17 October 2012

*The Pilgrim Story*: a Review

The timing couldn't have been better for us to receive The Pilgrim Story from Dayspring Christian Academy. We have been taking a short break from our regular history curriculum in order to work through this great history program before Thanksgiving.  

Dayspring Christian Academy is a private school located in Mountville, PA.  While they serve the families of their own community and also offer special opportunities to homeschool families in their area, they have recently launched a self-paced online course called The Pilgrim Story that is available to students everywhere.  When you register for this course, you can start withing 48 hours and have full access to it for 6 months.  Since this is not a "live" class you can choose to do your lessons at whatever time is convenient for your family.  

The Pilgrim Story is recommended for grades 3-6, although my 2nd grade son is enjoying it very much along with his 4th grade sister.  The story begins with King Henry VIII and follows the Pilgrims through the first few years of colony life.  The lessons culminate with a virtual tour of Plymouth, Massachusetts.  There are 5 Units with a total of 17 Lessons.  

The lessons are all in a full-color interactive slide (power-point style) presentation with a great narrator and take about 30-45 minutes to complete.  They are very nicely done and extremely easy to navigate.  There are note sheets, vocabulary sheets and various activity sheets to print off for each lesson.  The students are encouraged to created a notebook with all of their sheets and suggested writings from the lessons.   The printable pages are all full-color and nicely done, but that does require a lot of ink.  We chose to print out only the sheets required for writing.  The others which are for reading only we simply save and read them on our computer.  This has worked well for us.  There are also crafts, map-making, and more enrichment activities that they are also loving.  

Here is a sample video of this program:

Since Dayspring Christian Academy is a school based on The Principle Approach there is a heavy emphasis on writing and notebooking.  My son who is in 2nd grade is not quite ready for all of that so he has simply been watching the presentations along with us (while doing some coloring pages about Plymouth and the Pilgrims).  My daughter however, is doing nearly all of the assigned writing, although sometimes we do those exercises orally.  

Both of my children are very much enjoying this study and often request to begin the day with it.  Personally, I am having a great time watching along with them.  Most of this is a refresher course for me, but there are some things I had never learned before.  It is an excellent program for learning the story of the Pilgrims and the foundation of our country--and perhaps the best part of this course are the amazing godly principles that are taught throughout it. I'm so glad we were able to do this before this Thanksgiving~it brings even more meaning to this special American season.  

The Pilgrim Story is available for $99 and can be purchased directly from their website.  Remember you have 6 months from the time of your registration to complete the course.  

Stop by the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what other homeschool families thought about this course.

Disclaimer: I received a subscription to The Pilgrim Story online course through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was received.

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