Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The History of the World, Part 1

And no...I'm not talking about a campy Mel Brooks film, which, by the way, still makes me laugh.

I'm talking about one of the more popular subjects in this house.....HISTORY.

We love us some history.  This is why....

 Story of the World was written by homeschoolers for homeschoolers.  It's written as if the history were an adventure story,  not just a dry list of dates and names.  My kids love this curriculum!  We've used it since the beginning, when my kids were 4th and 1st grades, respectively.  Story of the World (or SOTW) also comes with a fantastic activity book which includes a map for each chapter of study, so you get a healthy dose of geography as well.  Personally, I feel the maps help you visualize how historical events developed.  I mean,if you can see the relationships between countries, empires, etc, you gain a better understanding of why or how something happened.  Now,  the older my kids have gotten, I will say the other activity pages are not 'enough' for them.  I almost abandoned the SOTW ship this year because I knew I wanted hands on activities...just at a slightly higher caliber. 

Then I met History Odyssey....
 It was just what I was looking for!  History Odyssey is more or less an outline, helping you use different resources to teach with.  It also has a list of historical fiction works to coincide with the periods studied.  And lucky me, the used book store in town had 90 percent of the books needed!  It also includes maps for each chapter studied and copies of famous documents studied.  It took a little 'fanangling' on my part to make up lesson plans using this with SOTW simply because, although they teach the same period in history, some things are taught at different times.  But there was such a wealth of information here I couldn't say no.  My only concern was that I got Level 2 instead of Level 1.  Level 1 just seemed a little too 'young' for my kids, and Level 2 at times seems a little advanced...but the beauty of homeschooling is that I can tailor it to fit their abilities.  And I'd much rather teach 'up' than 'down'.

Another perk from History Odyssey was their timeline.  As you study, you can add events and people to the timeline and get a greater understanding of the sequence of events.  It was sold separately but I splurged anyway. 

One of the resources heavily used througout History Odyssey was the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia....
Great reference tool!  Has an illustrated, two-page spread for each topic throughout history AND it's written in chronological order.  My kids scooped it up as soon as it came in the mail and read it like a story book.

What about you?  Do you have a history curriculum that you love? 


  1. I've heard great things about SOTW. The othes look interesting, too. I'm trying out Mystery of History vol I this year and I couldn't BE more excited!! ALL of my curriculum is in transit right now! However will I sleep??
    :) Lisa W

  2. As soon as I started reading the above post I suspected it was Lisa W. ;) You ladies keep giving me hope for our home schooling future. At this point, I need all the hope I can get. JSH

  3. Okay, JSH, you make me realize I miss the "like" option of facebook! lol. ; )LW