By Leah Courtney
History is a subject that I loved in school, but it seemed as if we focused heavily on American history and only lightly touched on World History in any of my classes. Even the classes that were supposed to be World History-focused were not very deep. So as a homeschool teacher, I’ve really enjoyed being able to study this aspect of history in more depth.
Last year we used Ancient Civilizations and the Bible from Diana Waring’s History Revealed. This curriculum is designed to be used with the whole family. It covers the time period from creation through the birth of Christ. The entire set includes a teacher’s guide, a student book, three CD sets for listening, an elementary K-4 student book, and a test booklet. Books and materials can also be purchased separately.
The written material and the listening material on the CDs are written primarily for 5-12th graders, but the addition of the K-4th student book makes the curriculum a good one to use as a whole family, and we’ve always loved whole-family learning.
The course is set up in four-week units, and it includes several different learning styles in order to best involve all kinds of learners. There are opportunities to read and listen along with opportunities for hands-on projects. The teacher’s guide provides many ideas and suggestions for how to use the material.
My favorite thing about this curriculum was that the kids were given so many choices and were encouraged to explore what interested them about the topic. I love delight-directed learning— allowing kids to study what interests them, but as a somewhat structured person I have trouble letting go of “a plan” totally. This history curriculum is the perfect balance. The topics are introduced, and the family will read and learn and be introduced to a topic together. From the many ideas and project choices suggested in the book, kids can choose to dig deeper in a topic that interests them. The wide range of suggestions allows them to pick a learning style that appeals to them. Music, art, writing, building—there are so many different activity choices.
I also love the Christian worldview focus of the History Revealed curriculum. Over and over in the material, Diana points to Christ and how history is truly the story of how God is at work in our world. The Bible is used as a book and reference right along with the other things we read and the CDs we listen to. It’s not taught as a separate course, but is recognized as an integral part of day to day life.
We loved using this curriculum as a family. From time spent together listening, to the fun projects we were able to do, we thoroughly enjoyed it. And because my younger girls were really little during the first using, I can make it even more economical by cycling through it again as they get older and can understand and do different things.
If you’re looking for history from a distinctly Christian worldview and desire a course that your whole family can use, take a look at the History Revealed series. Besides Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, there is Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries, and World Empires, World Missions, World Wars.
Leah is a homeschooling mom of four children. Teaching, homemaking and providing a taxi service to a multitude of activities keep her pretty busy. She also enjoys reading, blogging, and reviewing books and homeschool curricula. She writes about all of these things at As We Walk Along the Road.