There are so many opinions on how to present American History! While it is our goal to use the Bible as our primary textbook, it’s not as easy with American history as with world history because we can’t turn to many specific Scripture verses that specifically talk about the United States, to know YHWH’s opinion of our country and His plan for our people.
We can find stories of people who truly honored God and His word, whether from the group who held to the testimony of Yeshua (the Christians) or those who kept His commands (Judaism). Of course, for the most part, in American history there were very few that did BOTH, but we’ll try to point out a few examples.
Therefore, we will base our American History study on only a few Scripture passages. As you probably already know, we look at Revelation from an historicist viewpoint, which we use this in Year 3 and Year 4 of our world history curriculum. We continue this perspective in American History.
“Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 12:6).
“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14).
We see America in Revelation 12 as the place prepared by God in the wilderness, to shelter those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah” (Revelation 12:17). This place of shelter would only be in place from around 1620 to the 1960s or so, as you can read in Christine Miller’s Revelation Revealed book (chapter 12).
Of course, there are lots of evil things in the history of our country, and we believe they have always been present here but have really increased since the 1960s, as God seems to have removed His protection from us. These things come from Catholicism (and her Protestant sisters), from Islam, and from humanistic evolution, as the three “frogs” listed in Rev. 16:13-14 explained by Christine Miller in the Revelation Revealed book, chapter 16.
Therefore, our emphases will be the protection of true believers in Yeshua, Jews, and all those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah.” In the 20th century, we’ll show how this protection ended and what replaced it.
Many of the books we have chosen are resources that reflect this perspective, but this curriculum moves very quickly through American History, of necessity missing many possible interesting discussions. This is why our lesson plans will provide starting discussion points, but we’ll also recommend hundreds of excellent resources — from books, your local library, and websites online — and that’s where you really have freedom to put your own family’s special perspective on American History. You may even decide to take two or three weeks to do each week’s worth of lessons!
Note on Catholicism and Christianity:
This curriculum refers to both Protestant and Catholic Christianity as the “Church” or “Christianity.” We do not believe that all members of historic Christianity were true believers; nor do we believe that all of them were unbelievers. We agree with Matthew 7:15-23, in which Yeshua states:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Our Teaching Methods
Note: This history curriculum uses our “Hear, Learn, Keep, Do” method of teaching. You should take the time to read about it here.
How to Use This Curriculum
Each “week” of lesson plans is set up so that 3 days will be spent reading aloud from the main textbook and the Bible with a parent, then 2 more days of study, projects, and review can be done relatively independently. Our goal was to allow you as parent several days a week of intense study with your children, yet also give you a few days to accomplish housework, errands, and other responsibilities. You are always welcome to do more than the curriculum suggests.
Three days each week, this curriculum schedules a passage for the parent to read aloud to the children. You may also choose to occasionally have the students read the passage aloud.
We have also scheduled topics of discussion to go with each reading. However, don’t feel that you must limit the discussion to only these things! You should feel free to stop the reading at any point, to discuss things that you know are important to your family. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn together.
Memorization is an important part of our curriculum, so that students will have a mental “handle” on which they can hang all the other things they learn. We will be learning passages of Scripture, important dates, the Presidents of the United States, and all of the states and capitals. We usually introduce new memory work on read-aloud days, and we review extensively, especially on the third day of each “week.” Memory verses are copied into the student’s notebook on the fourth day of the week. All memory work is listed in the appendices at the back of this book.
Christian and educational expert Don Potter advises using the “Hoffman Universal Memory System” to memorize Scripture (or anything else). You can read more about this method here.
During all four years of this history curriculum, we will be constructing a timeline. We use dates that agree with biblical history, whether or not they agree with modern historians.
In our home, we used the Book of Centuries as our timeline book. We then purchased illustrated figures from History Through the Ages: Timeline Figures to paste into our binder. Because the set includes more historical figures than we include in our curriculum, we enjoy adding some of these extra figures at the appropriate time in history and sometimes scheduling one of our children to research these people or events on their own, to report back to us the following week.
In our curriculum, we have bolded any dates that we suggest you memorize. All other dates are written in regular fonts and do not need to be memorized. When you learn about your state’s formation, you should add that to your timeline and memorize that date.
We use and love MapTrek for map studies, as well as maps that appear in the scheduled daily readings and occasional maps found online.
While MapTrek includes a CD you can use to print out maps, we personally recommend that you have your children trace the maps for themselves. Tracing helps them learn the boundaries of maps very well.
No matter which option you choose, encourage your students to color the maps and to be very neat in their creation of maps. Save the maps they make and show them off to friends and relatives, since map-making is a lot of hard work!
Each week, we schedule “notebooking” activities that your children can mostly do on their own. Provide them with supplies, such as colored pencils, markers, pretty papers, glue, and special scissors. Younger children might want to dictate a paragraph to Mom, which she could then type and print out, to be included in their notebooks. If your children aren’t sure what to include on their page, help them learn to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how.
This curriculum is intended primarily for grades 4-8, but it can easily be adapted for all ages. Our goal was to help you study American history together as an entire family.
Younger children enjoy just listening, and believe me, they pick up much more than we realize! They also enjoy memorizing, coloring maps, and making simple notebooking pages. We recommend that you make friends with your local librarian, getting picture books that will supplement what you’re learning. (We must admit, though, that picture books for some of these topics are difficult to find!)
High school students are ready to discuss and interact with many of these topics on a much deeper level than younger students. We recommend that you take many of the weekly notebooking topics and require 2-3 pages of essays from your high school students. You may wish to pose controversial questions of your students and ask them to defend their positions.
We have included additional reading assignments for high school students. Some of these are more difficult than others, so use your discretion in what you require of your own students. In addition, we recommend many videos. We highly recommend that you watch these videos with your student, as some of them will contain topics that you will want to discuss together.
Even adults will love this curriculum—we know we did! Take every opportunity to discuss these topics, throughout your days and alongside your other activities (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). You may wish to stick some of the additional books beside your bed so you can be reading them, too. You’ll start seeing the hand of God’s providence everywhere in American history and modern culture!
Copywork of the memory work is included once each week.
Throughout this curriculum, we recommend various websites to study topics in further depth. If you don’t have access to the Internet, a local library should be able to provide you with many similar resources.
Please use discretion when using any website, including the ones we recommend, and always supervise your children when using the Internet.
Please contact us if any link does not work so that we may update it.
A Place Prepared by God (Foundations of American History)
A Place Prepared by God (Foundations of American History) is copyright 2015 by Anne Elliott, published by Foundations Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
Some selections of Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Some selections of Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Some selections of Scripture taken from the English Standard Version (ESV), adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).