I want to thank Master Books for providing me with a copy of Studies in World History Volume 1 in return for my honest review.
I like reading homeschool forums. I’ve learned a lot that way about curriculum, methods, and just generally where people are at with homeschooling. One of the questions I see over and over again involves history. What do we do about history? How should we study it? How much time should we spend? How do we find something that’s written from a Christian worldview?
In our family, we’ve solved the issue by making pretty much everything we do revolve around history on a four-year cycle. We use Tapestry of Grace to study history from a literature-based standpoint and we couldn’t be happier. That said, I know that Tapestry isn’t the answer for everyone, and it’s about as far removed from a stand-alone history program as you can get…..
If your family is in the position of looking for a stand-alone history curriculum for middle school, written at an academically challenging level and beginning in 7th grade, I’d like to suggest that you check out Studies in World History by James P. Stobaugh. Master Books sent me the first year of the curriculum (aimed at 7th grade) to review for you, and I think it’s a great comprehensive overview of history for Christian kids. I like the fact that it encourages critical thinking, that it comes from a biblical standpoint, and that it covers history in “units” ~ Ancient Mesopotamia one week, then Egypt, and on to Japan (etc.). Each daily section has a challenging discussion question.
The Teacher’s guide gives a page for answering the daily discussion question in essay form (with the question at the top of the page), a schedule for the curriculum, two optional weekly tests, and in-depth answers to every discussion question.
Other things I like about the curriculum:
- It’s written from a Christian worldview.
- It includes 34 weeks of study comprised of 34 chapters. The text for each chapter is divided into 5 readings — one for each day of the week. It should take your students 20-30 minutes each day to complete the curriculum.
- Each daily reading has a discussion question which can be used to promote critical thinking and short essay skills.
- The Teacher Guide includes two weekly quizzes — one multiple choice and one short essay. I really like the short essays questions.
- The text is attractively laid out with black and white artwork.
- It’s very affordable for an entire year of study.
In Tapestry, this is the type of text we often use for the core history section. I like Studies in World History so much that I intend to incorporate it into our studies. I think it will be a reasoned, informed text and I love the essay questions. Of course, we’ll use our notebooking journals to record our answers and to illustrate or cartoon thoughts about the readings. My favorite aspect of the text is that it looks at history from a Christian viewpoint. (Have I mentioned that yet? I really love that!)
You can purchase the Master Books Studies in World History Curriculum at:
Amazon: Studies in World History Volume 1 (Student) and Studies in World History Volume 1 (Teacher Guide)
Christian Book: Studies in World History Volume 1, Student Book and Studies in World History Volume 1, Teacher’s Guide
New Leaf Press: Studies in World History Volume 1
Other Thinking Kids book reviews for older students:
- Water the Earth: A Student’s Guide to Missions
- God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History
- Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology
- Bitesize Theology
- Zachary Macaulay (Bitesize Biographies)
- Questions God Asks
- Grace Works! And Ways It Doesn’t
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.