Philosophy, the study of the nature of knowledge, is a subject not often studied in depth before college level. However, Home School Adventure Co. tackles this subject, while helping students maintain and defend their Biblical worldview, in their Philosophy Adventure course. In this study, author Stacy Farrell teaches students in grades 6 to 12 to “write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as you explore the history of ideas.” This is a fantastic program that we have been studying for the past several weeks, and I am happy to share our review with you.
Cost of the Program
There are a couple of options for purchasing this program from Home School Adventure. The first option, and most economical, is a digital download, which includes the Reader (textbook), the teacher resources, and the student workbook. This would be an excellent option for those who intend to use this program for more than one child, since a student workbook could easily be printed out for each child, while the other resources could be re-used. The cost of the digital download is $39.95. The program is also available on CD-ROM ($49.95) and in pre-printed versions ($69.95-$89.95) as well.
Right now, Home School Adventure Co. is generously offering a 10% discount on everything in their store through May 15, 2014, so now is an excellent time to buy. (Click the graphic below and enter code Crew-10 at checkout!)
How the Program Works
The program presents the history of philosophy through the study of 8 key philosophers predating Socrates. For each philosopher, there is a passage to read, corresponding notebooking pages, timeline and mapping activities, optional quizzes, journal questions, and 3 assignments called Write, Think, and Speak, which not only reinforce the information learned, but encourage students to think critically about what they have read and how it applies to their own lives.
There are also optional resources to go along with this program, which include other Home School Adventure Co. products. Scripture memory work can be included from their Philippians in 28 Weeks study, and literature readings from The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions are recommended.
All this is laid out in a suggested 4 or 5 day schedule in the book, but the program is very easily customizable. It can be studied at a pace of one philosopher per week, one every other week, or can be stretched out to as long as one philosopher per month, depending on how in-depth students wish to get.
High School Credit
Philosophy Adventure can be used as a supplement, or as the primary curriculum, depending on depth. The author has provided a general guideline for how high school credit can be awarded through the use of this program.
- English Composition: 1-4 hours per week – .25-.5 credit hours
- World History / Geography: 1-4 hours per week – .25-.5 credit hours
- Speech / Communications: 1-4 hours per week – .25-.5 credit hours
- Logic / Critical Thinking: 1-4 hours per week – .25-.5 credit hours
Home School Adventure Co. also has a Free Webinar explaining how to award credit for high school, for this and their other studies.
How We Used This Program
I had originally intended to use this study with both of my sons, who are currently in 5th and 6th grade. However, my youngest felt a bit overwhelmed, so I continued with my older son only. (For this reason, I concur with Home School Adventure Co.’s recommendation of using this with advanced 6th graders and older.) We decided that since my son was on the younger end of the age range, we would treat this more as a survey course, and intend to do it more in-depth at a later time. So, we did the recommended schedule of one philosopher per week, but we did not use the optional Scripture memorization and literature resources. We also opted out of the weekly quizzes, so as not to overload ourselves.
Our typical week looked like this:
Day 1 – Read the lesson, complete timeline and mapping activities, and notebooking pages
Day 2 – Read and complete Write activity
Day 3 – Read and complete Think activity
Day 4 – Read and complete Speak activity
Day 5 – Complete student journal pages, creative writing prompt, and finish any remaining activities from the previous days
This schedule really helped us keep organized. There is a lot of information in the study, but the schedule can help keep from feeling overwhelmed. I think this schedule and pacing worked well for us at this stage. However, when we revisit this study at a later time, with the additional resources and activities, I definitely think I would stretch the study out to 2 weeks per philosopher, at least.
Our Overall Opinion
We loved this program. It is so much more than just a dry text of people and dates. The writing style is interesting and engaging, and the variety of activities keeps the study fresh and exciting. I love that this study looks at philosophy comparatively, and continually reinforces a Biblical worldview. This alone is reason enough for all homeschoolers to consider using this study with their children. I think it is a wonderful tool for developing critical thinking skills, as well as providing an introduction to apologetics. In teaching about different philosophical ideas, the study teaches students how to discern truth from fallacy, and continually points to the Bible as our source of true knowledge and understanding. I think all homeschooling families would benefit greatly from this study, and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to review it.
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