TOS REVIEW: American Heritage Education Foundation

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never will be." ~ Thomas Jefferson

This the quote scripted on the CD-ROM from The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. Titled, "America's Heritage - an adventure in liberty" this Cd-ROM was developed and provided by the Houston Independent School District in cooperation with The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, as well as, The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. An updated National Edition including all volumes (K-12)
was provided to members of the TOS Homeschool Crew for their honest reviews of the materials. We each were asked to review materials that related to our children's level and skills.

Their site states their mission to be:
Our Mission
AHEF is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America's factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility among our students and citizens.

AHEF accomplishes this patriotic mission by writing, producing, and distributing FREE K-12 lesson plans to teachers, students, and families in all 50 states and through additional initiatives, programs, and partnerships.

The materials are divided between four separate products which are now all combined on the 2009 edition: Elementary, Spanish Elementary, Middle School and High School.
The four themes are explored throughout close to fifteen lessons. There are suggested lessons for each month, but we are choosing to not follow this plan.
The lessons are matched to National Standards and Core Knowledge Standards and geared towards the classroom. I found them to be very adaptable to the Homeschool. This is considered a supplement curriculum and is being used as such in our Homeschool. The curriculum has been tested and states that it has shown to improve student's performance in social studies and history. Across the nation and beyond over 80,000 copies have been distributed, effecting 1,248,000 students(as stated on their website).

A quote from the site:

"Effective, cohesive, and positive self-government in a free democratic republic such as America requires an informed and educated citizenry for the survival of our participatory democracy. ...We are in danger of forgetting this lesson." "...[A] nation that does not know why it exists, or what it stands for, cannot be expected to long endure."
--Dr. Bruce Cole, President, American Revolution Center
Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities

Our family agrees wholeheartedly. We seek to raise our children with an understanding of our founding principals. While not only rooted in our Judeo-Christian values and Western Civilization heritage, these truths are also found in our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other primary documents. We believe a study of these are foundational to raising educated, productive, responsible citizens. These lessons are the factual and philosophical heritage of our nation. You can read more here about AHEF's desire to prevent the further erosion of our nation's values and freedoms.

As I said prior, we are using this as a supplement in our curriculum. We are currently studying the Civil War era. We will be using ideas and activities taken from lessons on Thanksgiving Day and The Gettysburg Address this month. I will continue to pull from the lessons throughout the coming years. As a FREE curriculum this could be a benefit as a supplement in many a home.

The objective of our unit on Thanksgiving is to equip the student to be able to explain the origin and meaning of Thanksgiving. While my son has already achieved this objective, I look forward to deeper discussions on such things as cultural diversity and the implications of such in interactions, personal identity, and the way culture influences our daily lives. A 60 minute lesson, we will have discussions, do a T- Chart, and use Dictionaries and research skills. We will compare the historic and modern day celebrations of Thanksgiving. A fun activity will be designing a parade float that incorporates historical and contemporary ideas. I will also be allowing my son to plan our Thanksgiving Day Celebration for the first time. He will be joining his Father in planning the menu, decorations, purchases, and implementing the plans. It is our tradition that Father leads Thanksgiving each year.

Our Gettysburg Address activity is scheduled for next week to coincide with our study of this epic battle. The activities presented will help our son in memorizing the important ideas of liberty and equality that President Lincoln presented. The "responsibilities" this lesson also addresses covers such topics as honoring our soldiers, and communicating our disagreements to lawmakers in a civilized manner.
I look forward to having my son rewrite the speech in his own words.

Visit The American Heritage Education Foundation yourself and see if your home might benefit from this FREE resource. It is available through download, or on a CD-ROM as we received. Printed Binder versions are also available for $19.50 per level to cover printing and shipping. This a non-profit educational foundation.