The Story of the Philippines: Catholic Homeschooling
New book on the history of the Philippines for Catholic home educators.
Story of Civilization
Some of you may know my history series, Story of Civilization, from TAN Books. Story of Civilization is a series of four grade-school level textbooks covering Western civilization from Egypt & Babylon up through the history of the United States. In addition to the history, each chapter contains engaging historical fiction stories set in the places and times being discussed. Additionally, the books are supplemented with video lectures, an audio drama, an activity book, a wall map, and a student workbook.
The Story of Civilization books provides an excellent spine for building a grade school history program. Homeschool Connections even has a grade-school unit study taught by Jackie de Laveaga that uses the Story of Civilization books for the history lessons.
Need for Non-Western Texts
Great as Story of Civilization is (and I know I am a little biased since I wrote the books), it is very Western-focused. After Volume I, the emphasis shifts to Europe for Volumes II and III; Volume IV dwells exclusively on North America and U.S. History. Shortly after the publication of the series, Catholic homeschoolers began contacting me to ask if I had plans to write similar texts on non-Western regions, for example, China and Africa. The world is, of course, bigger than Europe and America. As society becomes more globalized, it is good to give our kids more educational opportunities to learn about the history of other places and cultures.
Why History of the Philippines?
Enter Arx Publishing, which specializes in books for Catholic homeschoolers. Arx recently published my book, The Story of the Philippines: God’s Rampart in Asia. The Story of the Philippines follows the format perfected in the Story of Civilization series to tell the great history of the Pearl of the Orient.
So, why did I choose the Philippines as my first non-Western history text? For several reasons in particular:
- The Philippines has the third-largest Catholic population in the world (after Brazil and Mexico)
- After Hispanics, Filipinos are the largest Catholic minority population in the United States
- The Philippines is the only Catholic country in East Asia
- The Philippines was of extreme strategic importance in the Allied struggle against Japan in World War II
- The Philippines was a U.S. territory for almost fifty years and shares many ties with the United States
- There are over 4 million Filipinos living in the United States today, over 80% of which are practicing Catholics
As you can see, there are many reasons why the Philippines should be studied by both Catholics and Americans. With thirty-two chapters, you could study two chapters a week over sixteen weeks for an entire world history semester. Or, if your child reads at a slower pace, one chapter a week for two sixteen-week semesters. It will make an excellent supplement to your historical studies if you want an introduction to Asian studies.
Are there any supplemental materials for Story of the Philippines? Yes and no. The good folks at Seton Home Study School have been working with me to produce quizzes and supplementary readings for Story of the Philippines to help flesh out the book into the spine of a proper course. The supplemental material has been written and is pending release. I will update this post with more information and links as soon as it is available. Additionally, I hope to add an online high school course on the Philippines someday at Homeschool Connections.
Would you like more history texts and online courses covering non-western cultures and regions? Would you use these in your Catholic homeschool? If so, I invite you to join me at the Catholic Homeschool Connections Community to discuss.