 38 weeks of lessons included, and each week's activities are listed on a lesson plan grid, similar to what is used in the upper-level TRISMS books but with a few differences. The assignments are divided between science, inventions, explorers, and language. A separate grid for each week lists recommended historical fiction, biographies and resource books while major historical events, suggested topics for research, and math history developments are also included. Each weekly lesson focuses on a different chronological span of time and covers all of these topics during that time period. For each week, students will be reading historical fiction and other books and completing questionnaires for scientists, inventions, and explorers. Questionnaires include a series of questions about the topic that the student answers through researching the topic, using the library, and other available resources. Inventions questionnaires also ask the student to draw and/or diagram the invention, while Explorers questionnaires ask the student to mark the explorer's journey on a map and create a map key. The reading lists in the teacher's guide offer suggestions for resources, organized by lesson, which may help when researching. There are separate science assignments for most weeks, which include experiments and research projects. Language assignments are more extensive and incorporate a wide variety of topics including poetry, book reports, letter writing, reports, public speaking, word roots, grammar, outlining, interviewing, bibliographies, and much more. Because the emphasis is on exploring history in a very chronological way, creating a timeline is essential to the course. Famous inventors, scientists, explorers, other major historical figures and events will all be added to the timeline as they are studied each week. Quizzes and tests are also included for reinforcement; quizzes are given every three lessons while tests are given four times throughout the year.
Overall, this course is not only a great way to try the TRISMS approach, but it offers great practice in researching and a terrific scope of our entire history as well. Its open-ended approach makes it useable with students of different grades, and it would be easy (and fun!) to use with multiple children. Because it is so heavily book and research-based, this would be a good fit for you especially if you have pretty easy access to a library and if your students are fairly motivated and independent. - Jess