History comes alive at Arma Dei Academy
The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
We gather together in celebration as the students of Arma Dei Academy bring life to history. As is typical in Classical Christian schools around the country, Arma Dei students are immersed in a chronological study of History. History is HIS Story – how God has been at work through all times and civilizations. “His Story” is the organizing backbone whereupon our entire curriculum is built. Students develop an appreciation and understanding of the world around them by first studying the past.
This fall, students in first grade, fifth grade, and the sixth grade have been studying early American History. There is great value in cycling through history at each level or stage of development. Each concentrates on a different aspect of learning: students begin with familiarity (1st grade) then progress to chronological and logical relationships (5th grade) and finally culminate with the interaction of ideas (6th grade).
Students bring to life important paintings depicting our early country. These events and their people are the stuff of legends. Their bravery, grit and sacrifice was fueled by their reliance on Almighty God. How we give thanks for them!
The First Thanksgiving
Early American history is formally introduced in the First grade. Our students presented a drama depicting events that may have occurred at the first Thanksgiving celebration. We begin our studies in the fall with Columbus convincing world leaders that the world was a sphere and that if one traveled west, eventually they could return to the site of the beginning of their journey. We focus on the desire of Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain to spread the Gospel to the New World. Through this approach we present a Biblical Worldview of our American heritage. The students see strengths as well as weaknesses, victories as well as evils that were demonstrated by Columbus and his sailors.
Our next stop on the historical time-line took us to Jamestowne. There we saw behaviors that often are at extreme ends of the character continuum, from highly moral to villainous behavior. As Solomon said, in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “there is nothing new under the sun.” In our historical presentation of the First Thanksgiving, we included Pocahontas. She was not present at Plymouth Rock and never knew Squanto even though they lived during the same time-period in history and they were both in England for a portion of their lives. She and Squanto both demonstrated a benevolent, kindhearted spirit that has always been an important part of our heritage. They are great examples of Christ’s mandate to be our brother’s keeper and they also give us a beautiful picture of the “melting pot” in American, where people come together and live in peace and harmony.
1st Grade at Arma Dei Academy Dramas such as this support the Classical system of education. Our goal is to help students build relationships with the historical characters and the events that we study. We read biographies, diaries, and autobiographies of people who lived during the times we study. These first-hand accounts bring life and interest in history to our students.
From Plymouth Plantation, to go on to meet the founding fathers, then President Lincoln and we see the divisions he experienced. Finally, we travel west and arrive at home in Colorado to learn about our exciting beginnings.
Washington Crossing the Delaware
Brrrrr!!! What a way to spend the holidays! On Christmas Night, December 25, 1776, George Washington led Continental army soldiers across the Delaware River to attack Britain’s Hessian army at Trenton, New Jersey. This successful surprise attack provided a much-needed victory for Britain’s former colonies as they struggled for freedom.
German artist, Emanuel Leutze, moved to America as a child, but returned to Germany to study art in 1840. With a strong belief in democracy, he painted this American Revolution scene to inspire German reformers. His intent was not to depict actual events, but to portray the essence and ideal of democracy itself.
Others, in this painting, that were honored to serve alongside of Commander Washington and fight for freedom, liberty, and the pursuit were: James Monroe, Jebediah Wisenheimer, Zacharia Kickshaw, African American soldier, Elizabeth Williams, David Browinker, and Hardie MacConnochie.