One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is being able to use a homeschool history curriculum that makes the past come alive for your kids.
One of the most important things to consider when selecting any curriculum is your child’s learning style. Does your child learn better visually, by listening or by doing?
Look for a curriculum that lends itself well to different learning styles to get the most value. You will also want to work in a sequence and at a pace that will keep you child engaged and interested in learning.
Another consideration will be the worldview taught by the curriculum. History can be slanted greatly in one direction. Does your program offer a worldview compatible with what you are wanting your children to learn?
As changes are made to what is taught in the public schools, secular and Christian texts may become very different. You will want to make sure that the worldview is consistent with your own.
There are a lot of great programs available. Here are some of our favorites:
This program uses a combination of read-alone and read alouds that incorporate the book and subject being studied. The emphasis in this curriculum is the biographies of famous figures from the past.
This program makes learning interactive. Sonlight strives to make the past come alive for students, with heroes that children and emulate. It also highlights the “villains” so children can learn things to avoid.
This approach uses integrated learning along with the Sonlight Language Arts, bringing themes together from the history program.
Alpha Omega LifePac
Most home schooling parents are familiar with the Alpha Omega curriculum. This program uses a Biblical based background as well, for ages K-12. This curriculum offers ten workbooks to use through the year. Each workbook takes about 3-4 weeks to finish.
This curriculum works well for students who need a sense of accomplishment. These workbooks can be used alone of as supplemental learning materials.
LifePac’s History and Geography program strives to teach an appreciation of God’s activity and record of his relationship with man. Themes in this curriculum include World and American Studies, Geography, Government, Economics and Social Studies.
Mystery of History
The name of this curriculum implies its use of story telling to make the past come to life. This curriculum is a guide through time. It intertwines historical Biblical people and events with the rest of world history. For parents looking to teach the Biblical world view, this curriculum brings it together for them. The text offers lots of related activities for children at various academic levels. They can be used as simply or as in-depth as the family decides.
This program also offers a CD set, where the students can listen as the author, Linda Hobar, reads the stories. We have found this to be very helpful as the stories from history are narrated with the music and voice inflections. This makes learning convenient and fun, in the car, as a bed time story or with the accompanying textbook.
This program is designed for 9-12th graders, and is a more challenging program. KONOS is designed to incorporate rigorous research, reading and writing into the student’s knowledge base. It also provides activities, and a variety of large maps and time lines.
It works well for teaching students independent study. This prepares students for the college experience, and life! Students are encouraged to plan weekly schedules for learning with parents. KONOS comes with the Student and Teacher texts, and includes the maps and time lines to accompany the books.
Even Moor History Pockets
Want your kids to look forward to learning about the past? Evan Moor uses pocket books to make learning about the past more fun.
The students will make interactive projects and store them in pockets used as a portfolio. This books focus on specific aspects of the past, such as “Ancient Civilizations” or “Life in Plymouth Colony” that provide a basis for each project. These books are also available as downloads on the computer, and are white board compatible. Evan Moor books cater to children in Pre-K through 6th grade. Kids love it!
When researching your options, find one that will work well with your family’s other instructional materials. Many of these offerings will work well in conjunction with the others, and the joy of home schooling is that you can give your children great learning tools.
Consider using a combination of fun and more structured learning. This gives your child an opportunity to discover the pleasure of history, while still giving you the opportunity to measure your child’s learning.
Don’t rush into one text. Visit vendors and talk with other home schooling parents to find the right fit for your family.
If you have more than one child, you know that what works for one child may not work for your other child and if you realize that you need to supplement your learning materials, there are a wealth of options available for you.