WHY AMERICA IS FREE
The Why America Is Free Curriculum
is a non-partisan enrichment curriculum
that produces extraordinary results by using a revolutionary combination of
CONTENT and METHODS. Over ten years of full-time research
at outstanding historical institutions, writing, and classroom testing in diverse schools
went into the meticulous creation of the curriculum.
It epitomizes the ideal teaching methods. It also meets or surpasses state standards
in every subject. Fitting within the mandated time limits, it is a unique, interdisciplinary,
course of study for upper elementary students in which all senses are engaged
and the students live what they are learning.
No subject is taught in isolation but rather as tightly integrated elements.
It is unparalleled in providing the most comprehensive, engaging, accurate account of the American Revolution and founding period, including the influence of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. For six weeks, students are immersed in this era
in every subject - Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, Music, Philosophy,
Visual Arts, Character Education, Performing Arts and Physical Education - in a hands-on study that brings this period to life like never before. These meaningful experiences
and connections result in
academic excitement, true learning, high-level thinking,
in-depth retained knowledge,
and improved behavior and decision making.
Why America Is Free instills respect for self and others, a sense of community, a recognition of the rights and responsibilities of citizens of our country, and an enthusiasm for learning. It is like no other program we have seen. It is truly "revolutionary."
Dorothy Menzies, Headmistress (ret.)
Santa Monica, California
Why is this curriculum critical?
Because there is a crisis in American education today.
Fewer than ONE IN TEN school graduating seniors can pass the United States Naturalization Test, which assesses basic knowledge of U.S. HISTORY and GOVERNMENT. This is a crucial matter because NO DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC IS AUTOMATICALLY SELF-SUSTAINING. Our government absolutely requires an educated and responsibly involved citizenship for its long-term health and survival. Yet, even as the population of the nation is becoming increasingly diverse, much that defines and unifies us as Americans - the world-changing history of the founding of the country, the treasure of outstanding role-models from that time, and the underlying Enlightenment principles upon which our nation depends - is being taught less and less.
is the solution
Easy to use Virtually everything needed is provided, including outstanding teacher training and support. The program allows teachers almost
unlimited choices about which lesson plans they use, and it does not slow
them down in any subject.
Teaches character education based on civic values and principle-based, rational evaluation and decision making
Students live according to a code based on
self-respect, respect for others, and self-
control. They enjoy it, come to really
understand it, and then own it.
Multi-sensory and hands-on
The curriculum provides highly experiential lesson plans and materials in all academic disciplines.
Teaches critical thinking and
solving Students use
reasoning techniques for evaluation
and decision making every day
in every class.
Recreates 18th century classical approach
to integrated learning Math, architecture,
science, reasoning, and other disciplines were seen as tightly connected, and were therefore simultaneously taught as essential knowledge. This form of integrated teaching provides powerful connectors
for lasting retention.
Sparks students' imaginations
Meaningful role-play engages the students' imaginations and critical thinking,
immersing the children in the world of
18th century America and the issues faced
by people involved in the events of the time.
Meets or surpasses state academic standards The standards are met in Social Studies as well as all other subjects.
Introduces students to the Enlightenment This nation was seen by its founders as an enormous social science experiment based on the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment. Students learn these ideas and principles, and using key Enlightenment reasoning techniques, they examine and debate elements of the
United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Because we learn best when we can connect new knowledge
to things we already know or are interested in
NOTHING IS TAUGHT IN ISOLATION
Benjamin Franklin ~
In Social Studies ~
they discover that Franklin was a key figure in our nation's founding history, politically, scientifically, musically, and philosophically ...
In Science ~
they learn that Franklin was the one who proved that lightning was electricity, invented the lightening rod, hosted electric parties, and made "bottled fire" (a battery). The students learn how to make their own batteries ...
In Music ~
they discover that Franklin's favorite invention was the glass armonica. They then make a glass armonica and play it ...
In Art, Science and Music ~
they learn that earth, wind, fire and water are the four elements that make glass. They watch "Elements," a DVD that incorporates art and music, featuring the glass armonica and other instruments ...
In Computer Science ~
they play a virtual glass armonica.
Another example is . . .
All that the students have learned becomes real to them as they live a day and a night in the middle of the American Revolution!
After Patriots Day, studies continue.
The American Revolution is won, the Treaty of Paris is signed,
and then begins the hands-on study of the CONSTITUTION and the BILL OF RIGHTS.
The students are fully engaged. They understand the language of the documents,
the principles embodied in them, and the sacrifices made to protect them.
They truly want to understand the foundations of the nation they have inherited ~ they are invested!