For those of you looking for a great history curriculum to use in your homeschool, I want to suggest a resource I just discovered this spring.
Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt, by Sonya Shafer, is a perfect curriculum for those who want to use the Bible as the “spine” for your studies, and who are struggling trying to juggle Bible study plans, history curriculum and ideas for reading and writing activities. You can see and download a sample from the book, here.
This inexpensive book ($10.95 for the eBook, $15.95 for a paperback copy), from Simply Charlotte Mason, has daily plans, divided into three terms, that help you save planning time by combining the three in a natural, integrated way. There are even suggestions for art and cooking extensions. As a classroom teacher, I am always looking at “lesson plans” that are posted and published, with a critical eye for real learning (versus fun activities that are shallow and don’t teach anything rigorous). This curriculum is put together simply and very well. While it is definitely Christian-centric (which I like), it provides a deep study of the culture of Ancient Egypt, including sections on clearing up student misconceptions about life in Ancient Egypt, what the people really looked like, how they lived and the like. This same attention is paid to the Ancient Israelites of the time, so that the young Bible scholar can visualize the people that God called His own. The curriculum is developed based on the idea that it will be used by the entire family, and the lessons are divided into Family studies, then individual studies based on your children’s grades (variously divided, depending on the activity and reading, but generally 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12).
There are learning strategies suggested (e.g. – summarizing Genesis with 8 key words, four events and four people: Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph), as well as timeline event suggestions for most lessons. There is a book list of additional assigned and independent reading selections, for your child’s grade level, plus read-aloud selections. If I were to add anything to this curriculum, I would add more explicit ideas for the language arts pieces, besides narration, especially for the older grades, even if just ideas (for example, suggesting a study on cause and effect for the Fall of Adam and Eve, sequencing of events in the story of the Plagues of Egypt, or character studies of the four key figures).
Overall I am very pleased with this curriculum, and we can’t wait to implement it next year. If you combined this with Apologia Science texts and nature study, I think you’d have a complete curriculum.
Here are good companions for this curriculum, if you want to add to it (you don’t have to, but my little guy is a history lover, so we often do):
Ambleside Online/House of Education (www.amblesideonline.org)
A Child’s History of Art (Hillyer)
- Selected art work
A Child’s History of the World (Hillyer) [I bought the set — hardcover text, teacher’s manual, and workbook — at Christianbook.com]
- Chapters 3-10
The Story of Mankind (Van Loon)
- Chapters 1-6
Additional Books to Read
- The Usborne Book of World History (Millard)
- The Usborne Book of Living Long Ago (Brooks, et al.)
- The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
- Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Donna Young has a schedule for a study of Ancient Egypt based on a number of these readings, if you want more details on page numbers and such. She also
has a fun “chicken mummy” recipe that we just have to try!
- The Easiest Way to Explore Ancient Egypt’s Perfumed Legacy (bellasugar.com)
- Homeschooling Curriculum – Part 1 (tangledthomas.wordpress.com)
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- Wrapping Up the Homeschooling Year – Part II (barbigreen.wordpress.com)
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- Planning for Homeschool, 2012-13 (bugsandstuff.wordpress.com)