If you’re like most people, the thought of history classes produces images of dry textbooks and long, boring lectures. When I first began homeschooling, I was so pleased to discover the many fabulous history programs that were available – and as far from dry and boring as you can get. The hardest part is choosing just one! We share with you today many of our favorite recommendations for homeschool history curriculum.
When you’re sorting through the variety of history curriculum available it can be a little overwhelming. My advice? Focus on materials that fit your teaching style and your children’s learning styles.
Have a child that loves hands-on projects? Find a program that incorporates them. Prefer lots of great read alouds? There are plenty of those programs available too!
One of the best ways to narrow down all the great choices is by reading reviews from homeschool moms. You can get a look at the programs in action and get a better idea of whether it will work for you and your family.
From The Curriculum Choice Archives
At The Curriculum Choice, we have shared tips for choosing homeschool history curriculum. Be sure to browse the tabs above to find curriculum reviews. You might also enjoy these that we’ve selected from our archives.
Homeschool History Curriculum Resources From Curriculum Choice Authors
The Curriculum Choice authors have active blogs where they regularly offer ideas and experiences about their homeschool adventures. Below are posts on their tips for choosing homeschool history curriculum.
Eva at EvaVarga.net
I have always loved the study of history. History has always been about the stories, not the memorization of dates and names. As such, it is no wonder that historical fiction is my favorite genre of literature.
In our homeschool, we have always approached history from a chronological perspective and have kept a timeline book of our studies. In the elementary years, we used Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. We are now using The History of the Medieval World by the same author. Much of our study of history, however, has come via our travels.
Here are a few of our favorite history studies and experiences:
- American Art History: An overview of art movements and trends in America
- Etowah Indian Mounds and Coastal Native Americans – Learning about the cultures of our nation’s First Peoples
- The History of Classical Music – with free printables for each era
- Jumping into National History Day – bringing history to life with first person narratives
Tonia at Happy Homeschool Nest
History is one of my favorite subjects! It certainly wasn’t when I was in school myself – I hated those boring textbooks. Now that I’m homeschooling I’ve discovered how truly fascinating history can be – if you have the right resources. One of our favorite resources is The Story of the World Series (we like it so much we’re using it again for our second history cycle!).
Here are some of our other favorite programs and resources for homeschooling history:
- Homeschool Favorites: History & Geography
- Homeschooling History with Primary Sources
- Creating a Personalized History Program with Project Passport
- Books for Kids: You Wouldn’t Want To… series
Betsy @ BJ’s Homeschool
History has been one of our favorite subjects in my homeschool. In 6th grade, we studied world history, and loved learning about other places and cultures. Below are our favorite resources for US History.
Our Own US History Course – Do you have a high schooler? When it came time for our high school US History studies, we used a variety of sources, and made our own course. To do that, we picked a spine, then added in some geography, literature, and a little art history, for fun. My teen was a big part of putting it all together.
Our Favorite Resources for US History – For elementary kiddos – At BJ’s Homeschool, we used a combination of living literature, hands-on projects, and short lessons to study about our country’s history. We had three favorite resources to help us do just that…
The Patriot’s History Reader – My Review – Are you looking for original sources for your study of American History? The Patriot’s History Reader is full of them! We found this great resource when my daughter was in middle school. This book enhanced her US History studies so much by making each historical event come to life. The original documents are at hand, all compiled in this valuable resource.
Heidi at Starts At Eight
Throughout our years of homeschooling I have taught history in multiple ways and with varying resources. We have studied history through historical fiction, using unit studies, reading biographies, hand in hand with geography, and with a varied number of curricula.
What I have learned is this: history is a subject that must be talked about with geography as part of the conversation, it helps to memorize important dates/people/events as a means to order history in your head, getting out of a textbook enriches the learning, and there is no one way to tackle history (meaning do what works for you).
Here are some history highlights from our journey:
- Historical Fiction – Learning History Through Literature – This is my landing page for all this historical fiction. Tons of topics and resources to choose from!
- Fun with Geography – FREE Printables – Tons of free printables, including Scavenger Hunt sheets for every continent. Fun games to play to help learn the geography basics.
- Using the Who Was Series Biographies for Homeschool History – Includes FREE Printable Biography Notebook Pages
- Crash Course U.S. Government and Politics for High School – Free videos and corresponding printable lesson sheets
- Pinterest Help for Homeschool History – This is a collection of awesome Pinterest boards where you can find all kinds of great ideas, resources and reviews for everything history/geography.
Annie Kate at Tea Time with Annie Kate
One of the best parts of being a homeschooling family is learning history together—the stories, the events, the people, the ideas, and so much more. Like many of the homeschoolers at The Curriculum Choice, it was not something I was excited about before starting to teach it to my children.
But then we discovered living history books and the value of stories in teaching history. We embarked on a multi-year literature-based Canadian history course and filled our home with historical novels from Inheritance Publications. We scoured used book sales and borrowed crates of books from the library. Although we did use a few textbooks, they were mostly to organize what we had learned from real books. Now we also use documentaries and they add a lot to our studies. I measure our family’s homeschool history success by the fact that my three oldest, who are in university, now take history courses for fun.
Here are some foundational resources I have written about:
As an overview of what history means, Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live should be essential reading for all Christian homeschoolers. Please do put it onto your personal reading list for this year.
Magna Carta: Our Shared Legacy of Liberty, is a documentary that all English speaking teens and adults should watch at least once.
Motel of the Mysteries is a brilliant book about archeology that everyone needs to read at least once for a hilarious sanity check.
Here is a list of some of our favorite living history authors for older kids and teens.
Our family’s favorite living history documentaries captivate almost everyone.
‘Six Historical Thinking Skills and Your Homeschool’ discusses a modern approach to history education. At the very minimum, it will help you understand the philosophy behind some modern textbooks. And likely you and your teens—who have already learned a lot about historical people, events, and ideas from living books—will be able to use these ideas to deepen your grasp of history.
Tricia at Hodgepodge
More than just history, Tapestry of Grace is part of what weaves our homeschool together. Have you found a curriculum you and your children absolutely love? One that is a perfect fit for everyone’s learning style? A nice match for the age range of your household? That, my friends, is how I feel about Tapestry of Grace. I’m not the only one that feels this way. Here are all of the Tapestry of Grace posts here at The Curriculum Choice.
Guess what? Like Annie Kate’s children, we also take history courses for fun. My high schoolers are currently taking Compass Classroom’s Modernity as an elective. Because they love this video based curriculum so much. Last year it was American History. We’ve also been through the majority of Compass Classroom’s resources. It’s the digital homeschool curriculum we love! “Here I am again. It’s summer and we are enjoying learning history on a Saturday night! True statement. See, Dave Raymond’s Modernity is now available. And since we enjoyed American History so very much (as an elective even!) last year, we find ourselves soaking up another volume of this fantastic curriculum. Yes we do. It is digital homeschool curriculum we love.”
We also think that every high school student – and homeschool parent – should enjoy Constitutional Literacy. We love that Constitutional Literacy is led by an authority in this area of history and government – Michael Farris. And the course presents with the tools needed – a student workbook and a DVD series on the history, theory and application of the Constitution of the United States.
The Curriculum Choice Review Team Features
- Our History Pinterest board.
- Have you enjoyed this special post from our review authors? Our Curriculum Choice review team features a topic monthly. You can see all that our authors have shared on electives, math, curriculum choices and more under Review Team Features.
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~ Hosted by Tonia from Happy Homeschool Nest