It’s time to talk about one of my favorite subjects in school – history! I have encouraged my children to love history and to look for what happens when people follow God, versus when they choose to follow their own desires.
History is the easiest subject for me to pick curriculum for and the subject that least overwhelms me. There are so many great history curriculums out there, and some amazing fiction and non fiction books to read!
This school year I had a 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th grader to homeschool (plus a 3 year old that wanted to do school stuff whenever I had a spare minute).
I’ll give you the list of what we did below, and then share what we are using for the next school year!
9th grade – This was our first year of high school and everything felt like such a huge decision! Instead of spending a year on history, Mosiah spent a year on geography using the North Star curriculum by Bright Ideas Press. I had such a hard time finding a geography program and I wish I could have found something different. He feels like he learned quite a bit this year, but it wasn’t the literature rich program I was wanting to find.
7th grade – Israel used the Mystery of History volume 4 book, and he loved it! He read it to himself, and then he gave me oral and written narrations. We could have done so much more with this. We didn’t do the timeline and he didn’t do all the extra stuff every chapter. I tried to get the extra reading books they suggest whenever I could from the library, and he enjoyed that.
I’m really glad we used this curriculum, he learned a lot about modern day history that we hadn’t covered yet. He loves the civil war and has read a lot about WWI, but not as much about WWII and beyond. The author presented some difficult topics with such wisdom and discernment, knowing the ages of who was reading this curriculum.
Did you know that you can find Mystery of History in the Build Your Bundle Sale? That’s right! The 3rd volume is in the Charlotte Mason Bundle, and the 4th volume that Israel used is in the History Bundle! Or you could add these into a Build Your Own Bundle, but the sale only goes on until Wednesday!
5th grade – Carrianna used America The Beautiful from the Notgrass company. She is extremely self motivated, and I was very hands off because she faithfully did her work each day. Many times she even went above and beyond in some assignments, because she loves writing. She really liked this curriculum and even though we are going to be using a different history curriculum next year, she is talking about reading through From Adam To Us on her own! My older two boys went though the Notgrass middle school curriculum and seemed to enjoy it as much as she did.
I will say, my oldest looked at the high school curriculum and thought it looked more dry and boring, so we are not going to be using their high school history program at this point.
3rd grade – I start history in 3rd grade, and I just had Olivia read some history books I had left from when we were doing Heart of Dakota. She read A First Book In American History, and Stories of Great Americans. We also read through some of the Masterbooks history curriculum together.
1st grade – I really don’t stress about history or science in 1st grade. The main thing I worry about is reading and math. I started out the school year thinking I would do the Peaceful Press Pioneer curriculum with her and Olivia, but we didn’t make it through Farmer Boy. I should have known better than to have had such lofty goals with a new baby in the house. It’s a fantastic curriculum, the only reason we stopped was because I couldn’t fit everything in.
If you are looking for some history resources, definitely check out the History bundle!
Now for what we are using for the new school year!
I’m BEYOND excited to share that we are going to be using A Gentle Feast curriculum!! If you are not familiar with A Gentle Feast, it’s a Charlotte Mason based curriculum that has a 4 year history rotation. There are 4 different forms in each cycle.
Form 1 – 1st-3rd grade
Form 2 – 4th-6th grade
Form 3 – 7th-9th grade
Form 4 – 10th-12th grade
We will have children in all 4 forms! (Be still my beating heart!)
This is a pretty big change, but I’ll share below the reasons why I decided to switch.
We will all be studying the same time period in history. This year I felt like everyone was so disconnected, and if we skipped morning time we literally did nothing together. Even though everyone will be reading different books, we can all sit down and have discussions about the general time period and feel connected.
2. It felt like what I had been searching for, but couldn’t find.
I’m not foreign to the Charlotte Mason world. I’ve dabbled with Ambleside Online, we have used Heart of Dakota for several years, and I’ve been a huge living books type mom. I was also homeschooled myself with a rich Charlotte Mason education through high school.
Pulling it all together for a large family is tricky though. I just could never sit down and write it all out, and felt like we were missing out in a few areas.
When I first heard about A Gentle Feast I felt like it surely couldn’t be true. I was very sceptical and just couldn’t bring myself to jump in. I waited until we went to the Cincinnati homeschool convention and saw it for myself (you can download some awesome samples to look through!) and I decided it really was going to work.
3. It’s beautiful. This shouldn’t be a reason because there is a lot of great curriculum out there that is simple looking, but I’m definitely drawn to A Gentle Feast by how lovely the curriculum is. The teacher’s guide is just so refreshing! Full of inspiring pictures, it calms your mind just to open the guide. I can’t wait to use it every day!
4. More about this later, but it has language arts and morning time plans that you can purchase to go right along with every cycle of history!
Did you know that A Gentle Feast has morning time plans in the Build Your Bundle sale? I’m going to be getting this complete Language Arts Bundle, because there are several things in it I really want! Mosiah will be reading the Scarlett Letter this year, so we will definitely use the study guide to go along with it.
I’ll be doing a more complete review, along with pictures when my curriculum comes in the mail, but for now that gives you an idea of where we are headed for the new school year. You can order the A Gentle Feast curriculum through the end of May and receive the pre-order special prices (she recently updated the curriculum, which is why there is a pre-order on it).
Don’t forget to check out the Build Your Bundle Sale! It only goes on through Wednesday, and there are so many amazing products in it!