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5,000 Year Leap Government Curriculum Review

Posted Jun 21 2010 5:13am

Homeschooling Curriculum copy

Meredith Review BB

"There's a new government curriculum that I thought about using instead, but I just decided to stick with the one I've always used. I already have lesson plans to teach it," my friend, Katie shared.

I nodded my head, knowing how hard it is to make lesson plans for your own family and lesson plans for a coop as well. But my sniffer had perked up too.  "Government curriculum?" I asked.

Katie laughed, knowing my love for books and curriculum.

You see, I have a hard time finding a government curriculum that I like. I want something from a Christian perspective that isn't dry and boring. I want something that talks about the Founding Fathers and the dreams they had for our nation. But, I also want something that gives my kids a practical overview of how government works and how they can participate.

Do government textbooks have to be dry? Can they give us the facts and still be interesting. I have found a curriculum that I love. In fact, I enjoyed the book, The 5000 Year Leap so much that I asked my husband to read it. Now I can't get the book back from him. He is planning to teach a class for church using the curriculum. So in the Curtis household, this curriculum has made a hit!

5000 Year Leap The 5000 Year Leap Principles of Freedom 101 is all about American government and the United States Constitution. This in-depth curriculum teaches the 28 principles of liberty. These principles were ideas that changed the world. In fact, in 5000 years, since the creation of the world, that like this (the American government experiment) had been done before.

Published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies , this curriculum was designed for public, private, and home schools. It contains a textbook (The 5000 Year Leap), a suggested class schedule, teacher objectives for each lesson, reading assignments, quizzes, examinations, and DVD lesson presentations.

There are 28 principles that the Founding Fathers built the Constitution around. This book and the DVD lessons go through each principle one at a time for the 27 week class.

Here are the 28 Principles of Freedom.

  • Ruler's Law vs. People's Law
  • The Genius of Natural Law
  • A Virtuous and Moral People
  • The Role of Religion
  • The Role of the Creator
  • All Men are Created Equal
  • Equal Rights, not Equal Things
  • Man's Unalienable Rights
  • The Role of Revealed Law
  • Sovereignty of the People:  Who Can Altar Government
  • Advantages of a Republic
  • Protection Against Human Frailty
  • Property Rights Essential to Liberty
  • Free-Market Economics
  • The Separation of Powers
  • Checks and Balances
  • Importance of a Written Constitution; Limiting & Defining the Powers of Government
  • Majority Rule, Minority Rights; Strong Local Self-government
  • Government by Law, Not by Men
  • Importance of an Educated Electorate
  • Peace through Strength
  • Avoid Entangling Alliances
  • Protecting the Role of Family
  • Avoiding the Burden of Debt
  • The Founders' Sense of Manifest Destiny

Teaching this class would be very simple. Read a chapter of the book, watch the lesson on DVD, discuss the material together, and take a quiz.

There are so many things I appreciate about this curriculum. One thing the speaker on the DVDs mentioned is that we tend to think of the political spectrum in terms of left to right. On the far left, we have communism and on the far right, we have fascism. This always confused me because fascism and communism seem so much alike to me because the government is in total control.

George Washington 425 The Founding Fathers saw the political spectrum differently and, I believe, in a more sensible way. They saw the political spectrum as anarchy on one end of the  spectrum and complete government control on the other end of the spectrum. They chose the center of this political spectrum with enough control to prevent chaos, but a limit of government control to prevent abuse of power. Now, that is a political spectrum that makes sense to me.

This curriculum mentions Cicero, the Anglo-Saxons, Common Law, Natural Law, and the nation of Israel. All of these things were discussed often by the Founding Fathers and influenced the choices they made in drafting the constitution.

Anglo-Saxon law kept power localized by family and tribe. Most decisions were made at the local level, especially decisions that affected these people. The Founding Fathers worked hard to imitate the Anglo-Saxons in esteeming local and state government where possible.

Not only was the Declaration of Independence written in 1776, but  Adam Smith, an Englishman, wrote Wealth of the Nations, a handbook on free-market economics. The Founding Fathers embraced this system of economics, adopting as their own.

The Constitution not only works within a free-market system of economics, but requires a moral and religious society to make it work. The ideals of a republic are based on the fact that mankind is flawed, thus requiring checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. Academic and religious education were greatly encouraged by the early leaders in our nation.

What a wonderful book and what an amazing curriculum. I highly recommend this government course for your home school. And, I suggest that you read the book too! You will probably learn a lot of things you have never heard before.

Purchase The 5000 Year Leap Principles of Freedom 101 government curriculum at National Center for Constitutional Studies for $49.95 or just buy the book for $19.95, but if you buy 10 or more copies, they are $5.00 a piece.

Government may become your favorite class!




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