Thanksgiving is a big deal at our house. We place a huge emphasis on the holiday, beginning our traditions at the very beginning of the month of November. Thus, after watching the video preview of The Pilgrim Story online course produced through Dayspring Christian Academy, I knew it was something I wanted to try even though my children were considerably younger than the recommended 3rd through 6th grade.
I began going through the course with my kids in the afternoons once or twice a week. My daughter, age 4, was only moderately interested, but my first grader was extremely intrigued. He loved the video presentations and the interactive slides, and he loved that he could ace the review questions at the beginning of each lesson.
The course is set up for a student to create his own notebook with vocabulary sheets, fill-in-the-blank notes sheets, Principles sheets, and various other activities. Much of this was obviously above my son’s ability, so I took the general concept and modified it to fit my child. We did create a notebook, and I printed off the Principle sheets for his notebook. Then, I had him color a picture about each lesson and narrate the lesson back to me from the details he included in his picture. He retained a lot of information this way and loved drawing the pictures!
Dayspring Christian takes a “principal approach” to history, relating the events from the perspective of God’s sovereignty and the principles that can be seen throughout history. These include “liberty of conscience,” “diligence and industry,” “Christian character” and many others.
The video presentation narrated the story of the Pilgrims in great detail, including many quotations from original sources such as William Bradford and William Brewster. Though my son loved the story and could easily navigate through the slides, we always listened to the story together, and there were often times when I had to paraphrase what had just been said. Still, when it came time for the questions at the end of the lesson, he nearly always got them all right.
This self-paced course consists of 5 units or a total of 17 lessons. Currently, we are about half-way through unit 3 and have completed 10 lessons. As we continue to work through the course, we will include as many activities as my son is capable of doing and will continue with our own method of draw-and-narrate. And, as we get closer to Thanksgiving, the course also includes a virtual tour of Plymouth, an activity that we will invite the whole family to participate in, I’m sure. Overall, this was a great experience with online learning and an opportunity we might not have otherwise afforded. My son and I are learning a ton about the Pilgrims! And I expect this year’s Thanksgiving celebration will mean a lot more to him.
The Pilgrim Story is available for $99 for 6-months access to the course. Visit the website to read more about the course or watch the video preview (scroll to the bottom of the page) to see for yourself the quality of this course. Then, read what others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say.