The text is available in a paperback or hardcover. The activity book is a bound paperback.- Jess
In 42 chapters, the third volume of Story of the World takes another good-sized bite out of world history. Topics covered in Volume 3 include Japanese warlords, colonies in the "New World", the spread of slavery, the "Sun King" of France, English control in India, imperialist China, The Revolutionary War, Captain Cook's explorations, Age of Industrialism in Europe, Napoleon, French Revolution, Lewis & Clark, Mexican independence, Africa and colonialism, the Opium Wars, the Gold Rush, and much, much more. The activity book is only available in paperback, and **revised** student activity pages are reproducible for families only - not co-ops or schools. - Jess
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
Memoria Press now offers complete Curriculum Manuals and grade-level curriculum packages for PK-10 using the classical methodology. Recitation is used in every level for memorization of basic facts, systematic phonics and good books are used for reading education, copywork is used for teaching Bible truths, and music and art are included for enrichment in the early (K-3) levels. Each Curriculum Manual contains complete lesson plans for a one-year course of study.
The Curriculum Manuals are well-formatted and easy to use. In the front of each book you will find a checklist of the materials needed at that level, an explanation of this curriculum, instructions for lesson implementation, a recommended schedule and blank schedule for your own planning purposes, and 33 weeks of detailed lesson plans. Lessons include assignments from the books used at each grade level, as well as activity suggestions. The appendices include a variety of material for that grade level, and may include: prayers, letter activities, recitation, memory verses, read-aloud book list, poetry list and selections, and a paintings/music list for kindergarten and first grade. These pages are reproducible for family or classroom use.
Although most of the guides have been available for several years, the curriculum was restructured in 2015, with many of the programs originally included in 3rd grade now with a slower pacing to span 3rd and 4th grade. Guides for grades 3 and up have been modified to reflect this change, while the lower-level guides have only had minor changes. If you are already midway into the program with the original guides, you can still continue in that track with the older guides, now titled Acclerated Classical Core Curriculum Manual. You can find these along with the complete list of curriculum resources used with them on our website.
We have complete grade-level resource packages, consumable packages for “refill,” new user packages for levels that reuse resources from a previous level, read-aloud packages for each level and science and enrichment packages for the early levels. Curriculum resources are also listed individually (see website for specific contents of consumables and read-aloud packages). Please note that several of the programs include First Form Latin and Classical Composition, which should be completed in order, regardless of what is in the grade level package.If you have a student entering the program after fourth grade, you will need to start them in Classical Composition: Fable Stage and/or First Form Latin instead of what might be in the package.
This series is for the parent who wants a good classical curriculum which is outlined and ready to use. Simply open the book and follow the instructions. You will be well on your way to a quality education for your young ones. ~ Donna
There will be families who are very thankful for the appearance of this curriculum; for years it's seemed as though classical education and special needs might be incompatible. Then comes Cheryl Swope who just...does it. Not only did she start walking down the classical path with her special-needs twins, but she quickly realized that it was the very best possible educational path for them. The combination of systematic repetition, language skills emphasis, gracious implementation and quality content has reaped amazing results, transforming their challenging lives into those with meaningful expressions of beauty and service.
Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. Swope, begins with essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list and moves gradually into the Memoria Press Classical Core resources. If you take a quick look at these lesson plans you may conclude that this approach is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You're not exactly wrong, but you're not exactly right either. It's rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons - rich in quality literature - progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning. The plans/program offers 10 key features:
- The rich, beautiful content of a classical Christian education
- A slower pace with ample review
- An emphasis on books with elegant illustrations to cultivate a taste for excellence
- A multi-sensory presentation of material
- Oral language components
- Skills checklists
- Integration across subjects
- Themed levels
- Socratic questioning
The Curriculum Manual for each level provides parents all the tools they need for success including the program overview, readiness assessment, list of required curricula and read-aloud/enrichment books or supplements, supply list, teacher notes, suggested schedule, lesson plans, and the week-by-week chart for recitation and memory work. The detailed readiness assessment for each level covers language, cognitive ability, emotional development, fine-motor skills, and gross motor skills and is followed by a set of skills in each area to develop during this level of the program. Other than making sure you have the required resources and supplies for the day prep is practically nil. Organized in a two-page spread, grid format, the weekly lesson plans provide assignments and brief teacher notes to support the lesson. Beginning with Level 5 & 6, combined levels are available in either a One Year Accelerated Pace or Two-Year Standard Pace. Simply Classical provides children with significant special needs or other learning struggles the opportunity to excel with a classical education. Parents of struggling learners will appreciate the slower pacing, review and predominately oral lessons that help children succeed.
Curriculum manuals and curriculum/read-aloud books are available separately. Where available, we offer different packages to simplify ordering. The Core Curriculum Packages include the Curriculum Manual plus the books/workbooks used throughout the year. The Read Aloud Packages include all the books used as read alouds for the year. New User Add-On Packages are available for levels that reuse resources from a previous level. The Supply Packages are a collection of school supplies that are needed to complete the program. ~ Janice/Deanne
Elementary Homeschool History perfect for the younger child to understand.
In the quest to cover a little of everything from a particular time period AND present it at a level that a younger child can understand, most elementary history texts are, well, lacking in the "fascination" department. I found textbooks very dry as a youngster, but in my case, it led me to do a lot of library reading on my own. Susan Wise Bauer attempts to remedy this boredom by presenting a chronological history to elementary students using a classical approach and an engaging narrative.
The Story of the World consists of a text and a curriculum guide each for four eras of history.
The readings in the text provide a base of knowledge for the time period covered, and is augmented by the use of the guide, which contains review questions, suggestions for supplemental readings, recommended literature selections, map activities, coloring pages, as well as an abundance of projects that span history, art, and science that are sure to excite the student.
Homeschool History in a story-like format, great for short attention spans
The text itself serves as the starting point and backbone of each unit. Each chapter covers a particular time period, and is placed in chronological order. For example, in Volume One: Ancient Times, Chapter One begins with "The Earliest People" followed by chapters detailing periods of Egyptian, Sumarian, Jewish, Babylonian, Assyrian, Indian, Chinese, African, Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Persian, Native American, Roman, Christian, Celt, and Barbarian history. The book goes in strictly chronological order, so one time period of a civilization will be covered, and then a different civilization may be covered, returning to another era of the first civilization later to encompass a significant historical event of that civilization. Each chapter is further split into smaller, more bite-sized amounts that lend themselves well to a short attention spans. History is presented in a story-like format that young readers or listeners will appreciate. The author emphasizes that the book is not intended to give a complete overview of the time period, but rather to give the student a chronological order of major events and an appreciation and understanding of different cultures while presenting it in a way that will foster an enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject matter. So, while they wont learn the name of every ruler of a civilization, they will absorb highlights from an era along with particularly notable people and events. Parents often comment on exactly how much their children "pick up" from Story of the World, often impressing adults and other children with their historical knowledge! Mythical stories as well as historical fiction-type passages about young children from different cultures are woven into the narrative to stimulate further interest.
When a chapter has been read, you and the students would then turn to the curriculum manual/actvitiy guide. At the beginning of each chapter in the guide, page references are given for four recommended supplements: Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World, The Usborne Book of World History, and the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. These selections further flesh out the history lessons, particularly for those periods or civilizations where less supplemental reading is available. When all the chapter reading has been accomplished, the next order of business are the reading comprehension-type review questions for each chapter section. Following the questions, the student is asked to summarize the chapter in a few sentences. The author again stresses that important facts be included in this narrative, but not necessarily every one. A few sample narrations are also supplied. The students narrative is then written and can be illustrated with his/her favorite part of the lesson. You may wish to collect these and place them into a loose-leaf binder, to create the students own world history. After these activities have been completed, you may wish to explore the lesson further, using the list of additional history readings and corresponding literature suggestions. Author, publisher, copyright date, and a sentence summary of each book are provided to help you locate these resources.
A hands on approach to history
Now for some real hands-on work! The activities commence with "Map Work," where a map of the appropriate area is supplied, and the student identifies and marks pertinent areas, routes, and features. The geography section is normally followed by a coloring page, highlighting some aspect of the history lesson, or some other word activity. The consumable student pages provided for these "pencil and paper" activities are found at the end of the activity book. These consumable pages may be reproduced by individual families only - not by schools or co-ops. Finally, the chapter closes with a selection of projects to do to really "get into" the featured civilization or time period. These may be arts, crafts, writing, or science projects, or just fun supplemental activities. Most require only common household supplies and art supplies such as paints & paintbrushes, boxes, newspaper and waxed paper, self-drying clay, etc. Several projects are provided for each chapter, covering a wide range of activities. These could include anything from building your own hut to making your own cunieform tablets, mummifying a chicken, brick-making, baking an African or Greek feast, purple dye, an erupting volcano, an olympic wreath, a Native American sand painting, a Roman chariot, making paper, and LOTS more. Some activities are denoted with a "C" to highlight its use as a good co-op or classroom activity. When youve covered the chapter content as much as is desired, move on.
Story of the World test packets and audio CDs
Other supplementals include test packets and audio CDs. Test packets offer some structured review for chapters covered, and the audio CDs allow you to listen to the content of the texts on the road or wherever a CD player is available. The chapters come alive as they are read by Jim Weiss, a professional storyteller. Tracks run from three to five minutes each to make it easier to track your progress or find a specific section.
Basic Packages include soft cover text, activity book and tests. Complete packages include these items plus the audiobook CDs. You can also get a set of the 4 audiobook CDs, all 4 hard-cover texts and all 4 soft-cover texts.
While the breadth of activities and readings may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that not every suggested book needs to be read, and not every single project needs to be completed. (But Mom, cant we embalm the chicken today?) Spend as much time in an era as suits the students, pacing yourself to cover everything that is of interest. The structure of the curriculum makes it especially easy and enjoyable to use with several children in this age range, and Im sure even older kids would love to get in on some activities too! - Jess
The name BiblioPlan is synonymous with classical chronological world history but through years of tweaking and improving, what is available now is a full-bodied, full-color curriculum rather than a mere lesson-plan framework (its original format). Comprehensive and thorough while providing ease of use and minimum teacher prep, BiblioPlan allows students of all ages to work on the same time periods at the same time at their own level. There is flexibility. You can still use just the framework (Family Guide) or you can add some or all of the components. You can take a general approach and incorporate multiple ages at once or you can use material that targets particular grade levels. Older children can help younger children and children of all ages will be making memories as they work together. Biblioplan puts you in the driver's seat with full controls.
BiblioPlan Family Guides
provide the structural framework for the program - a full year's worth of history and literature readings. There are four Guides, one for each of the four classical (chronological) time periods Ancient, Medieval, Early America & World, and Modern America & World. This is the core of the whole program (and once WAS the whole program). Designed by a group of homeschooling moms for themselves, these Guides provide 34 weekly spreadsheets; each a comprehensive lesson plan. With a goal of integrating quality historical literature with biblical and secular history, these moms put together an easy-to-follow plan covering the historical topic (Classtime), a Psalm study, References and Resources for textual information about the topic, Literature Selections of the Week (for grades K-2, 3+, 5+ and 8+), a Family Read Aloud suggestion, Writing Ideas, Optional Fiction & Resources, and suggested Activities. Introductory information in each Guide includes the usual "how to find books" and "how to use the plan" information as well as the book lists for both the scheduled and the optional literature. Prior to each historical era, there are several additional pages of reference material, annotated book lists for the Readers, the Family Read-Alouds, and the Optional Resources/Fiction.
If it sounds like the Family Guides might be all you need you would be correct. They're comprehensive and thorough; well-constructed plans. You could complete four years (plus four more if you wanted) of interesting history, absorbing literature, and engaging activity possibilities using just these Guides. If you go this route, you will need to use the frequently-referenced "spine resources." These include Story of the World, Mystery of History, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, or History of US.
However, there is an alternative route. If you like to have perfectly coordinated, quality material at your fingertips rather than scrambling for it then you can incorporate one or more of the following BiblioPlan components to use alongside the Family Guide.
BiblioPlan Companion, Remember the Days, Consider the Years
- Remember the Days - textbooks written specifically for Grades K-6 are available for Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern.
- Consider the Years - textbook written specifically for Grades 7-12 is available for Ancient. It is a reworking of the older Companions and part of the 2nd edition material now available for Ancient.
- Companions are currently available for Medieval (two-book set), Early Modern (two-book set), and Modern.
With options for each time period, these are full-color historical textbooks that provide textual information (world history, U.S. history, church history, and geography) in a narrative prose style interspersed with all sorts of intriguing factual and cultural anecdotes. They are color-coordinated so you know instantly if you're reading history text (black & white) or about people and special events or biblical quotes (various colored backgrounds). These are books which beg to be pored over. As an example, in random pages from the Medieval Companion, there is a section on Muslim food laws and their rituals for newborns, a description of a tughra (Ottoman sultans signature) with gorgeous, artistic examples and a Turkish paper decorating technique ebru. In the Giants of the Faith section is a biographical sketch of Saint George and the Dragon which continues onto the next page and includes a large, glorious artwork reproduction of the same.
There is a pattern to the information provided for each chapter (each time period book has 34 chapters - one for each week): Geography Focus, History Focus, Fascinating Facts, Mystifying Myths, Interesting Individuals, Fascinating Foods, Church History Focus, Critical Concepts, and Giants of the Faith. Just in case there's any doubt, Remember the Days, Consider the Years, and the Companions as well as all the BiblioPlan materials have a consistent biblical and Christian worldview. These books provide all the necessary textual information for Classtime and greatly reduce, or even eliminate, the need for any outside historical reference books or spines. That being said, some may still choose to use the recommended spine readings in order to provide even more historical perspective and textual information.
BiblioPlan Cool History
provides weekly assignment sheets at four different grade level groupings:
- Littles (K-2)
- Middles (2-6)
- Upper Middles (6-8)
- Advanced (8-12)
It's pretty easy to surmise that the goal of these is to allow a family to challengingly study the same time period and the same topics but at their own distinct levels. There are subtle grade-appropriate variations in the levels but these pages include reading assignments and questions taken from the Remember the Days, Consider the Years, and Companion readings.
- The Littles book has suggested reading assignments and questions from Remember the Days, a fun activity and Globe Fun (introductory map activities). Templates for a year-long project, a Giants of the Faith Book are provided along with coordination of coloring pages.
- The Middles book has questions from the readings and Giants of the Faith suggestions and adds Challenge Questions plus an Optional Bonus Question or Activity.
- Upper Middles also has an Optional Bonus Question or Activity and includes periodic (about every six weeks) exams.
- Advanced assignment sheets have assorted questions (fill in the blank, short answers, short essays) all taken from Consider the Years or the Companions as well as research essays (outside of Companions).
If you're concerned about answers to all these questions they do exist but they aren't in the Cool History books. An Answer Key pdf is sent from our office via email after your order has been processed.
BiblioPlan Hands On Maps
provides one or two full-color maps each week that correspond to the week's lesson content. Instructions for the maps are printed directly on the map. While students may need to gather a little helpful information from a world map and/or Remember the Days, Consider the Years, or the Companions, students will be able to complete the maps at their level more-or-less on their own. The same set of maps is included in both books
- The Middles maps set has suggestions for K-2, 3+, and 5+ students. These maps includes some prompts and partical information that makes them easier to complete.
- The Advanced maps set includes a geography scope and sequence as well as a Challenge activity for each of the maps. Six exams for this level are included in the Answer Key pdf.
The Answer Key pdf is sent from our office via email after your order has been processed.
BiblioPlan Timelines & Figures
are well-crafted supplements with one distinct advantage over many other timelines - they're in color! The spiral-bound books can be used "as is" or the pages removed and the timeline mounted on a wall or the pages three-hole punched and the timeline placed into a binder which would allow your student to create an entire timeline in one place. Lots of flexibility here. The timeline consists of one or more colored strips (color varies with the time period) plus dated notes on particular events. The student cuts out the graphics and pictures (located in the back of the book) and inserts them in the appropriate place.
- The Ancient Timeline includes a single timeline.
- The Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Timeline includes two timelines one for church history and one for "regular" history.
- The Early America and the World Timeline and the Modern America and the World Timeline each feature facing pages; one for the Americas and one for the World.
As mentioned earlier, the Timeline Figures are mostly in color (some 19th and 20th century figures are prints of original black and white photos) and, frankly, very eye-catching. Figures include portraits, artifacts, geographical features, monuments and buildings, photos or drawings of events, and much more.
BiblioPlan Craft Book
provides over one hundred crafts that correlate with the Family Guides. These are the crafts referenced in the Cool History assignment sheets (three to five per week with at least one food item). The books are impressive - a well-illustrated, well-explained variety of crafts and projects. A few require materials from other sources but most include directions; all include full-color pictures. Here's a random selection from one book: Porcelain Painting (buy a kit), Hold a Japanese Tea Ceremony (get details from internet), Make a Kharbhooja Sharbat Drink (directions), Make a Flying Dragon Head (directions), Make a Chinese Dragon (directions), Make a Yurt (directions), Make a Chinese Cricket Cage (directions). Patterns, where needed, are provided in the back of the book. This book is fully integrated with the BiblioPlan program but could also be used as a supplement to another world history study.
The BiblioPlan Coloring Books
provide coloring sheets to accompany the lessons. These are referenced in both the Family Guides and the Cool History assignment sheets. Utilizing the talents of present and former homeschooled students, multiple artists have produced a variety of styles and details in the drawings making them suitable for younger and older students. There is at least two and often three pages per week. Reproducible for families.
The BiblioPlan Family Discussion Guide
is for families who want some help in broadening their history studies into thoughtful family discussions. These Guides provide discussion starters that will help you guide your students into a better understanding of the connections between secular history and their Christian faith. One of the advantages of the Discussion Guide is that they allow you to lead discussions without having to study everything in the Companion yourself.
BiblioPlan Cool History Classic
is a republished version of an older edition of the Cool History books. In this version (no grade level grouping designations), questions are based on the textual content of Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World rather than on the BiblioPlan Companions.
So, if your whole family is ready to dig into world history and you want flexibility, an excellent road map, comprehensive textual information, and colorful, engaging reinforcement and enrichment possibilities, then look no further than the new, reconstructed BiblioPlan. ~ Janice