Best Homeschool History Curriculum and Books

I have to admit:  history is my favorite homeschool subject to teach! 

Plus, I love that many of the best homeschool history curriculums allow kids to also learn about writing, handwriting, geography, sociology, philosophy, art, literature, bible, character training, and even science and math!

Truly, no other homeschool subject has such a wonderful cross-subject reach as history!

Here’s a list of some great history books and history resources for homeschool families. I’ve included geography here too, since many homeschoolers teach that history and geography together.

 Need history and geography resource and curriculum ideas? Look no further! This comprehensive list compiled by a homeschool mom of four kids has a little bit of everything. You'll love these awesome homeschool history resources!

Note: Also, there are two other popular Christian curriculums that many homeschoolers use for history: Sonlight and My Father’s World. However, since these are all-incompassing curriculums, I have chosen to not specifically expand on them here with those that just focus on history.

Lastly, it would be impossible to include every history option in this post, and the purpose of this post is not to list every single one! Thanks for your understanding on this.

Top History and Geography Curriculum and Resources

Mystery of History by Bright Ideas Press

 Mystery of History Vol. 1: Creation to the Resurrection Mystery of History Vol. 2: The Early Church and the Middle Ages The Mystery of History, Vol. 3: The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations Mystery of History Vol. 4

Mystery of History (MOH) is a resource that tells the chronological sequence of history by focusing on contributions in art, music, literature, science and philosophy. MOH is based on the teaching style of the Trivium (Classical learning style).

Written from a Christian perspective, MOH is broken into four volumes: Creation to the Resurrection; The Early Church and the Middle Ages; The Renaissance, Reformation and Growth of Nations; and Wars of Independence to Modern Times. The material is applicable to all grades, meaning that the family can all study the same subject together. MOH is one of Cathy Duffy’s Top Picks for homeschool curriculum.


Story of the World 

by Susan Wise Baeur

 The Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times The Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria’s Empire to the End of the USSR

If you enjoy the idea of sitting by the fireplace and learning about history as if your grandpa was telling you a story, then consider Story of the World’s history curriculum.

We have used this four-volume series off-and-on throughout our homeschooling years, and many homeschoolers love it. I appreciate that there’s an audio version of each book (a great way to review material in the car) and an accompanying activity book for each volume.

SOTW is also extremely affordable and easily accessible, and can be used by the entire family to learn history at the same time. Additional subjects such as art and literature of the period are mentioned.

However, for upper grades, I do feel that SOTW does require a lot of supplemental resources to fully round itself out, both in history and in additional subjects. While not expressly Christian, it is not necessarily anti-Christian either. Overall, it’s still a strong history curriculum.


Tapestry-of-Grace--WEBTapestry of Grace

by Lampstand Press

We used Tapestry of Grace (TOG) for several years and loved it. We ended up leaving the curriculum only because our schooling situation changed slightly and it no longer fit. Something I really appreciate about TOG is the amount of detail. They offer a huge amount of study material options for each grade level, and arrange that information by grade level. It really does allow moms to have a lot of options in how to teach. It is also Christ-centered and based on the Classical learning methodology. You can download a free three-week sample on their site to see if it’s a good fit. 


HSITW--Project-Passport--WEBTime Travelers or Project Passport Activity-Based Studies

by Homeschool in the Woods 

I have only recently discovered this excellent curriculum, but I have been so impressed that I think they’ll be our choice for next year’s history. How can I describe these studies by Homeschool in the Woods? Well, instead of taking a more sequential, linear approach to studying several historical aspects, this curriculum focuses on one culture or time period in detail. And I mean in detail. We’re in the process of finishing up their Project Passport: Egypt study and I am incredibly impressed by how thoroughly the curriculum has covered the topic. The kids and I also appreciate the many, many hands-on activities and have been having a ball with all the projects. Each study also includes lapbooking materials, timelines, audio files, newspapers, maps, and suggestions for additional reading material. Samples are available for download on their site, and you can read my review here of the Egypt study.


AmericanDave Raymond’s American History

by Compass Classroom

Geared toward middle and high school students, American History is truly an integration of online class video and at-home work. As a full, one-year class that can potentially receive high school credit, American History consists of 26 lessons, 4 projects, a Student Reader (over 400 pages), a Teacher’s Guide, Weekly Exams, and a year-long Portfolio. Each lesson is presented from a Christian worldview and includes 5 video lectures (approximately 10 minutes each, or an hour of video per lesson). You can watch an introduction video to the curriculum and even download free lessons here.


 

Around-the-World-in-80-Days--WEBAround the World in 180 Days  by Apologia

I wanted to feature this curriculum here because it’s by a well-know, reputable curriculum publisher (Apologia) and it offers a very unique (but potentially very effective!) approach to studying history and geography. Instead of giving a student a text book list and telling a child how the learning will happen, Around the World in 80 Days covers the history, geography and culture of every continent by allowing kids to do their own research! Kids are given a series of questions for each topic and they must discover the truths on their own.  Plenty of resources are suggested to help students conduct their research, and the teacher’s edition provides all the answers. The curriculum is written with a multilevel approach with questions for students of all grade levels so that the entire family can participate. 


History Unit Studies

Unit studies are an easy, natural way to do history! Since topics are a la carte, you can pick the specific subjects that your kids are interested in. And since many of them are short in nature, you can switch it up to coincide with field trips or changes in season. Here are four great resources for gathering unit studies. (Note: Delightful Planning by Marcy Crabtree isn’t a unit study, but helps moms learn how to organize and plan unit studies.)

CUrr-Click--WEBCurr ClickNotebooking-Pages--WEBNotebooking Pages
Unit-Studies-by-Amanda-Bennett--WEBUnit Studies by Amanda BennettDelightful-Planning--WEBDelightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool

 


Historical Non Fiction Books, Audio Dramas and Other Resources

The-Hiding-Place--WEB

Here’s my review of 47 other great kids audio dramas–and most are history-based!)

300-x-150-Kids-Audio-Drama-Image-for-Top-Posts-Sidebar--WEB

Books/Video:
America-Story-of-Us-WEBAmerica: Story of UsLiberty-Kids--WEBLiberty’s Kids
Magic-Tree-House--WEBMagic Tree House seriesImagination-Station--WEBImagination Station series
kingfisher--WEBKingfisher History EncyclopediaDK-book--WEBDK books
For-Kids-series--WEB“For Kids” books (hands on activity books)Dover-Coloring-Books--WEBDover history-themed coloring books
If-You-Lived-at-the-Time--WEB“If you Lived At the Time of…” booksYou-Wouldn't-Want-to-Be--WEB“You Wouldn’t Want to Be…” books
America-in-the-time-of--WEB“America In the Time of…” booksDK-Eyewitness-Book--WEBDK Eyewitness Books
Horrible-Histories--WEBHorrible Histories (good, but use discretion)My-America--WEBMy America
Dear-America--WEBDear America books and TV seriesAmerican-Girl-books--WEBAmerican Girl History Books
D'Aulaires--WEBD’Aulaire booksValue-Tales--WEBValue Tales books

Best History or Geography Timeline Resources

Lastly, here are some excellent resources to teach geography (if geography is not included in your history materials).

North-Star-Geography--WEBNorth Star GeographyWonderMaps--WEBWonder Maps
Hands-on-Geography--WEBHands on GeographyKingfisher-Atlas--WEBKingfisher Atlas of World History
Ultimate-Geography-and-Timeline-Guide--WEBThe Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide

Other Homeschool Curriculum Ideas:

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325-x-475-Innovative-Ways-to-Make-Math-Fun--WEB

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325-x-475-Fun-Science-Resources

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Your Turn:

What’s your family’s favorite way to teach history and geography? What curriculum tools and other resources have brought this subject to life for your family?

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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