By Suzanne Reid
Diana Waring shows us the way to an Abundant-Life Homeschool.
For the past eighteen years, Diana has traveled around the world, speaking to thousands of home schoolers, bringing a message of loving our kids and loving home schooling. Working with her husband Bill, Diana has developed a ministry/business that focuses primarily on two areas: encouragement and curriculum.
With great enthusiasm and humor, Diana shares her love of God and of history in a manner that is contagious to children. From the dusty pages of history, she brings to life the fascinating stories of real people, whose lives intersected with great moments in history leading to the accomplishment of great feats.
The premise behind History Revealed is to teach history as “His Story.” Diana developed the material so that students would understand history from God’s point of view. She desires that students come to “view all history—all cultures and events—in the light of God’s revelation of Himself and His ongoing redemptive purpose.”
Another foundational concept communicated in this history and throughout Diana’s work is the idea of honoring and respecting the children that God has given us. Each of us is created in the image of God and is unique. Most likely, our children’s gifts are not the same as ours, and the biggest challenge most parents face is that of appreciating the differences in our children. Instead of being frustrated with those who learn differently than we do, we must humbly respect them and discover how God made them.
With that thought in mind, Diana has spent years studying how to reach both the hearts and the minds of our children, and the results are integrated into her curriculum. She has structured this history series on the foundation of three approaches to learning, which are Four Learning Styles, Three Learning Modalities, and Eight Intelligences. The Four Learning Styles was developed by Myers-Briggs and is a categorization of how each personality style learns best. The Three Learning Modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) are the three means that learners use to process and retain new information. Lastly, Howard Gardner of Harvard University theorized the Eight Intelligences, which are natural areas of talent that humans possess, beyond basic verbal and mathematical skills. Diana explains these learning approaches clearly at the beginning of the teacher guide so that the parent can discover her child’s learning style, modalities, and intelligence and then begin gearing education to meet her child’s God-given abilities.
History Revealed covers history from Creation to 1950 A.D. in three separate packages. Ancient Civilizations covers Creation to Jesus Christ (4004 B.C. to 29 A.D.). Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries covers the Resurrection to the American Revolution (A.D. 30 to 1799), and the soon-to-be-released World Empires, World Missions, World Wars will cover from Napoleon to Korean Conflict (A.D. 1800 to 1950).
Each section of history year is divided into nine units, each requiring four weeks to complete. Within the four weeks, each week is geared to one of the four learning styles. For example, week one appeals to the “Feeler” learning style. During this week the student listens to auditory recordings and reads and discusses scriptures and history materials. Week Two appeals to the “Thinker” by studying timelines, vocabulary, and research projects. Week Three appeals to the “Sensor” learning style with art projects, science experiments, mapmaking, etc. Week Four provides the “Intuitor” learning style opportunities for creative expression through drama, dance, poetry, etc. Students approach the history in each unit from the four different learning styles, maximizing their understanding and memory of learning.
The curriculum is a complete package designed for a year’s study. It includes a hardbound teacher guide, a companion paperback student text, and three history DVD sets. On the DVD sets, Diana narrates captivating history stories, biographies, and church facts under the titles of “What in the World?” “True Tales,” and “Digging Deeper.” For those who want to administer tests, Diana has created a test kit, which has a comprehensive test and answer key for each unit. Younger children can follow along with the ancillary “Elementary Activity Book,” designed for children grades K-4. It is a fun approach to studying history with recipes, puzzles, Bible stories, crafts, and much more.
The beauty of History Revealed is its design, and I don’t mean its graphic design, although that is professional and very pleasing. History Revealed is masterfully structured for those who depend on a curriculum for detailed direction, yet it allows freedom and creativity for those who tend to feel trapped by structure. Additionally, families using this curriculum could teach several children in varying grades concurrently. The first week of each unit includes relevant reading lists from several grade levels. Families can study together but complete different assignments relevant to each student’s grade level and learning style. The curriculum meets the needs of every learner and instills a joy of learning His Story.