Curriculum Review: His California Story by Lesha Meyers July 02 2015, 0 Comments

Brian and I (Teresa) love California.  It is the state my husband was born in.  To me (having grown up in Iowa) it was the "promised land" or "paradise", an exotic place I thought I would never get to go to.  When I moved I instantly fell in love with the weather, people and geography of California. Over the last 18 years of living in California I have grown appreciate this wonderful state's unique history.  It is obvious that Lesha Meyers had a similar love of California.  At least that's what seems to have come out in her California history curriculum, "His California Story". 

From the title we can see that Mrs. Meyers recognized history as God's story told through the actions of man.  This is indeed displayed in the book as Providential acts are highlighted.  On page 38, in The Explorer's Unit Mrs. Myers says, "One observation is clear no matter which explanation is correct: God, in His Providence, did not want San Francisco Bay to be discovered before the Spanish expedition of 1769.  If the bay had been discovered when Spain was at the height of its power, during the voyage of Cabrillo for example, California could have been settled sooner.   If Drake had discovered it, the area might have been colonized by the English.  In either of these situation, California might never have joined the United States."

The curriculum is also chock full of extra activities in each lesson.  Children cement into their memories the lessons that are studied through the experiences of acting out the story of Vizcaino's discovery of Monterey Bay, or making their own Bear Flag, or making and tasting coffee and hardtack (just to name a few).  There is also a very full list of historical sites to visit for each lesson.  Places like the various missions, Vallejo's home, Sutter fort, and Fort Ross are listed to help parents know where to bring the children to see the actual spots where God's story unfolded.  A history song is also included to help the children remember the important dates of California's history. 

One of the problems I had with this curriculum was that there were soooo many great activities and trips to do that we couldn't do them all.  But, I guess that's not really a weakness in the curriculum!

Our family greatly benefited from using "His California Story" for our children's study of our state.  Now to give you some important details of the curriculum:

- The complete curriculum consists of 3 books: "His California Story: In Christian Perspective", a "Teacher's Supplement for His California Story", and "Continuing the Journey" (additional essays on CA history). 

- "His California Story" is 222 pages long, contains 10 units, each unit consisting of 2 to 5 chapters.  The curriculum can be complete in 10 weeks or two years, depending on how many of the extra activities are completed.

- The "Teacher's Supplement" consists of 198 pages, broken up by chapter, with Lesson plan suggestions, Geography