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Monday, April 2, 2012

Homeschool History Resources-I Can't Pick Just One!

This week's blog cruise asked us to pick our favorite homeschool history resource.  The problem?  I have a degree in Social Science Education with a minor in History.  History is kind of my thing.  And I'm a total history curriculum junkie.  So pick ONE favorite?  Not possible!

I'll start with what I'm using this year-Sonlight.  It was the first time I've used it, and I am really enjoying it.  Most of all, I've really enjoyed the readers and read alouds.  I like the use of historical fiction (and some biographies and non-fiction) to teach about time periods. 

My kids have learned SO much, and they retain it because they become engrossed in a story.  It's so much more interesting than a regular old history "spine" (or textbook).  I also appreciate the maps that help students track where everything takes place.  I would say though that I won't ever try to teach 2 cores at once again-it's too hard!  But that's part of the beauty of Sonlight-you can use it with multiple ages.  One big plus with Sonlight is that the reading schedule is broken out for you by day, which is very helpful.  But in the future, I will not use Sonlight's suggested "spine" and will use Mystery of History (or All American History) instead.  I LOVE MOH's short lessons from a Godly perspective. 

Another curriculum that I really love is TruthQuest.  (God initiates...People Respond...History Happens is their "tagline".)  In fact, I'll have a review of it coming very soon.  But basically, TruthQuest takes a time period and gives you brief overviews of the factual information from a Christian perspective combined with a suggested reading list.  So it's kind of like Sonlight, but you control the pace and content a little more. 

Just because I'm crazy, I think next year we'll be using TruthQuest to focus on Greece and Rome, and then MOH 2 for the rest, but add in Sonlight readers and read alouds.  I know...nuts!

Two more things I want to mention.  I think Homeschool in the Woods's History Through the Ages timeline figures are indispensable.  I own the CD version of all the figures, and we use them to keep our timeline.  And you can't teach history without maps.  I am very partial to two different ones.  First are the Homeschool in the Woods's Olde World Style Maps .  I love the hand drawn, old world style of them.  They have such character!

and second are the Wondermaps by Bright Ideas Press.  Wondermaps are customizable buy features like identifying labels, political boundaries, geographical features, etc. 

So there you have it- my "short list" of favorite history resources.  With the exception of Sonlight, I've reviewed ALL of them, so you can check the list to the left if you want to see my full review, but these are the ones that I continue to use in my homeschool even though the review period is long over, and that says a LOT!

Go HERE (after Tuesday, April 4th) to see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about their favorite History resources.
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Catherine said...

What a great post! Thank you! :)

I love reading what other people are using, and you've listed some resources that are new to me.

Looking forward to your review of TruthQuest.

Briana Jeffers said...

I like wondermaps also. Now if only I could remember to use it!

North Laurel said...

Oh... Now I'm looking at the Historical Timeline Figures! I knew I'd seen something like that somewhere- now I know :)
Thanks for a nice list!

Kym Thorpe said...

Great post! I love reading about the history curricula and resources other people love, but it usually means I put too many things on my wishlist. LOL