Classical Education · History

History in a nutshell: Volume 1

So it will come as no surprise to those who know me that I’m a bit of a history geek.  And when I decided to try out the classical education ready-made curriculum that I’ve been talking about lately, I was introduced to a series of potted histories of the world designed for children.  I figured I might as well go the whole hog if I was going to give this a fair chance, so after rummaging around the local library systems and coming up blank I headed off to my beloved Book Depository and placed my order.

It arrived today.  And I think I might just be a little bitty bit in love with a book.

As you can see from the title this is Volume 1: Ancient Times.  It will be introducing history and cultures to my children that I did not get to know in any great way until I was in my late teens/early twenties.

I get to tell them about Hammurabi and that I’ve seen his stele in the flesh, so to speak.  We get to chat about Sargon, the Mycenaeans (been there too, got the photographs to prove it), Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Confucius.  A snippet by snippet introduction to our earliest history and some of the legacies of those times and people.  A great way to put your alphabet and writing into a context while you are practicing using it.

I can see myself using a relaxed version of Classical Education, no stress, no long hours of study, or copy work, just gentle reading and scene setting with some arts and crafts thrown in for good measure.

Look out for my post about our current reading and learning adventures in Ancient Egypt, that’s coming up next week.

So, what do your kids know about the history of the world?  Do you think it’s important or irrelevant to your child’s education?  Leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think and what you do.

6 thoughts on “History in a nutshell: Volume 1

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing. I had seen the ‘The Story of the World’ books but I wasn’t sure whether or not they’re written from a faith-based perspective? As we’re truly secular homeschoolers, would you recommend them?

    Kind regards
    Rochelle

    1. Hi Rochelle,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      We are a secular household (1 atheist & 1 fence-sitter) but I’d be loathe to recommend it to you without knowing you better, as we all have different limits on what we are comfortable with.
      What I can tell you is: there are 42 chapters (315 pages), of those, five chapters deal with Christianity or the Israelites directly. Other religions/philosophies are also presented – Greek gods, Roman gods, Anansi, Confucius, etc.
      I haven’t read far enough through to tell you if the overall tone is faith oriented, but I’d be happy to send an email with a list of the chapters and sections, if that would help with your assessment of the books.
      😀

      1. Thanks L. I’ve since found a comprehensive article by Susan Wise Bauer on her ‘Well Trained Mind’ website. It’s led me to the conclusion that ‘The Story of the World’ is not quite the right ‘fit’ for our family’s outlook.

        I really appreciate you sharing your home educating journey and the resources you’ve found with others so generously. Many thanks.

        1. It is good to hear that you found enough information to make a decision. It’s a tough thing to recommend resources as we are all so different and our needs and outlooks vary along such a very wide spectrum.

          Are you blogging at all? I’d love to hear how a “truly secular” homeschool family approaches things. 🙂

          1. Hi L, I will PM you my email address via Facebook as that could give us the chance to have a more private ‘conversation’. I sense there may be some similarities in our approaches. 🙂

  2. Hi Rochelle,
    That’d be terrific. I’m really interested in learning about the whole spectrum of homeschooling. It isn’t hard to find examples of those teaching from a faith perspective, but I’ve found it hard to find blogs for those who don’t.
    And it would be nice to see what others are doing for the younger end of the educational spectrum that doesn’t involve delving into Dawkins. 😉

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