The Social Studies and History program encompasses study of the flow of events and ideas in history, as well as geographic and civic awareness. Broad goals for the Social Studies and History program are:
- To view human history as God’s story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Glorification, understanding that each of us is an individual character playing a role in God’s story.
- To build a “sense of place,” an understanding of national and cultural geography in relation to other nations and cultures and an understanding of the systems and institutions that shape culture and make society functional, especially the culture and society in which we live.
- To understand how our past can help us understand our present and shape our future.
In these earliest years of Kindergarten and First Grade, students learn about community roles and build basic map skills by beginning with those things that are most immediate to their experience. Students talk about the family (especially grandparents and previous generations) and about “community helpers” (firefighters, police officers, military personnel, etc). Students also make maps — maps of the classroom, maps of the school campus, maps of rooms at home, etc. Read Aloud time also becomes an opportunity to introduce students to new parts of the world and different time periods.
In Second Grade we begin to expand the student’s awareness of time and place with deeper studies of community, exploring maps and learning how to read them, highlighting studies of Colonial Life in America.
Third Grade focuses on South Carolina History and Geography. Students learn to locate the 46 counties of our state on a map, they study famous South Carolinians through history, they visit state museums, state parks, and the State Capitol building, learning a host of unique facts about our state.
Fourth Grade moves on to U. S. History and Geography, learning to locate the 50 states on a map, along with majors bodies of water and land formations. Study builds on previous unit studies (Colonial America and South Carolina’s role in the Revolutionary War) to introduce students to the issues and people of the founding of our nation. And students learn about famous Americans from important eras in the life of our country as a basic introduction to the events that have shaped our national culture.
In Fifth through Eighth Grades, students pick up a distinctive feature of classical education by studying specific eras of history from Ancient to Modern times. Fifth Grade studies Ancient History focusing on Genesis, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Sixth Grade studies Medieval History through the time of the Renaissance and the “Age of Exploration.” Seventh Grade studies American History at a deeper level, including an additional unit on state history and an introduction to civics and American government. Eighth Grade completes the history cycle with a study of Modern History, from the 18th Century into the 21st. Here, students explore more world geography and history.
Ninth through Twelfth Grades repeat that pattern, focusing more deeply on important events and reading more primary texts. Study highlights the development of Western culture in Europe and America, primarily because God has Providentially placed us in this part of the world. At the same time, we work to build into students a “global awareness,” a broader vision for the unique role that other world cultures and histories play in God’s story.
As part of the Social Studies curriculum, Seniors also take a semester of Economics and a semester of Government. Both courses seek to build a Biblical basis for those institutions as part of a functioning society, exploring principals that make for a prosperous and well-ordered society. The Economics class points students toward the ways that economics intersects with public policy and social values. The Government class explores different governmental systems, but focuses on the workings of the American government as outlined in the Constitution, including how the Constitution has been interpreted and amended in history.