Foundations of Character: Homeschool Curriculum Kit


The Home School Legal Defense Association, in support of National Day of Prayer, is delighted to promote and recommend Foundations of Character: Drive Thru History America.

This 9-unit, DVD-based homeschool curriculum includes integrated supplemental materials to be used by educators with the objective of helping sutdents recognize the relationship between the Christian ...

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The Home School Legal Defense Association, in support of National Day of Prayer, is delighted to promote and recommend Foundations of Character: Drive Thru History America.

This 9-unit, DVD-based homeschool curriculum includes integrated supplemental materials to be used by educators with the objective of helping sutdents recognize the relationship between the Christian worldview prevalent among the Founding Fathers and how these beliefs guided their actions.


  • 128-page book with reproducible worksheets
  • DVD-ROM with nine 10-minute segments to introduce each lesson, and a complete download of Teacher Edition and Student Edition in PDF format
  • Cross-curricular (history, government, citizenship, culture, science, social studies, and technology)
  • Book and DVD are packaged in handy tuck box
Unit Topics:
  1. Faith and Freedom
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. Benjamin Rush
  4. George Washington
  5. Benjamin Banneker
  6. Haym Salomon
  7. Abigail Adams
  8. Noah Webster
  9. John Quincy Adams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414311838
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Series: Drive Thru History America Series
  • Edition description: BK & DVD
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,219,335
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Foundations of Character

Homeschool Curriculum Kit with Book(s) and DVD ROM

By David Barton Focus on the Family Publishing

Copyright © 2006 David Barton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781414311838

Chapter One

NCSS Curriculum Standards

II. Time, Continuity, and Change

What happened in the past, and how am I connected to those in the past?

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

What are the roles of institutions in society?

VI. Power, Authority, and Governance

How are governments created, structured, and changed? How can individual rights be protected within the context of majority rule?

X. Civic Ideals and Practices

How has the meaning of citizenship evolved?

Performance expectations

Students will be able to:

1. Systematically employ processes of critical historical inquiry, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, and searching for causality.

2. Identify and describe examples of tensions between belief systems and government policies and laws.

3. Analyze and explain ideas and mechanisms to meet needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, establish order and security, and balance competing conceptions of a just society.

4. Describe instances in which language, art, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitateunderstanding or cause misunderstanding.

5. Explain the origins and interpret the continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government.

A Few Things to Ponder throughout This Curriculum

On what foundations did the Founding Fathers base the new nation?

What worldview guided the Founders as they created a government for the new nation?

Can freedom flourish without faith?

Lesson 1:

Faith and Freedom

Questions to Ask yourself throughout This unit

* On what foundations did the Founding Fathers base the new nation?

* How did the Founders understand the relationship between church and state?

* What worldview guided the Founders as they created a government for the new nation?

* Can freedom flourish without faith?

Did You Know ...?

* During a battle in the French and Indian War, four bullets pierced the coat of Colonel George Washington and two horses were shot under him, but he escaped without a wound.

* Haym Salomon, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, loaned his own money to support the Revolutionary cause, and Congress designated him "financier of the revolution."

* The first woman to live in the White House, Abigail Adams, was both a wife and mother of U.S. presidents.

* Thomas Jefferson, although not a mainstream Christian, considered Jesus the most important philosopher to have ever lived.

Fasten your Seat Belt

On September 17, 1796, President George Washington delivered a speech known as his Farewell Address. In it, he emphasized two foundations, or "pillars," upon which this nation was built.

What were these foundations-these critical supports? The first and primary pillar was religion, and the second was morality, which Washington said was a product of the first. Virtually all of the Founding Fathers consistently declared that these two elements were vital for continued political success. In his Farewell Address, Washington said:

Of all the dispositions [viewpoints] and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

He went on to say that no one who tried to overthrow religion and morality could claim to be patriotic. He considered religion and morality to be "great pillars of human happiness ... firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."

We must flash back to the beginning, to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation, in order to understand the key to the American experiment. The Pilgrims understood and first demonstrated that religion and morality were inseparable from civil society. They laid the original foundations for what has become the world's most successful civil government. They had a greater purpose-one that was beyond themselves. They believed they were part of a larger story.

A Look in the Rearview mirror

The Pilgrims of Plymouth

In 1534, a new law made King Henry VIII the leader of the church in England; it also required all English people to be members of the Church of England (the Anglican church), over which Henry had just become the absolute authority. Many objected to being members of that Church or being expected to worship in a certain way; they believed that the Bible specified other ways of worship as well. Those who objected became known as "Dissenters." As punishment for refusing to worship the way he mandated, Henry burned the Dissenters at the stake or beheaded them. When Henry's daughter Elizabeth became queen, she took his position as head of the Church and continued his policy that all citizens attend Anglican services only. Those who disobeyed were fined, imprisoned, exiled, or executed.

There were two major groups of Dissenters. Some tried to purify the Church of England to remove the corruption and help it better align with the teachings of the Scriptures. This group became known as the Puritans. Others decided that it could not be purified-that the corruption was too deep and the persecution too severe. This group decided to withdraw from the Church, and they became known as Separatists (later called Pilgrims).

The Separatists honored God, studied the Bible, tried to live godly lives, and took their faith seriously. They wanted to worship freely and disapproved of the corruption that existed in the Church of England. Their homes were watched night and day by British authorities. Since remaining in England was dangerous, a group of Separatists moved to Holland, where they could enjoy greater religious freedom. They worked hard in Holland and made a decent living, but life in their newly adopted country proved difficult. The Separatists wanted to maintain their English identity, and they regretted that their children were being raised as Dutch rather than English citizens.

Some American customs we can thank the Pilgrims for:

* self-government

* the free enterprise system

* a workfare system (rather than a welfare system)

* the antislavery movement

* the practice of purchasing private property

Therefore, in their continuing quest for religious freedom, they decided to move to America. In September 1620, after many difficulties, the forty-one Separatists joined with other travelers, including hired help and other "strangers," as they were called, to form a group of 102 men, women, and children who began the voyage to America aboard the Mayflower. When the group left Europe on their long voyage to America, Governor William Bradford named them Pilgrims. This title comes from Hebrews 11, KJV, in which a pilgrim is described as someone who is a temporary resident on earth, traveling through life on a journey to his or her real home in heaven.

Many difficulties challenged the sea travelers, including crowded conditions, sickness, and disagreements. The Mayflower averaged only two miles an hour on its journey to the New World. Furthermore, a terrible storm battered the ship for days, pouring waves of cold ocean water across the deck. As the storm raged, a deafening crack shook the Mayflower, and a main beam splintered. The passengers waited in terror for the storm to subside, but the turbulent waves continued to pound the vessel. After sixty-six days and nights at sea, they finally spotted land. However, they were not where they had expected to land; the storm and fierce winds had blown the ship more than one hundred miles north of their intended location. Despite that shocking surprise, the Pilgrims believed that God had used the storm to direct them to Massachusetts instead of Virginia.

Before they went ashore they drafted a document (now called the Mayflower Compact) that formed a government by setting forth both the reason for their voyage and the process they would use in selecting their leaders. After the document was read aloud, the men (both Separatists and "strangers") signed it. Based on the teachings of the Bible (such as Exodus 18:21), the colonists chose their own governor and established self-government rather than the monarchal form they had experienced in Great Britain. They named their new colony Plymouth.

In the Compact, they also listed four reasons for coming to America: (1) to bring glory to God by spreading the Christian faith across America, (2)to plant a colony in the New World, (3) to form a united self-government, and (4) to make just laws that applied equally to everyone. The Mayflower Compact provided for government by mutual agreement-a revolutionary idea for that time period and a forerunner of what would later be captured in the Declaration of Independence, which calls for "the consent of the governed."

William Bradford, who would be elected governor more than thirty times, wrote a book about the Plymouth colony called Of Plimoth Plantation. He recorded that when the Pilgrims landed their ship in November of 1620, they "fell upon their knees and blessed [the] God of heaven, who had brought them over [the] vast and furious ocean."

The Pilgrims discovered that the land where they arrived was unoccupied. It had belonged to the Patuxet tribe, which had been destroyed four years earlier by an unknown illness. The Pilgrims found themselves in a land where they did not know how to live; they did not know how to hunt, fish, or farm in the New World, and they were unprepared for the ruthless and unforgiving climate. During their first three months in North America, nearly half of the colonists died.

How would those who were left be able to survive? God provided an answer for them through two Native Americans who befriended them and taught them how to live in the New World: Samoset and Squanto. These men also helped the Pilgrims make a peace treaty with the nearby Wampanoag tribe-a pact that lasted forty years.

1. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?

The primary reason the Pilgrims came to the new world was so that they could worship freely. In the mayflower Compact, they wrote that they came to bring glory to God, build a new colony, form a united government, and create equal laws. Another reason was so that they could preserve their native culture and language within their families.

2. How did the plan of government outlined in the mayflower Compact differ from the English government?

The government set up by the mayflower Compact provided for government by the consent of the governed. In other words, those who lived in the new colony wrote the laws that governed their colony.

3. Describe the worldview (core beliefs) held by William Bradford and the Pilgrims of Plymouth.

William Bradford and the Pilgrims believed in God and followed the teachings of the old and New Testaments of the Bible. They made decisions from a Christian worldview.

School Zone Ahead

Using Primary Sources (Research Activity)

A primary source is a firsthand or eyewitness account of an event. Letters, diaries, books, speeches, and journals written by people who participated in the event are considered primary sources. Other types of primary sources include paintings, photographs, and newspapers. These sources help historians and students gain an understanding, not only of events, but also of how people felt about and reacted to those events.

Primary sources from the colonial period, such as William Bradford's book Of Plimoth Plantation, are sometimes difficult to read because of language and spelling changes. For example, a letter that looks similar to an f is used in place of s in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century writing. This is because the alphabet at that time used two different symbols for s-one symbol for a soft-sounding s and a different symbol for a hard-sounding s.

Secondary sources are derived from original documents. Sometimes modern historians change the meanings of the original texts when they write about historical events or delete certain sections of the text. This altering of history is called revisionism, and it means the deliberate alteration of historical facts to portray a new view of history. Compare the following statements from the Mayflower Compact. Does the modern version alter the original meaning of the document?

The Modern Version:

We whose names are under-written ... do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid. (Kenneth Davis, Don't Know Much About History, 1990)

The Original Version:

We whose names are under-written having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the northern parts of Virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid.

Returning to primary sources helps us understand the original intent of historical documents. On the following pages, read each quotation and use the clues to figure out who said it. Then answer the corresponding questions.


"The only foundation for ... a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."

[B] [H]

Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical, 1798


1. He has a medical college and countless hospitals across the country named after him.

2. He shares a first name with two other Founding Fathers.

3. This man's last name can also mean "to move forward with haste" or "to advance a football by running."

* What did this signer of the Declaration of Independence consider necessary for virtue?

* What do you think is necessary for virtue today? explain your answer.

Quotation ?1: Benjamin Rush. The Founders, including Benjamin Rush, expressed their belief that the American experiment was built on a foundation deeper than the law or even the Constitution. It was built on the Word of God as revealed in the Christian worldview and the Judeo-Christian ethic. In fact, the framers of our society acknowledged this as the basis of government in our founding document. Our forefathers considered every area of life sacred and saw no separation between the sacred and the secular; God's laws applied to all aspects of life.


Excerpted from Foundations of Character by David Barton Copyright © 2006 by David Barton. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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