(I received the materials listed below in exchange for an honest review. There are also affiliate links within this post.)
From Start to Finish
We have followed chronological four-year cycles of history from day one. Even though we’ve read tons of living literature, made timelines, completed unit studies for each era, and more, I’ve always wondered if my children really “get” the impact of history and how it all ties together from the beginning of time to now. In other words, I’ve searched far and wide to find a concise curriculum that puts the entire story of our world in one place – just so my children really know where to plug in all the wonderful things we’ve learned.
My excitement to find What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization from Brimwood Press was TRIPLED when I began using it and realized what a gem it is!
What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization, alongside the literature companion, Calendar Quest, cover the entire scope of world history in only 16 lessons! Yes, in only four short weeks, the program embeds a basic awareness of each historical era into the memory of your children!
Meant for logic age students (5th-8th grades), not only is it the concise, thorough overview I’ve been looking for, but it’s reached each one of us at our own learning styles. Believe me when I say there aren’t too many curriculum choices out there that can be used joyfully by all of us at the same time.
Grabbing Our Attention and Sticking in Our Memory
Mahayla learns best through literature and likes to dissect subjects into parts and pieces. Caleb is a very visual, hands-on learner who needs to see the whole picture. This program has been perfect for both of them because each lesson has a multi-sensory approach. Even Eli, though only six, has picked up on much of the information simply because of the visual component.
Each lesson begins by reading a chapter from Calendar Quest, the literature companion to the program. In the story, Father Time and two children travel through time learning about the history of our modern day calendar. Of course, each of the historical eras your children will study are visited by Father Time and the children in the story.
After some discussion questions relating to the story, the teacher’s guide (which also houses the student pages) walks you through the rest of the lesson. First, you find an optional timeline activity and a geography (mapping) activity .
The History in a Nutshell part of the lesson comes next – which is the coolest part for my visual/hands-on learner. This section is a bit more textbook-like with explanations about the particular era to be studied that day. However, for each era, there is a Hats of History card that offers a colorful visual reminder of the time period. As you read through the text, you’re prompted to add colorful stickers to the back of the Hats of History card. These stickers are further visual reinforcement of important things to remember about the era.
And, guess what? These Hats of History cards become a hands-on timeline review activity! As each lesson progresses, the cards are put in chronological order and serve as cues to cement the order of world history and important events in your child’s mind. So cool! Review Questions and a game called “Find the Contribution” end the daily lessons with even more multi-sensory practice to commit world history to memory.
But, That’s Not All
At the end of each lesson, several optional activity ideas are included. You might read a selection from the Bible, add a vocabulary word to your HATs Glossary, complete an historical fact sheet, or research a topic of interest.
For your students who appreciate seeing the whole picture, you can complete a giant coloring page in Color the Western World. Each coloring page is a pictoral timeline of the era you’ve studied. Not all of my children enjoy coloring, but the one who does has really enjoyed the extra understanding he’s gleaned from the coloring pages.
So, To Sum Up
What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization by Brimwood Press has been a fantastic, month-long world history overview in our homeschool. Fantastic! It’s met each of our learning style needs and helped us commit to memory the chronological history of our world.
My favorite aspects:
- It’s literature-based.
- It’s very visual – colorful images for timeline (HATs cards) and stickers, lots of black and white drawings in text, mapping activities, coloring book
- It’s hands-on – as you manipulate stickers and timeline cards
And, because it offers the extra activity ideas, I’ve been able to check off many subjects in my lesson planner. Love that!
If it all sounds interesting, check out the Western Civilization Bundle Package!
See how others are “finishing strong” in the middle and high school years.