History and Geography are two of my least favorite subjects to teach. It’s probably because they were my least favorite subjects in school, so therefore I do not feel very well prepared. In fact, my 11-year old knows more about history than I do. He loves it. So, we skated by in the elementary years, but now that we’re in middle school I see we need to buckle down.
We tried a few different curriculums during our elementary years that we really enjoyed. And now I have found one that we love for middle school. But, I realize there are different learning styles and convictions, so here are some history and geography curriculums that might work for your family.
The Mystery of History – We used this curriculum early on in our homeschool journey and it worked well for a while. Written from a Christian perspective, I love that it starts at the creation of Adam and Eve and works its way chronologically through history. However, it is very reading intensive and the hands-on activities proved a little more than we could handle with infants and toddlers running around at the time. But, now that my 3 middle ones are all in “school,” we are going to start it up again, but taking our time.
Notgrass – My oldest is using the Uncle Sam and You set this year and so far, we love it. I thought this set was perfect as we enter full-swing in to election season. Their middle school sets have 150 lessons, giving you room for days off and extended studies as you feel led. They have several titles for grades 5-8 as well as high school. I love the shorter lessons and reviews they offer, as well as the extra reading assignments they suggest bringing in a little literature.
Biblioplan – This is a four-year classical history curriculum for home schoolers, home school cooperatives and Christian schools, grades K – 12. BP covers World History, Biblical History, U.S. History, Church History, Geography and more, starting at Creation and continuing through modern times.
History & Geography LIFEPAC – LIFEPAC History & Geography is a biblically integrated approach to teaching your child about history, geography, and living in the world. Each grade has ten engaging worktexts that are mostly independent and may not be recommended for younger students. Each complete set also includes a teacher’s guide with answer key and teacher helps.
TruthQuest History – This is is a deep and rich literature-based history study…but with a difference. You will not learn the story of mankind; you will learn the lovestory of mankind. You will not focus on the rise and fall of human civilizations; you will focus on the arrow-straight line of God’s unchanging existence, power, love, truth, and plan for civilization. You will not simply ‘meet the culture’ or ‘get the facts;’ you will probe the truths of history so deeply that your students will be equipped to change their world!
Trail Guide to Learning – Trail Guide to Learning is a combination of both Ruth Beechick’s and Charlotte Mason’s ideas, which overlap and complement each other very well. It uses a unit study approach built around geography in the context of historical events. Science, art, and language arts are also covered. Each course is divided into six units, with each unit focused on a single theme that reflects a tight integration of geography and history.
U.S. History Detective – These colorful books bring U.S. history to life! They are full of fascinating facts, pictures, and maps. These books can be used as stand-alone textbooks, supplements to your textbooks, or as review courses for older students. The vocabulary and content skills are based on common state social studies standards. What makes U.S. History Detective® different from other American history books is the integration of critical thinking into the content lessons.
DVD and Online History
Learn Our History (DVD) – This is not a complete curriculum, but rather a supplemental or additional resource. We have several of these DVD’s and my children seem to enjoy them. Each exciting animated history film features a group of time-traveling history students who go back in time to see US history in the making. Young viewers come along for the ride and enjoy a front-row seat to all the exciting action. Along the way, kids learn about the most important people and influential events throughout American history.
Liberty Kids (DVD) – My younger kids absolutely love this video series. This is a fun, animated television series that is now available on DVD. We use these as a way to introduce them to history in a fun, interactive way. The half-hour shows are the perfect length to keep their attention, without overwhelming them with information.
Federalist Papers (online) – This site gives free online access to the Federalist Papers and other primary source documents from the founding of the U.S.
Looking for more History resources? Check out my Homeschool: History Pinterest board!