I spent a long time last year searching for a history program. I wanted something cyclical, so we could start with creation in first grade and come back to it again in a few years. I wasn't sure I wanted something specifically Catholic, but that's what I found.
Connecting with History is a Catholic history program based on the classical model. Families can study history on a four year cycle, eventually. Volume One, Volume Two, and Volume Three are available. Volume Four is currently being developed. In each volume, reading lists are provided for four levels: Beginner (1-3), Grammar (4-6), Logic (7-9) and Rhetoric (10-12). There are recommendations in a few of the units for combining students at different levels for some of the books.
The goal is to "connect" the student with history. You can read more about the six steps here. Each unit includes a summary, list of timeline cards, vocabulary, essay and research ideas, creative writing ideas, ideas of hands-on projects, maps from Blackline Maps of World History (which is now out of print; information on substituting Map Trek is available upon request and in the file sharing groups), and memory and copy work suggestions.
In Volume 1, we studied Old Testament history and Ancient cultures. The main textbook at the Beginner level is a children's Bible along with engaging nonfiction books. Every unit also includes literature suggestions of which they recommend you select at least one to read with the children.
|Learning to be archaeologists|
I would have liked to do more culminating activities for each unit. Those were some of the things I cut from our schedule. Volume 1 provides only a few examples and suggestions for writing assignments and big projects, but I've glanced through Volume 2 and they've really expanded that section for each unit.
I think, too, that we read far too many of the literature selections. They were all excellent, but we had trouble finishing our history in a timely manner. (In fact, we have another week or so of history readings. I want to make sure to finish Volume 1 before we start Volume 2 in the fall.) I really hope to try to rein myself in a little more next year!
|Making a salt dough map of the Promised Land|
Volume 1 is heavily focused on Western history. At first I was disappointed to find nothing on other ancient cultures (like China and India), but realized later that these cultures are introduced as Western civilization encountered them. While it remains Western history, there is the opportunity to expand readings on those cultures as much as we'd like.
I was very pleased with our history and have already ordered Volume Two (and most of the books!) to use next year.
This review is my own opinion. I did not receive anything in exchange for it. Currently, RC History does not have a referral program, so I will not receive anything if any purchase is made. (Updated in 2015, RC History does now have a referral program. If you would like to make a purchase under my account, please use this link to enter the store. I have not modified the links within the text so they are not referral links.)