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Reviewed by Matthew Lewis
Home School Enrichment Magazine

I was recently privileged to review the Self Government: A Child's History of the United States of America curriculum in The Mighty Works of God series from Pilgrim Institute. Suffice to say, I'm impressed! Author Ruth Smith has done a masterful job of putting together an in-depth, understandable United States history curriculum that is particularly well suited to home education.

This course does an exceptional job of weaving Christian principles into the very fabric of the curriculum. Creation, Moses and the Law, Christ, the apostle Paul, the Gutenberg Bible, Columbus's discovery of America, Jamestown, Daniel Boone, Alexander Graham Bell, and many other people and aspects of biblical, world, and United States history are combined in an engaging, step-by-step curriculum showing exactly how and why America's experiment of self-government came into being and has worked so well. The principles and sequence of events are made understandable even to very young students.

The Self Government curriculum comes in three versions: Primary, Elementary, and Middle Elementary. While all have a similar core message and cover the same time periods, the Elementary and Middle Elementary versions go successively more in depth. Because of how the material is presented, I can see this curriculum being used simultaneously for several age groups in the same homeschool history class.

Each version comes with its own teacher's guide and accompanying CD-ROM containing student activity pages and teacher resource pages. While some may not find the teacher’s guide strictly necessary, I do suggest using it as it provides useful overviews, questions, suggested reading, and additional insights not presented in the student books. Older students following the self-teaching method could also use the teacher's guide on their own to reinforce the student book.

I highly recommend Self Government: A Child's History of the United States of America for anyone in need of a complete curriculum for United States history. It is truly a masterpiece!