I’ve tried many a history curriculum in our homeschool.
I really wanted to be a classical homeschooler and follow the 4-year cycle of history, starting a new cycle every 4 years until my kids graduate.
We completed one full cycle and had just started our second cycle, when I decided to abandon ship and try something new.
I felt that this history cycle was an organized and thoughtful approach to studying history. However, I didn’t feel that we spent enough time on American history.
While it’s true that we learned American history in context of world events, I wanted a dedicated study of America.
So I searched for a new curriculum that was specifically American history and could be used with a wide range of ages in the elementary and middle school years.
I discovered the new America’s Story curriculum at a convention.
It looked perfect! It was colorful and filled with interesting facts and information. And most importantly, it was readable.
This book is no dry textbook approach to history. It’s written more like a living book and tells the history of America in a story format. There are even breaks in the chapters for narration.
Initially my thought was to complete America’s Story and then jump back into the history cycle.
But we just loved the books so much and my kids retained so much information from them. We didn’t want to go back to our old history curriculum with the history cycle. We wanted to continue with our style of read aloud history with the beautiful books from Master Books.
I was so excited to see the World’s Story series being published, and I knew that my kids would be thrilled to continue with the series.
If you’re looking for a wonderfully inspiring, read aloud history program, then this might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s easy to use with multiple ages. It’s flexible, adaptable, and enjoyable.
Here’s how we’ve used America’s Story in our homeschool and how we’ll continue our history learning with the World’s Story.
- I purchased only the texts instead of the teacher guides. The guides contain fun activities, projects, questions, maps, and worksheets. While these are amazing resources, I knew that I would not find the time to make use of them during our morning basket time when we read history.
- We completed two America’s Story books in one year, even though they are meant to cover a full year of history.
- We read two history chapters per week, because my kids always begged for more and never wanted to stop.
- Each day, I would read part of a chapter and then we would pause to discuss what we had read.
- I would encourage my kids to narrate what they remembered from the story, and my oldest child would write the sentences on the whiteboard for us. Then my younger children would copy the sentences into their history notebook (which is simply a spiral notebook with the word “history” written on it – really fancy, I know. But it works!).
- As the year progressed, we worked to focus our narrations on the main points of each story. Then we began to focus on outlining skills. I would help my children decide on the top 3 main people or events in the story from that day. We would work together to create an outline on the whiteboard and then they copied this outline.
It was a wonderful way to use narration and copywork and also introduce outlining and notetaking skills.
My kids never complained about all the narrating and copying and outlining. Instead, they looked forward to working together to find the main ideas of each day’s reading.
And of course, they always crowded around me to see the wonderful pictures and maps in the text.
History has become a favorite subject at our house and we look forward to gathering around these history books and having relaxed discussions about our readings.
We’re so thankful that we’ve found this unabashedly Christian history program that works well for multiple ages and holds the attention of all of my children from age 3 to 13.
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