Curriculum 101: History & Geography

Curriculum101One of the biggest struggles homeschooling families battle is which curriculum is best for their children. We become overwhelmed by the amount of curriculum available, struggle to find the right fit for each of our children, proceed to doubt each choice made for at least the first several weeks, and continue to search for new ways of teaching well after we’ve already begun our year.

To this end, we thought we’d spend the month of September launching discussions on all things curriculum.


Never forget the importance of history. To know nothing of what happened before you took your place on earth, is to remain a child for ever and ever.” – Unknown

Over the course of our learning adventure we have studied history in a variety of ways. We’ve done unit studies, followed a more regimented time line, and used a whole books method. Each taught us something new and encouraged our love of learning.

At the moment, the Lord has brought us back to a curriculum which centers on studying history chronologically and we’re loving it! No matter how many times we study a particular era, there is always more to learn.

While in the past we’ve studied geography on its own, we find more and more that we prefer studying them in tandem. It helps our children better understand the context of the geography lesson when there are events which tie locations together.

We’d love to hear how you teach history and geography, and have a few questions we’d like to ask:

  • Do you teach history chronologically or by unit method?
  • Do you have your children memorize dates and places of major historical events?
  • Is geography a separate subject or taught alongside history?
  • How much memorization is involved in your geography lessons?
  • Are these subjects daily lessons or periodic?

History is a personal, and family, favorite. To gain a better understanding of how people lived, why decisions were made, and to see the hand of God upon it all is truly amazing. All our lessons point to our Lord and Savior, history is no exception. May we use this time to help our children increase in wisdom and grow closer to the Lord. History is, after all, his-story!

🔔Now, it’s your turn!! Share your thoughts on the above questions and let us hear from you. We’d love your feedback and appreciate those links you’ve been sharing!

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17 thoughts on “Curriculum 101: History & Geography

  1. We are very relaxed with our study of history and geography. I typically pull together some great resources to share with the kids throughout the year but I don’t get too structured with it. We may listen to an audio book or look through a book like, Material World, and then jump off onto whatever path excites some learning. After listening to the Story of the World vol. 1 on audio, we all went to the library and each of the kids picked out some books related to ancient Egypt. A few kids launched into hands-on projects, another on reading about King Tut, and another was content with what he had learned through the audio book. All of these responses were just fine with me. We treat learning history as a relationship. It can’t be forced and we all get out of it only to the extent to which we are ready to engage in it. Thanks for the post! It was nice to reflect on our approach!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would have to say we teach history chronologically. I like timelines so we do some dates with our timeline. We try to memorize important dates, but I think the event is more important to remember than the specific date. We teach geography separate and we just finished an Around the World in 80 Days unit. We also play geography games to help us learn the states.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Going chronologically, including geography, and focusing on the “big picture” (rather than only names and dates) works well for me; but history was always my worst subject. My daughter remembers the small details of what we study much better than I do. I say “we study” because I’m taking some courses, such as history and Spanish, right along side her!

    We enjoyed using the History Masterminds book from for the two years of jr high. Each lesson is spread across two weeks when you make it a two-year program, but there is PLENTY to keep your child busy in this program, particularly if you read a book from their recommended lists with each lesson. TRISMS is chronologically-based and incorporates reading, writing (through the Institute for Excellence in Writing program), and a little science & geometry. I requested the IEW writing program at the library and was able to save a bundle by checking out the DVDs and workbook binder from them!

    Now we are using the TRISMS course designed for high school, which incorporates history with reading, writing, art, music, geometry, and rhetoric. So far, we think it’s a great fit for us. These programs are all chronological and researched based–you basically write your own “coursebook” throughout the school year from your own notes, drawings, etc. Beware, though, if you’re a person like me who feels compelled to do ALL the activities offered, you will become overwhelmed. There is so much offered in the program that your child could homeschool for hours per day with just this one program. I’ve had to learn what to focus on and what to let go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. History is probably our favorite subject, so we teach it every way we can–unit study, chronologically, living books. We try to make our geography lessons go along with history lessons or vice versa–I think it helps us retain the map image in our heads if we have a bit of the local story to go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the idea of studying history chronologically. At least at the beginning. I also want to be sure that my boys learn about more than just the history of western civilization, which is pretty much all I learned growing up. The histories of Africa, Japan and China are so fascinating…so different from our own. My boys are 7 and 8, so we’re just doing a world history overview right now, but after we get to modern times, I’ll go back and delve deeper in to the different cultures.

    Right now I’m using a combination of Sonlight and Charlotte Mason. I’m really new to homeschooling, so this will be a learning year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re studying history chronologically this year. We started with ancient Egypt, spanning ancient Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Thus far we are enjoying it.

      Your learning plan sounds like fun! We can’t wait to see all the pictures of your adventures.

      May your year be blessed!


  6. Over the yeasr we have used

    A History of US
    soooo many readers and novels
    Amy Pak
    Amanda Bennett unit studies
    Drive Thru History

    I incorporate geography and literature with history

    Liked by 1 person

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