HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Streams of Civilization, Volume One: Earliest Times to the Discovery of the New World
Authors: Mary Stanton and Albert Hyma
Publisher: Christian Liberty Press, third printing published in 1992
Related website: www.christianlibertypress.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Stanton, Mary, and Hyma, Albert. Streams of Civilization, Volume One: Earliest Times to the Discovery of the New World (published in1976 by Creation-Life Publishers; republished in 1992 by Christian Liberty Press, 402 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60004). The vast majority of public school history textbooks are written from a secular, evolutionary, humanistic point of view; frequently contain anti-Christian and even anti-American bias; and present a distorted view of history that has contributed to the strong modern-day decline of interest in the subject. Streams of Civilization is the result of a four-year project sponsored by the Institute for Creation research to produce a truly objective textbook on world history from a Biblical worldview, suitable for use in both public and private schools. It was republished by Christian Liberty Academy and made available for homeschooling families.
Starting at the beginning, the book explains the differences between the beliefs of evolution and special creation, with very convincing explanations concerning some of the evidence, biological, anthropological, and geological, that is often given for macroevolution. Then, from the dawn of civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, the Indus River valley, and ancient Egypt, it moves on through ancient and medieval times, down to the Renaissance, Reformation, and Age of Discovery (c. 1620s), with copious discussions of non-Western civilizations in Africa, the Far East, and the Western Hemisphere. It is not normally my purpose to review curriculum on this book review weblog, but occasionally I do. While there are other good world history textbooks available for homeschoolers, we chose this one because it shows the relevance of the Bible and Christianity to the interpretation of historical events and personalities.
Yes, Streams of Civilization is a textbook. Some homeschoolers despise textbooks. We don’t rely solely on textbooks in our homeschooling, but we prefer to have them around to provide some structure and outline to our learning. Then we like to supplement them, especially in history with historical fiction, original source material, and other “living books.” Yet, Streams of Civilization is not like many other textbooks in that it presents the material in more of a narrative fashion that ties events and people together rather than just dry, dusty factoids to be memorized and regurgitated on a test. It is actually fairly interesting reading, and while I might not agree with every observation made, I really found nothing major to which I would object. Both of our boys have had it in their sophomore curriculum, and we found it very helpful. Also, I used it to prepare a world history course for a homeschool co-op. Christian Liberty Academy also publishes a teacher’s manual which we did not use, tests which we did use, and a second volume.