History Odyssey - Ancients (Level 2)

History Odyssey - Ancients (Level 2)

# 003997

Our Price: $44.95
Retail: $57.99
Save: 22.49% ($13.04)
In Stock.

Item #: 003997
ISBN: 9780979849626
Grades: 5-9

Category Description for History Odyssey:

Imagine a classically-based history course where your child reads great history books and period-related literature, keeps a running timeline of the period studied, writes outlines and summaries of important people and events, completes history-related map work, and does all of this without extensive planning on mom's part. Although it may sound too good to be true, luckily for you it's not! Author Kathleen Desmarais has done an awesome job of combining an excellent variety of resources and activities and presenting it all in a very straight-forward, professional way that takes the stress of lesson planning off of you and puts the accountability and expectations squarely on your history student.

History Odyssey is basically a series of study guides, with one guide covering one era of history (Ancients, Middle Ages, Early Modern, or Modern) in one year. There are three levels to the program, so if you completed the whole series, you would cycle through world history three times - once in elementary, once in middle school, and once in high school education. The first level is intended for grades 1-4, the second level for grades 5-8, and the third level for grades 9-12. There will be twelve guides when the series is complete; currently, there are still several guides in production. The guides are loose-leaf and 3-hole punched, designed to be placed in a binder. You'll probably want a thick one; students will be adding a lot of material!

Although the same eras in history are covered in each level, the expectations on the student become more sophisticated, following the classical education progression. In Level 1 (the grammar stage), students are encouraged to approach history as a great story as they read (or are read to) and complete map work, History Pockets activities, copywork, and coloring pages. This level will require more attention from the parent than the two upper levels. Depending on the reading ability of the child, some reading selections may need to be read aloud or read together. There will also be copies to make and supplies to gather for each lesson. Level 2 (the logic stage) introduces the timeline, outlining as a writing skill, research, and independent writing assignments. Students are expected to read all assignments on their own, and critical thinking and analysis are emphasized through the assignments. Parental involvement should be reduced at this level, as parents should be only checking the quality of each day's work and making sure that it has all been done. By Level 3 (the rhetoric stage), students will be reading much more demanding history selections (including classic literature) and will be writing plenty of expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive essays. Research, timeline work, and map work are continued from Level 2 but are more in-depth at this level. For each level, history, geography, and writing are strongly represented. Although the writing practice is extensive, you will probably want to be using a separate course in English and writing.

Now that you're familiar with the basics of the course, let's look at the lessons. Lessons are presented to the student in a checklist-type format. All assignments, including reading, timeline, writing, and others are listed for each lesson with a box to check when the task is complete. In Level 1, lessons are structured a bit differently, in that there is some parent preparation (highlighted in gray), a "main lesson" of assignments, and then several "additional activities" listed. Lessons typically include a mix of readings from resource books, map work, timeline work (in the upper two levels), and writing assignments/copywork to be added to the student's master binder. Exceptions may be lessons which ask the student to begin reading a required book. In this case, a recommended time frame is given in which the book should be read, and follow-up writing assignments may be listed. Occasionally websites may be listed to check out more information, but these are not absolutely necessary to the course if you are not able to visit them. Following the lessons, you'll find worksheets referred to in the lessons, outline maps used in map activities, and several appendices. Although the guide is not reproducible, the author does give permission to copy the maps and worksheets for your family's use only.

There are several important aspects of this course. First of all, with the exception of Level 1, there is little parent preparation. A "Letter to Parents" at the beginning of the guide explains the course, while the "How to Use This Guide" lists required resources and other necessary supplies, describes the organization of the student's binder, and briefly discusses several aspects of the program. For the upper two levels, parents will be primarily making sure the necessary books and resources are on hand and ensuring that each lesson's work has been done and is complete. This leads to my next point, which is that at the end of this course, the student will not have "completed a workbook," but will have compiled their own meaty notebook with all their work from the course. Instruction is given at the very beginning of the course on how to organize the student's notebook, and from that point on, the student will be putting all of their work into the binder. The binder will be not only a tremendous keepsake but a collection of all work done in the course. Finally, the timeline is a very important tool used in Levels 2 and 3 of History Odyssey. This can be made by you, or you may choose to purchase Pandia Press's very attractive Classical History Timeline, which is described below. Events and people studied are added to the timeline throughout the course, and when they're finished with the guide, the timeline can be folded up and included in the student's binder.

One bonus to the course is that they use well-known resources and literature that you may already own! Level 1 heavily uses Story of the World books, A Child's History of the World and History Pockets. My sample of Middle Ages Level 2 lists the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Story of Mankind, Usborne Internet-Linked Viking World, The Door in the Wall, Tales from Shakespeare, Beowulf: A New Telling, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Castle (by David Macaulay), The Canterbury Tales, and many more. Check out the lists of resources beneath each History Odyssey Guide below - I'm sure you'll see many familiar titles! Additional recommended (but not required) titles are listed in the appendix of each guide, organized by region studied. You should be able to locate most of these at your library.

According to the author, the study guides were created based on three principles – “that history is fun when it is presented as a story, that history is best studied through the reading of great books, and that history is best taught through a world view with an opportunity to learn about different cultures.” In accomplishing that, it also appears that kids will come away with a very cohesive grasp of history, the sense of accomplishment from creating their own book of information about the time period, and well-honed research, writing, and organizational skills too! Although I’ve seen “the notebook approach” used in unit studies, I love how in this case, it makes the student an active researcher and analyst as they compile their notebook and write their own history. I also love the way the guides speak directly to the student. Being able to manage their own assignments and keep track of their work is an invaluable skill – and terrific college preparation at any age! - Jess

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Pandia Press
1.0 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.5" x 0.5"
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 4 questions Browse 4 questions and 27 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Covers multiple subjects
Whitney D on Jun 13, 2023
a friend mentioned this curriculum and how much they loved it.
Carmen F on Aug 4, 2020
Covers multiple subjects
Whitney D on Jun 13, 2023
Great curriculum
Yuliya M on Oct 30, 2020
a friend mentioned this curriculum and how much they loved it.
Carmen F on Aug 4, 2020
Recommended by friend.
Celeste W on Jul 29, 2020
Classical approach to middle school history course with reading list.
Crystal M on Jul 23, 2020
Have used this program the last 2 years and love it
Hailey A on Jul 18, 2018
We've used History Odyssey before and found it very progressive, easy to follow, and engaging.
Kimberly M on Nov 8, 2017
I used Story of the World for elementary grades and loved it. This was recommended to me by a seasoned homeschool mother and so I'm going to try it for junior high.
Kari E on Nov 3, 2017
I used this 8 years ago with my older daughter and really liked how it prepared her for High School work. Now I'm using it with my younger daughter.
Lana R on Aug 23, 2017
I read great reviews online
Erin W on Dec 11, 2016
Like the Curriculum. We've used it for several years
Jolene H on Aug 7, 2016
I've used the History Odyssey Level One series for my son and he really enjoyed those stories and activities.
Kimberly R on Jul 25, 2016
The content seemed fun and engaging
Melisa S on Jul 1, 2016
Our family uses the classical approach and desired more for our history. This looked like a good fit.
Kim L on May 4, 2016
I choose this because it is a secular history program and I love how it is set up
Amy G on Feb 14, 2016
Great curriculum
Yuliya M on Oct 30, 2020
Recommended by friend.
Celeste W on Jul 29, 2020
How much time does it take to complete each lesson?
A shopper on May 22, 2022
BEST ANSWER: 20 to 30 minutes
How many weeks can we expect it to take to complete this curriculum?
Sabrina on Aug 1, 2021
BEST ANSWER: I used this curriculum with my son last year in 7th grade. There are 72 lessons so if you do two lessons per week, you’ll finish the program in a 36-week school year. I taught history twice a week but occasionally a lesson took longer than expected so we added a third day of history when needed. I also opted to skip a few lessons as I didn’t always feel the need to add the additional reading (books other than the main spine). I’ve been using this program for the past two years and will use it again this year. Hope that helps!
Are these guides in color or black and white?
A shopper on Apr 27, 2016
BEST ANSWER: They are black and white. We used them for about 6 months and I have to say, they are BORING! We finally had to quit b/c I just couldn't keep doing them. It was a lot of dry reading of names and dates without a lot of information to tie them together.
4.5 / 5.0
4 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Great Ancient History
We have tried what seems like everything and this is it for us. Has actual books to read during the curriculum to help drive home the point.
August 1, 2021
over 2 years ago
Rated 3 out of 5
Good starter curriculum, not the best
I'm not big on test taking, but I also don't feel this curriculum provides guidelines or checkpoints to verify how much your student is learning and/or retaining. If you're looking for tests or quizzes at the end of the unit, this is not your curriculum. If you're looking for an easy, open & go curriculum, this will do it. I also appreciate that it incorporates Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and "living books" for literature and learning. It's not all bad. But for me, I would have preferred something that provides guidance and instruction on how to teach the material--as well as how assignments should be graded.
March 21, 2020
over 3 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Great for kids with unique learning styles
My son has difficulty focusing. He is also tactile and visual. This program is varied and flexible enough that we can go at our pace and use it how we want.
December 10, 2017
over 5 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
I have used many different approaches to teaching history beginning with traditional then principles then literature based and now this Having used those various approaches in the past has given me such an appreciation for this curriculum It is thorough engaging thought provoking and encourages organizational and outlining skills The daily lessons are laid out clearly and allows the student to work for the most part independently I am using level two for my 7th and 8th grader A couple of the books we are reading aloud together but the rest is done completely on their own I check their notebooks about every two weeks and provide feedback They enjoy working on the History Pockets maps and timelines together I absolutely love the instruction on outlining as that skill tranfers to so many other subjects My only wish is that it were written from a Christian perspective as that would have added the tracing of God's providential hand throughout history But with a little supplementing that can be easily added Perhaps the best recommendation came from the kids when I asked them to compare the various curriculum they have used and both said this was not only the most enjoyable for them but the one in which they have learned the most from
February 9, 2010

help desk software