Books Used in Our Curriculum
The main textbooks can be ordered from Nothing New Press.
Each “week” of lesson plans is set up so that 3 days will be spent reading aloud from the main textbooks with Mom, then 2 more days of study, projects, and review can be done relatively independently. Our goal was to allow Mom several days a week of intense study with her children, yet also give Mom a few days to accomplish housework, errands, and other responsibilities. You are always welcome to do more than the curriculum suggests.
Three days each week, this curriculum schedules a passage that intend for Mom to read aloud to her children. You may also choose to occasionally have the students read the passage aloud.
We have also scheduled topics of discussion to go with each reading. However, don’t feel that you must limit the discussion to only these things! Moms should feel free to stop the reading at any point, to discuss things that she knows are important to her family. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn together.
Memorization is an important part of our curriculum, so that students will have a mental “handle” on which they can hang all of the other things they learn. We will be learning passages of Scripture, important dates, and a summary of portions of the book of Revelation. We usually introduce new memory work on read-aloud days, and we review extensively, especially on the third day of each “week.”
During all four years of this history curriculum, we will be constructing a timeline. We use dates that agree with biblical history, whether or not they agree with modern historians.
In our home, we printed the Book of Centuries, by Debra Reed, and inserted it into a 3-ring binder. We then purchased History Through the Ages: Timeline Figures, by Amy Pak, to paste into our binder. Because Amy Pak includes more historical figures in her set than we include in our curriculum, we enjoy adding some of these extra figures at the appropriate time in history and sometimes scheduling one of our children to research these people or events on their own, to report back to us the following week.
In our curriculum, we have bolded any dates that we suggest you memorize. All other dates are written in regular fonts and do not need to be memorized.
We use and love Map Trek for map studies, as well as maps that appear in the scheduled daily readings.
While Map Trek includes a CD you can use to print out maps, we personally recommend that you have your children trace the maps for themselves. Tracing helps them learn the boundaries of maps very well. No matter which option you choose, encourage your students to color the maps and to be very neat in their creation of maps. Save the maps they make and show them off to friends and relatives, since map-making is a lot of hard work!
Once each week, we scheduling a “notebooking” activity that your children can mostly do on their own. Provide them with supplies, such as colored pencils, markers, pretty papers, glue, and special scissors. Younger children might want to dictate a paragraph to Mom, which she could then type and print out, to be included in their notebooks.
Some families like to have their children notebook several times a day. Other families skip notebooking altogether, just having their children “tell back” (narrate) to them what they have learned. Do what suits your family!
This curriculum is intended primarily for grades 4-8, but it can easily be adapted for all ages. Younger children enjoy just listening, and believe me, they pick up much more than we realize! They also enjoy memorizing, coloring maps, and making simple notebooking pages. We recommend that you make use of your local library, getting picture books that will supplement what you’re learning. (We must admit, though, that picture books for some of these topics are difficult to find!)
High school students are ready to discuss and interact with many of these topics on a much deeper level than younger students. We recommend that you take many of the weekly notebooking topics and require 2-3 pages of essays from your high school students. You may wish to pose controversial questions of your students and ask them to defend their positions.
We have included additional reading assignments for high school students. Some of these are more difficult than others, so use your discretion in what you require of your own students. Most are available for free online, but if your budget allows, consider purchasing hard-copy books, since it will be easier for your student to read.
Even adults will love this curriculum – we know we did! Take every opportunity to discuss these topics, throughout your days and alongside your activities. As adults, stick some of the additional books beside your bed, so you can be reading them, too. You’ll start seeing the God’s hand everywhere!
Copywork of the memory work is included once each week. In the curriculum, you’ll find traditional handwriting examples of the memory work and a few additional things. You may wish to print a copy of these to include in your student’s notebook, to be referred to as they copy them. It also becomes a handy guide during daily recitation of memory work, especially since Moms usually learn the passages more slowly than children do!