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TRISMS Homeschool Curriculum

1203 S. Delaware Place, Tulsa, OK.  74104-4129; Phone: 918-585-2778

By Linda K. Foster

The study of history is an essential tool for learning critical thinking, expanding a worldview and developing an understanding of the world and our place in it. It is imperative in today’s world that students be able to formulate opinions and make logical and reasonable conclusions based on research. It is no longer acceptable for them to simply learn and repeat facts, dates and the opinions of others. TRISMS Homeschool Curriculum (available at is a unit-study approach to education, using history as a base for a complete curriculum. With an emphasis on the humanities to stimulate student interest, the Trisms curriculum seeks to “…teach students to ask questions, find answers, and transfer information from reading to thinking, to writing, and to speaking.” An added bonus to the programs offered by TRISMS is the incorporation of Institute for Excellence in Writing into the programs. The IEW teaching system emphasizes writing structure and style and teaches all levels of written and oral communication, making it a perfect fit into TRISMS assignments.

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TRISMS offers a variety of history-based study programs for students from 5th grade through high school. The History Makers curriculum, designed for 5th through 8th grade students, focuses on scientists, inventions, and language arts. Discovering the Ancient World, designed for 8th grade through high school, offers the opportunity to study ancient civilizations through their contributions. Course material covers the birthplace of civilizations through the Amazon women of the Steppes. Students will discover how civilizations lived before the advent of electricity or cell phones.

Also designed for high school students are the Expansion of Civilization and Rise of Nations courses. Expansion of Civilization covers the beginning of western civilization and its progress from 500 BC to AD 1500. Incorporated into the course are readings of great literary works and a study of beginning philosophy with a primary emphasis on the works of Plato and St. Augustine. Students will also examine governments and religions that continue to exist today. In Rise of Nations, covering 1400 to 1860 AD, students “Investigate the birth of the nations of the world through the early Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment.”

One of the most comprehensive educational programs offered by TRISMS is Age of Revolution, a two-semester course for high school age students designed to show how various “revolutions” in science, society, race, politics, economics, arts and faith have been instrumental in the development of the world as it exists today. Each semester of this program is divided into a 9-unit course of study with assignments given in such areas as art, music, architecture, rhetoric, history, literature. Students use a variety of reference materials including encyclopedias, videos, and the internet to complete assignment questionnaires for each study unit.

The first semester covers the period from 1850 through the Roaring 20’s with unit studies of the Industrial Revolution and Imperialism. The second semester covers 1930 through 2005 and includes units on the Great Depression, Age of Nuclear Terror and Information Overload. 

Age of Revolution is a well-written and comprehensive study program that was primarily designed for the homeschool setting, but is also easily adaptable for public and private school settings. Materials for each semester include an Answer Key manual, Student Book and Test Pack. The Answer Key clearly outlines the purpose for each study unit and provides a step-by-step guide to progression through the curriculum with excellent directions for use by beginning and seasoned teachers and homeschool parents.

The Student Book, providing much of the same orientation material as presented in Answer Keys, is presented in a clearly written and logical manner so the student knows what is expected as well as the timeline for learning. Students are provided with lists of additional relevant resources, and suggestions for accessing these resources are made.  The Student Book also includes all maps, quizzes, and worksheets necessary for completion of the program.

The Test pack includes all required vocabulary quizzes, unit quizzes and semester tests.   In reviewing the quizzes and semester tests, it appears that each covers only essential information taught in the curriculum and is not bogged down by trite facts that serve no purpose other than learning by rote. All of the information necessary to complete the quizzes and tests is readily available and students should have no problem passing these exams if the teaching guidelines are followed.

All of the programs offered by TRISMS are designed to stimulate learning through the use of a variety of written, audio and video materials. By emphasizing critical thinking development, and written and verbal communication, the programs provide students with the information and skills necessary to understand the past and survive the present. L.F.

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