Last year, we studied universal history with Pathway to Liberty. This year, we were excited to continue our journey into the Middle Ages. My own recollection of the Middle Ages was very narrow and essentially boiled down to burning people at the stake for printing Bibles and Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue, so I was personally looking forward to rounding out my own viewpoint of the Middle Ages with this course as well as teaching my 7 and 5 year old about it!
One thing I love about Pathway to Liberty is the unique perspective it brings to studying history. The curriculum not only offers a Biblical worldview, but also follows the “chain of liberty,” or chain links which join elements of history together, and help us learn meaningful lessons for today. When teaching on this topic, it might be beneficial to check out chapters 8 and 9 in Jayme MacCullough's book, "The Chain of Liberty."
Pathway to Liberty's lessons can easily be conducted as "family style," where mom teaches one lesson and each child can do corresponding work for that lesson at their own level. This is awesome for larger families and simplifies your schooling time while allowing kids to learn together at their own pace! Though I was technically working through this with my 8 year old, my 5 year old listened to the lessons too and discussed the topics with us!
We used the level one workbook for assignments, but the levels continue up to a level four for older students!
This course starts with a bit of a refresher from the previous year as we discussed what history is and established a Biblical foundation for our studies. Week 2 covered the dawn of nations and principles of self-government.
Week 3-6 brought us to Rome, where we studied the Roman Empire with the broader perspective of how Rome influenced the proper setting for the spread of the Gospel. Students will learn about daily life in Rome, as well as how it served as the perfect setting for the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). They will also learn about the persecution and triumphs of the early church by reading the book, “Trial and Triumph” by Richard M. Hannula. I hadn’t heard of “Trial and Triumph” before starting this course, but it’s an amazing book and I highly recommend reading it in its entirety!
In Week 7, the tides change and students learn about Constantine the Great and what his leadership meant to Rome. They will also understand the principal of Divine Providence behind his tole in history.
Weeks 8-9 discuss the formation of the Bible through readings in “How the Bible Came to Us by Meryl Doney,” and write interesting facts they learned throughout the reading.
In weeks 10-12, level 2-4 students will learn about Muhammed, Islam, and the Crusades, while level one, which was us, learn about Leif the Lucky and his expeditions. For level one students, you’ll read “Leif the Lucky by D’Aulaire” in these weeks and students will fill out their study guides in the workbook. There is also an assortment of Viking crafts for hands-on learning. My kids enjoyed cutting and pasting Viking clothes on the Viking!
Week 13-16 focuses on transforming nations. Level one students will read, “Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney,” Older students will focus on Saint Patrick and read about him in “Trials and Triumph.” Week 14 brings you to a study of Charlemagne, where students will read about him in “Story of the World” and older kids have the option of watching a short video on about the king. Week 15 continues the theme of a leader transforming a nation with Alfred the Great. I loved the scriptural principals behind the transforming nation's section, “Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city,” (Ecc. 7:19). The teaching principal echoed from this verse is, “God brings his Kingdom into the hearts of individuals who He then uses to transform nations.” What a great message for kids to learn!
Learning about these great leaders brings students to Week 16- 17, where they learn about the Magna Charta and individual rights. Here, you’ll use “The Magna Carta by James Daughtery” to dig deeper into this idea.
Weeks 18-21 focused on prominent reformers and how the seed within them impacted nations and the world. Students will learn about John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Anne Askew, John Knox, and Renee. Then, they’ll put their learning into practice by beginning to write paragraphs about each reformer.
Weeks 22-26 enter into the age of exploration. Here, you’ll use “Columbus by D’Aulaire” and “The Light & the Glory for Children by Peter Marsha & David Manuel.” Students will learn more about the explorers on Biography.com and make a fun art craft!
This positions learners perfectly for year three, learning about U.S. History!
Books Needed for Level One:
Level One Students will need some additional books. The complete list of books needed for each level can be found in the beginning of the Teacher's Guide as well as on the Pathway to Liberty Website.
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
How the Bible Came to Us by Meryl Doney
Trial and Triumph by Richard M. Hannula
The Magna Carta by James Daughtery
The Story of the World Volume One: Ancient Times, by Susan Wise Bauer
Leif the Lucky by D’Aulaire
Columbus by D’Aulaire
The Story of the World Volume Two: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
The Light & the Glory for Children by Peter Marsha & David Manuel
This curriculum is 26 weeks, which is unique when you consider most school years run for 36 weeks. I loved that it was a 26 week program because it allows for amazing learning detours! We spent extra weeks studying ancient Rome and didn’t have to worry about falling behind! Each week has 4 lessons, which could be taught in 20-30 minutes and worked perfectly with our schedule! I loved seeing the connection between Scriptural principals and actual history that occurred, and think it’s incredibly meaningful to teach our children likewise!
On top of learning about history, I saw my son's writing ability improve through this curriculum. By the end, he was able to write a paragraph about each reformer, which really complemented the 2nd grade work he was doing in his English course! I feel like Pathway to Liberty is an awesome curriculum for families looking to learn about history through a Biblical Worldview. The lessons, and teaching concepts behind the historic events are unique and inspiring for the entire family!
To learn more and see all that the program has to offer, check out PathwaytoLiberty.com!
Visiting Springwood in Hyde Park, New York has been in my bucket list for years. I have tremendous respect for Franklin D. Roosevelt and the legacy he's left on this great country, and knowing his house is a mere hours drive has meant it's been calling to me to come and visit. But, I have four small reasons I hadn't made it yet, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1. I worry about my kids breaking things when they go to my parents’ house, let alone the home of a great American president!
One morning in March, we woke up to unseasonably warm temperatures and I decided today was the day we make the trip! We packed up lunches for a picnic on the grounds and hit the road! Our first stop was the visitor center to purchase tickets, pick up maps, and sign the kids up for the Junior Ranger program! Admission is $10 for the house tour and $10 for the museum, but children are FREE [including the ranger program], so I purchased a joint ticket and our whole crew had access for the day. My three older children received Junior Ranger Booklets and miniature pencils, which we all know are every child’s favorite thing! We brought our lunch out to the picnic tables in front of the museum and enjoyed our sandwiches overlooking the beautiful estate. While we ate, we checked out the Junior Ranger material to see what we should look for in the museum and home.
After lunch, we went to the museum. It had a lot of exhibits that offered hands-on, or at least things kids could touch exhibits, and my kids loved it. In true kid fashion, they moved from exhibit to exhibit before I had the chance to really enjoy what I was seeing, but I was happy they were having fun! The museum also housed multiple videos, which held my kid's attention for a few minutes before they ran towards the next flashing lights!
At the time of my writing this, the Roosevelt’s house is closed due to coronavirus, but was intending to close for renovations and will reopen in the fall. This meant that during our visit, a lot of the artifacts had already been removed from the home. My first impression of the inside was that the house felt a bit dark, and I could see how renovations were needed, but I loved seeing FDR’s bird collection, and the great room, which was once lined with books.
Knowing that this house held such significance to FDR during his childhood and throughout the rest of his life truly made it a memorable experience [and much-needed material for my next book, but shhhh, don’t tell!]
My kids really could care less about the house, and most of the significance I cherished was way over their heads. Plus, the tour was during my one-year old’s naptime, and I had hoped he’d fall asleep in the baby carrier…. But you know how that goes! We resulted in hanging back from the rest of the tour group as to not disturb them, and snapping filtered selfies.
After the tour, my kids finished their Junior Ranger Book’s and we returned to the visitor center to get their badges. Receiving the badges was a truly memorable part of the trip for everyone, then, we hit the bathrooms and the road home!
As we were driving, I asked what everyone’s favorite part of the day was, and my three-year-old yelled, “The donuts!” No, those aren’t included in your Hyde Park Tour, but there’s a Dunkin Donuts down the road if you need to use some bribery to enjoy your day too!
I’m counting the moments until we can go back, I can explore the archives, and check out the walking trail that leads from Springwood to the Vanderbilt’s estate... and maybe enjoy the view, sans the kiddos ;)
When you are believing for a supernatural pregnancy and childbirth, it helps to fill yourself with Scripture and the encouragement of moms who have experienced God's goodness in their pregnancies and childbirths! That's one of the reasons I wrote Re:Birth back in 2017, I wanted to go through Scripture and find every record of childbirth and look at it through the redemption of the Risen King, then I paired that with miraculous testimonies from across the globe.
I've tried to keep as many of the testimonies from the book available online, in one spot, so that if you lovely mama are looking for encouragement, you know right where to look! With Re:Birth's website no longer running, this has gotten tricky! So behold, the new roundup list of Supernatural Childbirth Testimonies!
Next up, is me again! I have four kids, and three testimonies on the internet [I haven't gotten around to writing my 4th!] But, I learned so much with each birth. My first two were in hospitals and my next two were at home.
My second birth went from a supernatural birth to a natural birth very quickly when I let fear into the delivery room. After I developed a rare skin reaction called pemphigoid gestationis and the doctors told me it would be too risky to have another child. I felt like I was in the pits with Job, but God is so much better than our present circumstances, and I went on to have two more miraculous babies! (More on all this in Re:Birth).
After feeling bossed around by hospital staff, I resolved to take the homebirth path and had the most incredible birth where my daughter was born peacefully in a inflatable pool with only a handful of regular contractions!
Nicole B. was kind enough to write and share two of her birth stories with me! She experienced God's healing her baby from two clubbed feet within her womb, and God's goodness didn't stop there!
Another amazing testimony comes from Natty's Journal: You can read her supernatural childbirth experience here!
Whew, are you feeling encouraged? I hope so! Re:Birth has many more testimonies, some from South Africa, Nigeria, and even Malawi! I hope to add more to my sight and would love to share your experience, or link to your sight if you've shared your testimony! Please don't hesitate to drop me an email or comment!
Also, it's my great pleasure to pray for you during your pregnancy and believe for a miraculous, supernatural childbirth. If you want to email me your due date or leave it in the comment section, I'll add it to my prayer calendar so you can be sure you are covered in prayer when your delivery time comes!
Love and Blessings!
This season has been rough. It's been rough for me, and it's been rough for the rest of the world to a greater extreme. I went back to school full time in January, while continuing to homeschool, and maintaining my writing duties and I had this great idea that I'd hire a babysitter when I needed help. This would have been the first time in years using a sitter and it was a big step for me to admit I needed help, but the Coronavirus had other plans...
Instead, I've been left juggling my kids education, my own education, and maintaining my deadlines. To say I feel burned out and like I'm failing everything right now would be an understatement.
Recently, I've been feeling God press my heart in the direction of maintaining a "Mary heart" in a Martha world. I'm sure you're familiar with the story. Luke records:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
I stay up late each night reading and studying for school, and I wakde up early each morning to do the same thing, but in my incessant demand to study theology and read about Jesus, I've neglected the simple act of spending time with him.
In the business of trying to stay afloat with the demands laid upon mothers in this time, it's so important to increase our time with Jesus, not decrees it. From Him, our wellspring of life flows, and without that sacred time, emptiness ensues! If these last months have taught me anything, it's simply that the business is non-essential, but the stillness is lifegiving!
How have you maintained your oil filled during the pandemic? What Scripture motivates you?
Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I've wanted to learn how to ferment foods for years! I first read about the process and how important fermented foods are to our gut health when I was pregnant. But, other than knowing it was beneficial, I had no idea where to start. When I heard about Fermentools , I was really excited to check out their Starter Kit and get fermenting!
There's obviously a learning curve with every new skill we dive into, and my first slope downwards on the curve began by not reading that a Wide Gallon Mason jar wasn't included in the starter kit. Then I ordered some on amazon but was sent regular mouth jars, and finally was able to get what seemed to be the last wide mouth mason jar in our Coronavirus laden world. But, it was a gallon jar, and starring on such a large scale is not recommended.
The Fermentools Starter Kit includes a fine grain salt, which is rich in minerals and easily dissolved in water so it’s ideal for fermenting. You’ll also receive a stainless steel lid, made from surgical grade stainless steel, a glass fermenting weight, the airlock system, a rubber stopper and rubber gasket. Fermentools is also a family owned business- and all of their products are made and sourced in the USA!
I wanted to make fermented pickles, so I found a recipe and got to work. I learned the key to making crunchy pickles comes from adding ingredients which include tannin- a substance secreted in some leaves. For pickles, it's recommended to use bay leaves or black tea leaves to maintain a crunch. I chose bay leaves and added those, dill, pickles, and the saltwater brine.
First, I heated water on the stove top to dissolve the salt, and then I allowed the brine to cool.
Next, I loaded the mason jar with cleaned cucumbers, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and dill.
Pour the cooled salt water brine over the veggies.
After your mason jar is loaded with whatever you’re fermenting, you’ll want to place the glass slab on top of your food to keep them under the brine.
Then, add the rubber gasket and stainless steel top on it.
Place the rubber stopper to the top
Add ½ inch of water to the airlock system
Lastly, you’ll place the airlock system into the rubber stopper
The benefit of the airlock system is that it allows air to escape instead of having to manually “burp” the brew to letting gases escape. This kit was ideal for beginners like myself who would be otherwise clueless on how to let the gases escape.
Instead, you just load the jar and let it ferment in a dark place for about a week.
Fermentools is offering readers and friends a 15% discount on their products from now until June 30th, by using the code:
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.