Welcome to day 4 of my Homeschool Curriculum Forum/Discussions! Today we’re talking all about the subject of history. Now I have to say that historically speaking history has been a large part of most homeschooling families.

I on the other hand haven’t been quite so enthusiastic regarding the topic! While I have done my own Road Trip USA which includes a basic history of the United States of America for younger learners, I haven’t been too out of the box for this subject yet. So I’m sure you all have some great ideas and opinions on this topic to share!

This current year I was really overwhelmed with so many things going on that we decided to simplify wherever we could. History and Science, which we’ll discuss later, were two areas that we tried to make my life a little easier and less stressful.

So this year, and most likely next year we’re going to be doing Abeka’s History curriculum. Since Turbo and Strawberry Shortcake are only one grade level apart, they do the same level. Tinker Bell listens in on the lessons, but I don’t require her to take any tests or complete worksheets at their level.

Instead we take our own time together to do history on her level which is mainly just reading right now.




  • Easy to use
  • Thorough review of historical topics
  • Minimal pre-planning required (if any)
  • Lesson reading is appropriate for each grade level
  • Lessons don’t take very long
  • Children seem to remember what they’ve learned
  • Includes quizzes, tests, and mapping skills worksheets


  • Not super “exciting”
  • Not very hands-on

Another thing I like to add in to Abeka just to make it a little more hands-on are the Time Traveler’s Units and the Evan Moor History Pockets.

Both are fun hands-on activities that correlate with various events in history and make the more traditional style of the Abeka history a little more interesting and fun for our family. And since the Abeka is pretty easy to do, i.e. almost zero pre-planning on my part, it’s a little easier to have time to add in these other fun activities to supplement what we are learning.





  • Hands-on and fun addition!


  • A lot of pre-planning and priting required to get this curriculum ready, even as a supplement.

Another history curriculum that I’ve looked into and actually purchased, but haven’t used yet is the Mystery of History series. I purchased volume 1 last year and planned to use it before our decision to “simplify”. I do like this curriculum, and think that it looks like a lot of fun, we just haven’t used it yet, but I wanted to mention it as it does look like fun.



So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite History curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards History, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

–> Click here to see all of the Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts!


Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.


  1. I read Story of the World to my girls – ages 7 and 5. We do map activities in the workbook. Next year we will start a timeline on butcher paper roll with Bible history on the top and “regular” history on the bottom so we can see how things overlap.

    Amy S.
  2. We have used American Girl doll books this year and LOVED them. We read the Felicity series and then traveled to Colonial Williamsburg. We’ve also read the Kit and Addy series. I supplemented the series with other books relating to the era (slavery, Abe Lincoln, Civil War, Underground Railroad, the Great Depression) or relating to the girls’ hobbies (baseball, Amelia Earhart). We have really had a fun year. I am just trying to figure out what to do when my son begins school. I don’t think he will be interested in American Girl books.

    1. Hi Amy – Perhaps your son might enjoy The Orphan Train Books or The Magic Treehouse series (not much magic unless you count getting to travel through time to a historical period) was also a goot introduction – the is a Canadian version too called the Red Flyer series. Your daughter might also enjoy the 30-volume Dear Canada series which looks at the lives of a girl at different period in history – sort of the next stage up from American Girl.

      Lake Lili
    2. There is actually a unit study that I am looking at using next year with my 3 girls, (4th and 3rd grade next year) that uses the American Girl books. It is called Portrait of American Girlhood. Anyone use it and have any comments?

  3. Hello ladies,
    What a great discussion! Thanks Erica for putting this out there. I’ve been really dumb this year with our history curriculum. Well smart and dumb and let me tell you why. I’ve been putting together my own lessons plans, picking and choosing from Core Knowledge Lesson Plans for Grade 1 off the internet, as many are posted under the Core Knowledge site etc. This has proved WAY too time consuming for me, printing off the lessons, worksheets, activities, and appendixes. Ordering the books from my inter-library loan, then pickup which luckily is just 1 mile away. The kids (K and 1st) have learned alot more and retained alot more than I thought they would, but I just don’t think I can do this next year. I am torn because some of the books we’ve read have been so amazing (The First Dog about the Ice Age for example) but I am checking out ALL the suggestions above and trying to make life a little easier. Way cool that MOH and SOW can be combined. There’s a GREAT video series called Ancient Civilizations for Children by Schlessinger Media – Nine of them in the series and carried by most libraries so check them out for end of lesson wrap ups. TG’s online and inside DVD if lucky for these are neat too.Thanks to all for the great ideas. !

  4. I love Konos. It includes hands-on unit studies and all of my children can learn the same topics at the same time. My children read about history, act it out, cook items related to that time period, create art projects related to that period of history, and more. It does require some prep time each week, though. Not only are my children learning (and remembering history), but we’re having lots of fun while doing it!

  5. We have changed cirricullum this year to Trail guide to learning. It is history based and keeps my 9yr old son happy. His attention span is not real long and the lesson are perfect in length. Last year I had to drop science and history because i couldnt give it proper time. I felt like we were leaving out a lot fun things to learn about especially since those are his 2 favorite subjects. TGTL puts everything together (except Math) so well that it just flows. I don’t feel like I am trying to work so hard to get it all in.

    Tiffany W
    1. Thanks for sharing this curriculum with everyone. We, too, have been using Paths of Exploration this year and it has been a huge blessing/time saver! I hope more people check it out because i think a lot of people would really like it!

  6. We have used the A Beka curriculum in its entirety from kindergarten through 4th grade. In the last two years, we’ve done their video streaming option instead of the homeschool parent-led option (text books only). My daughter thoroughly enjoys the video streaming A Beka History lessons. The teachers make it interesting, using maps, charts, and fun songs/sayings to make geography lessons easier to learn and memorize. It works for us. I’ll have to look into the other options you mentioned. It might be fun to do some crafts and such to relate to the History lessons. My daughter is an American Heritage Girl, and they have a Heritage frontier for badges that tie in well with the American History lessons. As part of that process, we’ll go to the library to find books/documentaries on those topics.

  7. I have a rising 7th grader. We have always used BJU history and I would love to find something a bit more interesting and something my rising 5th grader can join us with too. Any suggestions?

  8. My kids are 10 y.o and under (rising 5th grade and under). WE don’t use a curriculum at all… we use everything in life to learn about history. I have read Abeka textbooks to them before. A couple of years ago. WE stopped. they were too boring. 🙁 We read historical fiction books aloud (Sonlight has a good list of those. American girls series or Dear America are another good ones). WE watch documentaries together. Sometimes we do lapbooks about a topic or theme. The kids have listened to the Story of the World audio files volume 1. I am planning to buy vol. 2 and have them hear that too. We don’t do history chronologically. WE learn as we go and answer questions and have lots of discussions. there are lots of connections happening all the time. They will all fit together and make sense eventually. It did for me. 🙂

  9. This was our first year of homeschool. We used the History/Geography/Bible curriculum from the Simply Charlotte Mason website, Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt. I loved the bible teaching and the recommended children’s commentaries. The history books recommended were also good but I wanted more hands-on activities for both history and geography. I did a lot of research and I was very close to purchasing the Mystery of History curriculum. Studying history in chronological order really appealed to me. Also, learning what was happening in other parts of the world at the same time I think would really help piece things together. However, I ended going with Trail Guide to Learning-Paths of Exploration because of the great books they use and the fact that they begin with American history. Children can absolutely learn about Ancient history at a young age, my daughter did, but I think I like the idea of having her learn American history while she’s young. She can then learn about the rest of the world when she’s older and it doesn’t seem so abstract. Paths of Exploration is a little pricey because it is an all-inclusive curriculum with the exception of Math. I will be supplementing the other subjects, however, because I’ve always had reservations about “all-inclusive” curricula. The way the skills are covered for the other subjects sometimes feels scattered and hit and miss. For my peace of mind I need to know that she’ll be learning grammar, spelling, and writing with no gaps (ideally :). Maybe I completely wrong. Maybe I’ll find that the way Paths of Exploration covers Language Arts and Science is more than enough. I hope so. If that’s the case I won’t supplement next year. Those of you who have used all inclusive curricula before have you been generally pleased with the way the other subjects have been covered?

    1. I have been considering Beautiful Little Feet for next year also. History is not my strong subject (I taught science in public school until I left to begin homeschooling), so I need something that is engaging to both me and them. I would like to know if anyone has used it as well before I purchase it. This year we have been using Lifepac. I like the way it is laid out with the lessons in a logical order, easy to follow and complete, and appropriate length for the grade level. But some of it is pretty dry. The teacher’s manual does give suggestions on other activities the students can do. I have combined it with Erica’s Roadtrip. My daughter loves Roadtrip.

    2. I was going through the replies looking to see if anyone used Beautiful Feet. I do!! And I love it!
      I’ve used almost all their studies, and have enjoyed every one of them. My oldest daughter is 21 now and I’ve never used any other history than the Beautiful Feet study guides and Mystery of History. They both fit our style very well. History is our favorite subject. We can’t wait to sit together and read. Once you’ve done it this way, you’ll never want to go back to textbook-style history. We also tend to simply put together our own history units based on what we want to study. I love it!

      The only way to know if Beautiful Feet is for you though, is to try it. It is clearly laid out day by day with what to read, and what to include in your notebook. I like that. And the book choices are fantastic. You can always add some of your own books, or delete a book too, it’s flexible in that regard as well. This next year I will be doing Ancient history (again!). We read the books as read alouds, and have great discussions. I think that’s the key.

      Cindy B
    3. I know it’s a little late but I have been homeschooling for many years and used 4 of the Beautiful Feet history guides. I loved the literature choices and the spines. Some of my greatest homeschool memories have been from reading aloud the books we from BF guides? Some of these books have become all-time favorites!. It was my first homeschool love and remains to be a favorite..

      Pros-syllabus is very inexpensive and you could use libarary to obtain many of the books (although, I purchased the books for future use with multiple children), easy to use, lessons are laid out for you, living books approach, notebook approach and not many hands-on projects are suggested keeping a mom feeling like she can’t keep up (there are enough resources on-line if you are big hands-on crafty kind of mom, think pinterest) and read-aloud is highly suggested, even in upper grades (and you can’t replace that with anything!).
      Cons-guides are not chronological (no cycle to follow), I’ve had to use other things when I wanted to follow a cycle and do multi-ages together (such as high school, junior high and elemenatry together), not many hand-on activities, does not have scripted conversational style discussion or readings, but more questions/topics to discuss, example-“Discuss how the pilgrims demonstrated Liberty of Conscience in not worshiping at King James Church.” from Early American History primary grades, (these are not necessarily cons, but if you are not sure of yourself with discusion and questions or a four year plan all laid out, than you may want to supplement).
      I cannot say enough how important reading aloud to your children is! So, if you choose curriculum that is too overwhelming, keeping you from reading with your children, try cutting some things out. You don’t need to read every book out load, but make sure you make time for it in your studies.

      1. I forgot to mention I supplemented with History Pockets but there so many wonderful resources online for free or very inexpensive you could use to make your notebooks a little more colorful!


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