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A New Irish History Textbook is in the Works…

Many readers of the Homeschool Connections blog are also users of my Story of Civilization series from TAN Books. Story of Civilization offers a sweeping scope, covering the rise of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia through the classical age of Greece and Rome, the rise of the Church & the Middle Ages, the discovery of the New World, and the making of the modern world. It is a fantastic survey of Western civilization. Homeschool Connections also offers an exciting grade school program that uses Story of Civilization for its history spine.

However, over my years as a Catholic history author, I have frequently been asked by parents to write history textbooks that are more specific, zeroing in on particular countries or regions. Unfortunately, major publishers are seldom interested in funding such regionally-specific projects. I am certain, nevertheless, that interest in such books exists, albeit maybe in a more niche market. I recently completed just such a book on the history of the Philippines [Arx Publishing]. But there are so many more that could be created!

One candidate for such a project is Ireland.

Why a Book on Ireland?

Why Ireland? The real question is, why not Ireland? Perhaps no people ever adopted the Faith as zealously as the Irish. It was Irish missionaries who Christianized much of Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was Irish scribes who passed on much of the writings of antiquity in their monastic scriptoria. During the colonial period, the Irish priest became a staple of Catholic life in all English-speaking lands. The contributions of the sons and daughters of Eire to the Church and to Western civilization are incalculable. All Catholics should know this history! Furthermore, homeschooling is growing in Ireland, with the right to home educate enshrined in the Irish constitution. This book may be of great use to homeschoolers within Ireland itself.

Another consideration is that the Catholic history of Ireland is often obscured in contemporary accounts, with emphasis placed on Ireland’s pre-Christian pagan culture—or with religious matters being excised entirely in favor of a more secular narrative. The result is that contemporary accounts of Irish history often give insufficient space to the formative influence of Catholicism in Irish history.

The Small Details

For the last year, I have been plugging away at the creation of a self-published textbook on the history of Ireland. To date, the book is over halfway done and work is going swiftly. This book will:

  • Be suited for 6-9th grade, depending on reading level.
  • Cover the entire history of Ireland from prehistoric times to today.
  • Have 35 chapters, plus an introduction and conclusion.
  • Be illustrated with original art from Baritus Catholic Illustration.
  • Contain historical fiction vignettes in the style of my Story of Civilization books.
  • Include a student workbook and answer key for assignments.
  • Cover the history, religion, and culture of Ireland.
  • Give full consideration to the influence of the Catholic Caith and the richness of Irish-Catholic culture.
  • Highlight the lives and works of the many eminent Catholic saints of Ireland.

This ambitious project is a long and labor-intensive undertaking, for which reason I am turning to you for help to crowdfund its production. I have set up a crowdfunding campaign on Give Send Go in order to raise funds for the project. The fundraising goal includes costs for writing time, cover designs, and illustrations. To date, we are very close to having the book fully funded (deo gratias). At this point, I’m just trying to get over the last hump to get the funding to 100%. Any money raised in excess of the goal will be put towards the creation of an audio drama of the textbook.

What’s in It for You?

I hope you will consider supporting this project. Your fundraising will help me dedicate the time necessary to research and write deeply. But I wouldn’t ask you to give for nothing! Giving makes you part of the project, too! Here’s what you can get for your contributions:

    • $0 + = My gratitude, a shout-out on my Facebook page, and your name mentioned on a special thank you page at the end of the book
    • $50+ = Your name on the thank you page, plus a free signed copy of the book.
    • $100+ = Your name on the acknowledgments page at the front of the book, plus a free signed copy.
    • $200+ = Mention on the acknowledgments page at the front of the book, plus a free, signed copy of the book, as well as the workbook and answer key.
    • $500+ = Mention on the acknowledgments page, plus I will write you or a family member into the story by naming some characters in the historical vignettes after you, plus two signed copies with workbooks and answer keys.
    • $1000+ = For $1K, I’ll dedicate the book to you, plus write you or a family member into the story, plus five signed copies with workbooks and answer keys. Also gratitude. Mucho gratitude.
    • If you want to get a shout-out or mention, make sure not to give anonymously so I know who you are! If you choose to give anonymously, of course, you get treasure in heaven!

If you’d like to learn more about this project or support the work, I encourage you to visit the project’s Give Send Go page. Even if you can’t contribute financially, please consider sharing this post to spread the word about the project, as well as praying for its success.

And, yes, I’m considering creating an online course for Homeschool Connections on Irish History once the textbook is published. You can keep up to date on Homeschool Connections news in our Community.

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