Teaching history doesn't require a textbook, or tests that consist of memorized names and dates. Believe it or not, you can enjoy teaching history. And your children can enjoy learning about history. The key is to make it an interesting subject. Heritage History seeks to do just that.
Heritage History provides history resources covering many different periods of time, including Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, British Middle Ages, British Empire (which I am reviewing in this post) and even a special curriculum for Young Readers. The program consists of a large variety of interesting literature relating to the time period being studied, along with teaching aids and study guides that help students get the most out of the books they read.
Before I go into more detail about Heritage History's British Empire program, let me share a little about why I prefer to use quality literature in our homeschool to aid in our study of history. Do you remember reading the Little House books when you were young? Perhaps your children have read some of the Landmark books, and they could not wait to tell you all the things they learned as they were reading. Maybe as an adult you have read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina or The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Maybe you have even read my all-time favorite piece of fiction ~ The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason. More than just enjoying a well written story, these books actually contain a wealth of historical information. We know a tremendous amount about the short-lived period of expansion in the mid to late-1800's thanks to Laura Ingalls Wilder's terrific children's books. And Tolstoy's work gives us insight into Russia in ways we might otherwise never have known. The Jungle paints a picture of the early 1900's meat-packing industry in Chicago that impacted immigration and child-labor laws in our country. And of course you've heard what President Lincoln had to say about the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin! My point is that good books are a valid option when it comes to teaching history. Heritage History aims to provide a variety of good books for different eras in history, in the hope that history will be much more than a boring subject that simply has to be endured.
I received a CDrom from Heritage History covering the British Empire from the Hanoverian dynasty through the First World War. It contained 57 books, which I easily downloaded to my Kindle and to my Mobi ereader on my laptop. I had three of my daughters each pick a different book to read; they just took turns with the Kindle. They all three enjoyed the books they chose, and each of them learned more about British history than they would have using a traditional textbook. Of course, we have almost always study history in this manner, so it wasn't a new concept for them!
In addition to the wonderful array of books included on the CDrom, I was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent variety of additional resources that made our study of the British Empire all the more interesting. Maps and outlines, reading logs and additional images, unique resources such as British geographical terms and charts of major British war battles all enhanced our reading. These "extras" really were the icing on the cake for my family, and as a woman of Irish descent I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Ireland during this era in history.
The British Empire series can easily count as high school credit for both history and literature. Remember that one Carnegie unit is earned for 120 hours of class time (some sources cite up to 150 hours per Carnegie unit, but most public high schools use the 120 hour measure). If you were to use Heritage History for an entire academic year, you could give your student one full credit hour in World History; or you could give 1/2 a credit hour in World History and 1/2 a credit hour in World Literature. Say you used the program for half the academic year ~ then the student would receive either 1/2 credit in World History or 1/4 World History and 1/4 World Literature. And if your child is in middle school and uses Heritage History, go ahead and count that for high school credit. On their transcript, you would simply list the subject, a course description, their grade level, and a final grade along with the earned credit. (If you have questions about this, see my website www.ALLTHINGSHOMESCHOOL.weebly.com where I offer homeschool consulting services.)
I would recommend giving Heritage History a try if you are looking for something new for next year's history classes. It's very affordable at $24.99 per CDrom. You can also save $25 by purchasing the entire collection. And if you would like to try it out first, you can buy any of their individual titles for $1.99 each. See their website at www.Heritage-History.com for more info, including the chance to win a Kindle Fire!
HERE is what others have to say about Heritage History.
The only other thing I feel I ought to mention is that this is not an exclusively Christian company. You can find Moslem history resources here, but they also have a section of Christian resources including Bible stories, Christian heroes, biographies, Biblical geography and more. As a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I felt I had to mention this in my review.
Lord bless you as you continue to homeschool for His glory!
Day 188 done :)
Jan L. Burt