War of Worldviews
The events of the early 1900s drastically shaped our current world and had a direct effect on the way we live, talk, and understand each other. Your child has most likely met a veteran from World War II, and if not, they certainly have seen reminders of this time period in television, books, and movies. This particular era will become interesting to the most reluctant of students as they read the true and riveting accounts of the everyday men and women who were caught up in a global clash of ideas. In addition, students who already devour history books will be challenged to think about the developing worldview of the Allied or Axis powers. What made these two groups so religiously and philisophically different from each other?
Teacher: Haley Maycock. Read her full bio here.
This online class is suggested for students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. However, all ages are welcome.
Dates and Times:
This is a 26-week class, meeting every Friday (save for Thanksgiving and Spring breaks) at 1 PM Central Time.
Fall semester: Start August 31st, end November 30th.
Spring semester: Start January 11th, end April 19th.
The textbook we will be using is Joy Hakim’s War, Peace, and All That Jazz, 2003 edition.
Class time will be spent discussing the contents of the chapter, asking critical questions of the text and subject matter, questioning the bias of the author, watching footage of the events being discussed, and learning more about the people and places mentioned in the text.
We will cover two textbook chapters per class. Students will be expected to read the assigned chapters before class begins.
Students will be expected to submit at least one critical question per chapter. A “critical question” questions either the textbook author’s bias as a historian or the decisions that a historical character made in the chapter. Joy Hakim, the author of our textbook, is great at making history interesting and easy to comprehend, but she also has an obviously liberal bias that interprets history differently than someone else might. I want students to feel free to agree or disagree with Hakim as they learn how to ask good questions that will expose a worldview bias.
In addition to critical questions, students will submit two essays and one exam per semester.
Early Bird Registration (March through May): $350
Regular Registration (June through September): $500
If two children from the same family enroll, the second child’s tuition will be half of the first child’s cost.
This class may also be audited for $250.
Please email Haley Maycock at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this class.
Required books and materials:
War, Peace, and All That Jazz by Joy Hakim (click the textbook image below to purchase on Amazon.com)
Notebook or 3-ring binder with plenty of paper
Pencils, pens, and highlighters for class or textbook notes.
Why study history in a worldviewish context?
History is rife with examples of how certain ideologies play out in real life. Studying the threads of religion, philosophy, and law that run through the tapestry of time gives students the chance to develop wisdom and discernment as they examine historical events and question if they were good or evil. Although history is obviously not a literal repetitious circle, immorality does have consequences, and similar evil actions will have similar outcomes when compared.
Students who analyze history with worldview in mind will not just memorize facts and dates—they will think critically about what good and evil are and consequently will understand the past from an intellectually-vital perspective. Instead of mindlessly consuming bland historical data only to be forgotten after exams, worldview-centered students of history study their subject with a higher purpose in mind. These students tend to remember their studies much longer than their public school counterparts because they understand the value of history as a life-changing and culture-shifting discipline. They do not think of history as “dates and deaths,” but rather as stories which sorely need telling; stories which need to be loved, meditated upon, and mined for wisdom.
I hope that students will leave this class with the boldness and intellectual tools to confront the bad ideals pervading our own society. This course is designed to help students begin to treasure history, to grow passionate about following the storylines of the past, and to become aware of current historiographical trends and biases in our world.
When I was a young homeschooler in the late 90’s and early 00’s, my mother read to me every morning from this very series of American history books. I remember her concern at the very apparent liberal bias with which Hakim wrote, but what I remember most is that these books were the only history books I liked. They prized story over cold facts or dates and were written in such a way that I did not feel cosseted by the author. I enjoyed the different perspective that Hakim brought to the table because it caused my mother and me to have important conversations about ethics and truth. Hakim’s bias did not hinder my mother’s efforts to give me a good worldview—in fact, it did the opposite. In addition, the vibrancy of Hakim’s historical writing was the first prick I felt towards pursuing history as a major. She made me want to learn more, to go further than the chapter went.
Once I graduated from college, I decided to re-visit these books which had inspired me to be a history major. I quickly realized that Hakim had discussed major, over-arching historical ideas that were discussed in college-level history courses. I was amazed at how simply she described major cultural moments in the 20th century. These were concepts which, during my undergraduate years, I had struggled to memorize and understand adequately for exams and papers. The chapters in which Hakim described the excesses of the Roaring Twenties were not only thorough and advanced in content—they also connected factual dots to form a cohesive, crystal-clear picture of the moneyed madness of the decade. Historical theories which had seemed complexly insightful to me as a college student appeared to be effortlessly understandable in Hakim’s books.
In other words, Hakim has not only written history in an engaging way for children—she has also smuggled profound historical theories into the pages of her books. The progressive bias that pervades her writing is somewhat undermined by the way she makes readers want to learn more. I do not believe that students will be swayed by her opinion, but will rather easily point out the biases in her writing. This will give them critical reading skills that they will keep much longer than this course.