Primary Source History

Our first year schooling at home began in the Dark Ages of 1990. We ordered materials from the textbook supplier suggested by the local, non-denominational Christian support group. And of course, I hadn't a clue that there were other Catholic homeschooling families in the area. So we invested a hefty chunk of change at the local book fair. Devastation! Anti-Catholic jargon permeated the books beginning at the 3rd grade level. Fortunately, I met a Catholic veteran homeschooler midyear, that invited me to a Catholic Homeschooling Conference. While the materials were definitely faith friendly, they lacked color, appeal, and zest. Surprisingly, the Catholic vendors also suggested using some protestant materials with supplemental pages to counter the anti-Catholic slurs. I was at a loss, but did stumble upon a better path than the usual "biased textbook" approach to teaching.It happened that my third grader was questioning the presentation of some material in her Science book. We decided to look up the same scientist in a secular text, and then again in the rebuttal provided by the Catholic vendors. It was a beautiful lesson about publisher bias and not being able to trust everything purported in a textbook. This was also a "Renaissance moment" in our homeschooling experience. We turned to primary sources to uncover the truth. This exercise was repeated for the history lessons throughout the year. Little did we suspect it was a second step away from traditional education (I suppose home schooling was the first giant leap) toward a classical education. Check out this link which explains Primary Sources and how to verify information. http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/RUSA/

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