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Dave Raymond's History Series

Dave Raymond's History Series

A Philosophy of History

Francis Bacon once wrote that history makes men wise. 

I love the discipline of history because it constantly reminds me that there is much to learn, much to understand, and much to wrestle with. History makes men wise by teaching them to be humble—to know and recognize that men and women of the past are made in the same image as we are and just as fallen. History, like all other subjects, also teaches humility by showing that the teacher who desires excellence in instruction must first desire excellence as a student. The student, as Tolkien noted, is constantly exercising a type of intellectual repentance in admitting that she does not know or understand what she should. History, combined with what Bacon called the grave art of moral philosophy or a Christian worldview, gives us a realistic view of the world, one that sees the failures of man—believer and pagan alike—through millennia, and one that sees the ever-sustaining mercy of a redeeming God in the midst of a darkened world. John Briggs summarizes what I hope you will see in our history series:

The Christian faith does not have to contort itself to embrace the hard facts of history. It admits that the tragedy of history cannot be avoided, but claims that there is power that redeems tragedy.

Scope of the Course

History is best understood through the dual lenses of dramatic story and godly wisdom. In order to provide the necessary context for seeing God's story of mercy and redemption across time, I've divided history into four epochs that provide suitable frames for each of four years of study: Antiquity, Christendom, America, and Modernity.

Who This Course is Designed For

Normally, these periods of history correspond to four years in high school, but I've made the class accessible enough for middle school students who want to deepen their introduction to history. The reading load, portfolio items, and additional activities can be selectively used by the parent to adjust aspects of the course workload for a particular student.

Calculating High School Credit for History

HSLDA recommends spending approximately 150 hours on a subject to qualify for high school credit. This is how Dave Raymond’s classes generally break down to achieve that credit. Some students will spend more time in some areas and some will spend less, but there is clearly enough different types of work to qualify for full high school credit:
 
american history credit chart
 
* The American History reader, for example, includes 400 pages of original historical materials. It increases in length as the year progresses. For example, Semester 1 is 150 pages and Semester 2 is 250 pages. If additional reading is desired for older students, we include recommendations.
**If a parent desires to do two or more thesis papers for older students, that is perfectly acceptable and will only increase the amount of time spent in the class.
 

What The Course Provides for Students & Parents

  • Respect for history as providence
  • Focus on story-telling
  • Christian worldview applied to all topics
  • Honest approach to history, fallen cultures, and sinful heroes and villains
  • Hopeful view of Christendom and Church in history
  • History understood as a means for explaining who we are
  • Flexible, non-cumulative curriculum—jump in any time
  • Designed for advanced junior high and regular level high school students
  • Use of primary sources (over 380 pages for American History) with engaging questions
  • Regular exams
  • Hands-on projects
  • Student-made history portfolio
  • Teacher’s guide

 

Overview of the Course Sequence 

ANTIQUITY (Available Summer 2017)

Antiquity focuses on the fact that culture is religion externalized and surveys the Israelites, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Canaanites, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Africans, Greeks, and Romans. It covers history from the creation week of Genesis to the life of Christ.  

CHRISTENDOM (Available Summer 2018)

Christendom engages the remarkable history of growth and the culture-changing effects of the Church from the days of the Apostles to the Reformation by retelling the stories of penitent heroes and self-reliant villains from Judea, Ethiopia, Rome, Normandy, Saxony, and Scotland, to name just a few. 

AMERICAN HISTORY (Now available)

American history studies the unique experiment and vision of the American people for liberty and justice from the days of the earliest explorers and settlers to the lives of Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington. The Founding period, religious concerns in American culture, and the Civil War are given especial attention.

MODERNITY (Available Spring 2016)

Modernity surveys and contrasts the worldviews of Christendom and the Enlightenment from the post-Reformation period to the present day. Modernity covers both modern European and world history from the 16th century on and modern American history in the 20th and 21st centuries.

  

My Own History

Dave Raymond lives in Maury County, Tennessee with his wife and 6 children. For the past 12 years, he has studied and taught the disciplines of history, literature, composition, civics, economics, and Latin. He currently teaches at his own Quiller Tutorials and at Foundations Christian Academy.