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.
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
by Bright Ideas Press
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.
by Bright Ideas Press
I’ve included Illuminations here because it is designed to be an accompaniment to the MOH history materials. Families who use Illuminations use MOH as their history spine, but Illuminations integrates the literature, copywork, U.S. geography, and spelling to the historical period. There are also options to include science, Bible, vocabulary, writing and grammar (all applicable to the history period being studied). Families are also given a scheduler software so as to create customized weekly guides based on the suggested studies given in Illuminations (plus any modifications).
by Susan Wise Baeur
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||Notebooking Pages|
|Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett||Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool|
Historical Non Fiction Books, Audio Dramas and Other Resources
Here’s my review of 47 other great kids audio dramas–and most are history-based!)
Geography or History Timeline Resources
Lastly, here are some excellent resources to teach geography (if geography is not included in your history materials).
|North Star Geography||Wonder Maps|
|Hands on Geography||Kingfisher Atlas of World History|
|The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide|
Other Homeschool Curriculum Ideas:
Don’t miss these other homeschool resource lists!
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?