If you use the classical or Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling, you are most likely very familiar with 'living' books. I have found many great living books for free on Project Gutenburg. Here you can find all sorts of public domain books (anything before 1923 I believe) to download and read from your computer, e-reader, or print out. It's a great resource, but I find that I don't use it as much as I would like because it's hard to know what is available in the subject you are looking for, there is a ton to search through, and once you find what you want it isn't necessarily in a good format. I love the concept, but it is just a little lacking (but it's free, so I'll just be grateful for the service =)
So when I heard about the Heritage Classical Curriculum from Heritage History I was thrilled! Essentially they take these public domain books and reformat them into clean, user friendly format. The e-books can be uploaded onto any e-reader, read from your computer, or printed out.
Another huge benefit is that they have grouped large collections of books into curriculums and libraries by time period so that you have all you need for the time in history you want to study! They have a recommended course of study and then many other choices for extra reading. What is great is that you can use this as a curriculum in and of itself, or use the books as supplements to your current history program (Story of the World, Mystery of History, Tapestries of Grace, etc.)
Here is what they offer:
Curriculum ($24.99 each)
- Young Readers (an overview of history)
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient Rome
- British Middle Ages
- British Empire
Libraries ($19.99 each)
- Early America
- Spanish Empire
- Christian Eurpoe
- Modern Europe
Their curriculum comes complete with maps, timelines, battle summaries, teachers/users guide, and lots of other helpful information!
Heritage History was kind enough to send me the Young Readers curriculum to review. This curriculum is designed to be an overview of history that will provide your child a strong foundation for further study in the years to come. You can use it as a complete curriculum, or can used the books in any way you want. We are planning on beginning history this coming year and I already have my plan ready, so we are going to pick and choose which e-books we will use to integrate with out plans. The Young Readers curriculum contains over 80 books, so there are many that are prefect complements to our course of study.
The stories in the Young Readers curriculum are simple enough for grammar students to read on their own, but they can also be great read-aloud choices for the whole family! Heritage History recommends a student spend at least three hours a week reading history material. This would be a lot for a beginning reader, but if you include reading aloud to you children I think this is a great goal!
As your child reads these books, try some of these ideas:
- record their time in a reading log
- narrate the story back to you
- use the story as a basis for a writing assignment
- include information on your timeline
- include pages into a history notebook
- draw pictures of events from the book
- act out events from the book
Head on over and check out this great curriculum! I know you will love it =)