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History in the middle and high school grades


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#1 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:20 AM

As we approach Middle school with our oldest two, I'm trying to get a feel for how our History arc should look.  What's required in high school for credits, best years to cover certain topics, curriculum options, etc.  

 

This year, we just completed Modern History in SOTW.  We've now completed all four books.  It's a long story but, we lost a year of history back in the beginning and so they are technically "off-sequence".  

 

So ideally, I'm assuming we should start over back in Ancients and go through the four year sequence again.  So my son, is grade-reported as 4th grade (5th next year) but if I enrolled him in school, I would have him enrolled in a year higher.  So we'll call him 6th grade next year.  

 

My daughter has some LDs and is behind grade level a bit...reported as 4th grade this year, but would, by age be 5th grade, 6th next year.  But for the purpose of history, we'll call her 6th next year.  

 

In a perfect world, my younger two (3rd grade next year) would stay in the same segment of history as the older two.  But I can let that go if need be.  

 

Anyways, if I follow the sequence again, the older two would be Ancients in 6th, Middle Ages in 7th, Early Modern in 8th, and Modern in 9th.  Somewhere along the way, I want to focus solely on US History, Civics (ie Constitution) and I need some NY history in there too.  I'm thinking US and Civics should really be something they do in 10th grade or above.  Then what for 11th and 12th?  Do they even need history credits those years?  Leave it open for them to choose?  

 

Are there other sequence arcs I can consider that are perhaps only three years?  What else can I consider?  

 

What do most folks use after SoTW, anyways?  What else is out there?  

 

Thanks everyone!  

 

 

 



#2 deerforest

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:17 AM

Well, history is one of our favorite subjects, but we don't follow WTM's recommendations, and we're very liberal so my suggestions often don't work for many people here, but I'll share anyway.

 

K12 Human Odyssey is common for middle school. It's a 3-volume series that you could easily do in 3 years. We did it in 4 years because we also used Oxford University Press Ancients and Middle Ages series too. We vastly preferred OUP but K12 is quite good too. We supplement with tons and tons of additional fiction and non-fiction reading, documentaries, Great Courses, etc. We spend significantly more time studying social history than we do important men and dates. 

 

We never used SOTW, and I've always made up our history studies beyond those books as a basic starting point. We are in 7th now and just finished the 2nd K12 volume, which ends in 1914, right before WWI.

 

Next year is modern, and we'll be using the 3rd K12 book, but we are combining it with very pop culture American-centric studies too. Our history will still be world focused but within the context of looking at how culture and history intertwine from the American perspective specifically. 

 

So, we followed the 4-year cycle for 5-8 only. I didn't do it for K-4, and I don't plan to do it for high school. In high school, I plan to do 1 year of US history, 1 year of world history, 1 year of Latin American history, and then I'm still considering what else we want to do. We will do civics/government and human geo for sure. We're doing Oak Meadow's hs level geography course in 8th. So, we'll be able to do a more advanced one later.

 

I think it seems that people following WTM often use History Odyssey from Pandia Press which seems to use Kingfisher or some other more encyclopedia type approach with outlining, etc. I bought it a couple of times, and it's absolutely a complete fail for us, but others seem happy with it.


Edited by deerforest, 18 April 2017 - 08:01 AM.

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#3 SusanC

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:57 AM

I have a schedule that another board came up with that aligns the Human Industry books with SOTW. We've been using it as a checklist to get history done and it keeps everybody at the same place in history which is nice with read-alouds. We do a lighter American history over three years. My olders have been using the Critical Thinking Co.'s U.S. History Detective Book 1. It is a lightweight book with easy comprehension questions at the end. I don't love it, but it accomplished my goal of a low-key pass through American history that i will spread out over three our do years.

My plan is to finish the current cycle in 8th and then let my students choose what they want to do for high school classes. I think your schedule of doing modern in 9th would be great, there are a lot if ways they could really dig into modern history at a high school level.

#4 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:11 AM

I have a schedule that another board came up with that aligns the Human Industry books with SOTW. We've been using it as a checklist to get history done and it keeps everybody at the same place in history which is nice with read-alouds. We do a lighter American history over three years. My olders have been using the Critical Thinking Co.'s U.S. History Detective Book 1. It is a lightweight book with easy comprehension questions at the end. I don't love it, but it accomplished my goal of a low-key pass through American history that i will spread out over three our do years.

My plan is to finish the current cycle in 8th and then let my students choose what they want to do for high school classes. I think your schedule of doing modern in 9th would be great, there are a lot if ways they could really dig into modern history at a high school level.

 

I'm almost thinking I really want them to do modern history in 11th or 12th.  Like, I want to send them out into the world with a firm understanding of what is happening in our modern society, the roots of it, etc.  I feel like if we JUST cover Modern in 9th, they won't be a) mature enough and b) old enough to really remember.  

 

In that light, I'm wondering if I can do Ancients in 8th, Middle in 9th, take a break from the sequence and do US I and Civics in 10th, US II and Early Modern concurrently in 11th, and then Modern in 12th.  

 

That leaves me with 6th and 7th to figure out.  

 

Then, there's always the possibility that the oldest boy may end up in Community College at a younger grade than 12th, and if that happens, he may miss the final year or two of history.  

 

K12's 3 year rotation may work...I'll have to check that out.  Is there a high school segment?  It would give them two more passes through the sequence, plus an extra year where we could focus on US and Civics.  And, I think I would even be able to join the younger two boys in (it would give them three more passes through the sequence and one year for US and Civics).  

 

Any other 3 year rotation programs out there?  



#5 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

We have always followed the WTM recommendations and schedule, keeping mine together. So even though the mdd is 2 yrs younger than odd, and they are in different levels (one is in rhetoric stage, one is in logic. When odd was first in logic, mdd was still in grammar, etc.) I kept them on the same cycle. 

 

In you case I think I would start over with the cycle just to be simple. That would put modern history year in 9th grade. I would do the civics/government class alongside that the same year, so that it all stays together. Essentially, just do a heavy history load that year, covering your government and modern history all when it makes sense. If you read the WTM history sections it is pretty easy to do. 

 

As far as what to do, I truly find the WTM recommendations simple to follow. It is just an extension of what you do in the grammar stage with SOTW if you were doing all of the extra reading and narrations and notebooking and such as suggested. 

 

For our last modern history year which was in logic stage, we covered state history alongside creating a stage history notebook similar to the WTM style history notebooks. So my kids had a heavy history load that year. They did writing and projects for state history as well as modern American History, and we read original sources, did memory work, created timelines, wrote summaries, read lots of books, went on tons of field trips for state history and documented them for the state history notebook. And now we will just keep those state history books updated throughout high school. We will read state info alongside our ongoing thread of world history as it pertains in time and add to it, plus write and create notebook pages about our state as we explore it and learn about it ongoing. So I wont' have a set aside separate state history period. When we are in say the Civil War, I will have them read a chapter from a state history book on the civil war in our state as we are doing other materials and so forth. 

 

For government, same thing. We will read the for dummies book suggested in WTM on government and original sources as we work our way through modern world/American history year. 

 

In high school, SWB has three texts. One for ancients, one for Medieval World, one for Renaissance World. Then she has suggestions for what to use for modern world history. My high schooler is doing ancients this year. She is reading that text. She is doing the Great Books study and writing about history in context about each particular book she is reading. She is still working through her Geography Coloring Book. She studied for the National Latin exams which goes in depth on Roman History each year and covers mythology and such, so as a family we have done read alouds on a lot of that type of stuff, but her own reading includes the Illiad also.  And we watch a lot of documentaries as a family. I will play an episode of Drive Thru History as we eat lunch or the NLEs videos all in Latin that tell about Roman history as if its a Roman TV news reporter.  So history isn't a lot different than logic stage work last year. 

 

My logic stager reads the Kingfisher history, outlines from it, adds dates to her timeline, works through her Geography Coloring Book, and writes summaries occasionally on a history or Great Book that she has finished. She watches the videos and studies for the latin exams also. We do a lot of family read alouds. Her book list comes from the Classical House of Learning Literature blog. High shcoler's directly from WTM and WEM. 



#6 SusanC

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:47 AM

You could continue in your current path and then in 12th focus on Current Events.

If you want to diy a the year cycle, the I
OUP books that deerfotest mentioned are good, although they don't go all the way to modern if you are wanting that.

#7 wapiti

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:56 AM

I wouldn't worry about planning high school history until closer to high school.   For example, suppose you decide that it makes sense for one of your kids to take one or more AP history courses (or DE, for that matter); certain APs tend to work best, or are commonly taken, during particular grade levels.  Or maybe you'll go way outside the box.  Either way, it seems too soon to predict what your kids' needs might be, even though it can be fun to think ahead.


Edited by wapiti, 18 April 2017 - 09:58 AM.

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#8 deerforest

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:00 AM

K12 has an American history book--the American Odyssey, and a World History: Our Human Story books for high school, but I haven't seen or reviewed them. The HS forum here has many more US and world history books. Oak Meadow also has US history and world history curricula designed to be use with any US history and world history textbooks. We're trying Oak Meadow for the first time in 8th, and if I like their approach, I might end up using theirs with the textbooks I choose.



#9 SilverMoon

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:02 AM

For high school look at what colleges in your area are expecting of their incoming freshman. Most in my area want to see a year of world history, a year of American history, and a year of government/economics.

 

We broke out of the history cycles for high school. My oldest loved ancient and medieval history, so he did ancients in 9th, medieval in 10th, American in 11th, and gov/econ in 12th. He could have just done ancient or medieval for his world history credit, but that's where his interest was. My second DC did American for 9th, geography for 10th, world survey for 11th, planning to smash gov/econ into the summer between 11th and 12th, and then she's done. My third will start high school this fall and he will do history of aviation for his world history credit in 9th. Going forward I'll give him loads of freedom to tailor courses to suit him as he grows and changes, while keeping an eye on what colleges expect.

 

For middle school the oldest two mostly did a history cycle with Veritas Press as the spine (the diy version with a stack of books, nothing online). #3 did world in 6th (through the development of ships, aircraft, and spacecraft), geography in 7th, and is doing world again in 8th (history of science). He's not quite the history buff his older siblings were, but with his interests tossed in he thinks it's amazing. ;) Kiddo #4 did American in 5th, skipped 6th, British/Irish history for 7th, and we're planning on culinary history next year for 8th.



#10 deerforest

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

I also wanted to add that history in the middle grades has been such an extraordinary joy. We have truly loved all the paths and wanderings. All the historical fiction, documentaries, videos, etc. But still young enough to enjoy the games and projects that we've done. DD has been able to have sophisticated discussions and old enough to laugh about some things, but I haven't made it a high output course. I'm saving that for high school because I wanted her to really fall in love with history, to see the connections, to be aware of the cultural connections, to see patterns. DD would probably say that it's her absolutely favorite subject.

 

Also, yes to the history of science too -- we've been using all of the Hakim books in parallel plus a bunch of other tangents for them too. OUP has a great series about technology, for example. 

 

Ah, I'm getting sentimental thinking that our middle grade history is coming to an end soon!


Edited by deerforest, 18 April 2017 - 10:06 AM.

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#11 lovelearnandlive

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:06 AM

We are a bit off the sequence as well. Here is what I'm doing/planning to do:

6th: ancients
7th: medieval through reformation
8th: US history using CLE's middle school history curriculum, plus re-reading parts of SOTW and History Odyssey for global perspective
9th: start over in ancients
10th: medieval through reformation
11th: US history
12th: world history post-reformation

#12 Momto5inIN

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:31 PM

 

We broke out of the history cycles for high school.

 

Us too.

 

So far we have stuck with the 4 year cycle through elementary and middle school (tweaked from TWTM, but still a 4 year cycle), but with transcript requirements for college and different interests and APs and electives and whatnot, it just wasn't feasible to keep my high schoolers on the same cycle as everybody else.

 

Oldest DS did do the first 2 years of the cycle with the rest of us his 9th and 10th grade years before I finally realized it wasn't going to work and ditched it. I really wish I'd figured it out sooner so I could tailor his history/social studies credits to his individual interests, but oh well. He went from there to do Gov/Econ and next year will do a year of USH.

 

2nd DS loves history more than 1st DS so his plan is going to be very different, maybe an AP, maybe doing in depth USH over 2 years, maybe something else altogether.



#13 Momto5inIN

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:36 PM

Forgot to add what we use:

Ancients - SOTW cds (elem) MOH (both) Human Odyssey (middle school)

Medieval - same

Renaissance - same

Modern - Complete Book of US History (elem) MOH & Human Odyssey (middle school)



#14 kbutton

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:11 PM

If you want to do some transitional stuff in middle school before going back to a sequence, you could do Notgrass' middle school texts. One is American history, one is civics and light government (heavy on civics), and one is world history. It has recommended literature, mapping, and timelines as well. It's all mapped out and can be completed together or individually. We really like it. The world history is the hardest of the three levels, I would say.

 

We use SOTW, but most years, we use it as a read-aloud or supplement. My older one started in school, so we didn't have a real sequence that would work out to be repeated three times. It's worked out anyway.



#15 Mrs Twain

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:03 AM

This year we used Notgrass fir middle school history, and I have been extremely impressed.

You could use their 3-year middle school program to cover all that you mentioned before you get to high school:

America the beautiful (US history)
From Adam to Us (overview of world history)
Uncle Sam and You (US Civics)
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#16 Mrs Twain

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:06 AM

I also will give a shout out to the Critical Thinking Company's US History Detective workbooks. They are excellent!
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#17 beckyjo

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:34 AM

Not only did I post after 1 line, I double posted. Ergh!

 


Edited by beckyjo, 20 April 2017 - 09:43 AM.


#18 beckyjo

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:34 AM

We've been all over the place with history in middle/high school.

 

Oldest: 6th - Ancients with K12 Human Odyssey book 1

7th - World Geography with Build Your Library 7

 

Edit: somehow I posted. 

 

So anyway,

 

Oldest: 8th - Modern History with K12 Human Odyssey book 3. 

9th - History of science with Build Your Library 8 and 1/2 credit of World War II history 

10th - (planned) 1 year US History with FundaFunda schedule 

11th - some sort of world history

12th - government/civics and ??

 

Middle: 6th grade - unit studies (have covered a mishmash of time periods according to desire - Medieval, African American history, Women's history, and Early Americas - Maya, Aztec, Inca, Native American)

7th - (planned) 1 year US history using unit studies

8th - World Geography with BYL 7

9th - she's planning on attending public school for high school, so who knows?

 

Youngest will tag along with Middle, so she'll be in 6th grade doing World Geography (middle's 8th grade year). Have not planned hers out at all. 


Edited by beckyjo, 20 April 2017 - 09:42 AM.


#19 beckyjo

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:45 AM

I also will give a shout out to the Critical Thinking Company's US History Detective workbooks. They are excellent!

 

Oooh, I'm planning US history for next year. I will put these on my research list. Thanks!



#20 JNDodge

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:18 PM

We love Notgrass for sure. Memoria Press's stuff is awesome as well. Both go over big at our house.

#21 fourisenough

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 06:12 AM

This year we used Notgrass fir middle school history, and I have been extremely impressed.

You could use their 3-year middle school program to cover all that you mentioned before you get to high school:

America the beautiful (US history)
From Adam to Us (overview of world history)
Uncle Sam and You (US Civics)

How religious are the Notgrass books?

#22 dmmetler

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:28 AM

What we've done is to get books from different countries that are published in English for their students (I believe all are countries with national exams) and use those as a spine to explore history from a different perspective. I expect DD will do a good US history and Government course while in high school, but I wanted to avoid my memories of school history, which was that it was basically US history from 1492 to reconstruction, occasionally making it as far as WW2, from 4th-12th grade. I am sure there was some world history in there somewhere, but all I remember is year after year of the same stuff.

So far, we've done a year of British history, using Galore Park, Australian history using History for the Australian Curriculum, India using a national textbook I found online, and I have Origins and Destinies, two textbooks used in Canadian schools for next fall. That gets us through 8th grade. Not sure yet what to do for high school.
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#23 beckyjo

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 09:26 AM

What we've done is to get books from different countries that are published in English for their students (I believe all are countries with national exams) and use those as a spine to explore history from a different perspective. I expect DD will do a good US history and Government course while in high school, but I wanted to avoid my memories of school history, which was that it was basically US history from 1492 to reconstruction, occasionally making it as far as WW2, from 4th-12th grade. I am sure there was some world history in there somewhere, but all I remember is year after year of the same stuff.

So far, we've done a year of British history, using Galore Park, Australian history using History for the Australian Curriculum, India using a national textbook I found online, and I have Origins and Destinies, two textbooks used in Canadian schools for next fall. That gets us through 8th grade. Not sure yet what to do for high school.

 

 

I like this idea. I may steal it for my younger two. 



#24 Saddlemomma

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

I gave DD a break from the rotation during middle school.  Instead, we went with interest-led topics.  This year was all about Celtic/Druid history.  We did the same thing for science as well during 6th & 7th. She was thrilled with the break and is now excited about delving back into the depths of Ancient History next year. We plan to focus more on Mesopotamia and their various religions and myths comparing them to the Bible.

 

I know that for my DD, it really helped to give her that break from the same routine. I think Middle/Jr. high is a perfect time for kids to explore their interests in both history and science before dipping their toes into high school. You can still shore up writing, note-taking, and critical thinking skills while they write about topics they are really engaged in because they have picked their studies.  It also gives them more of an idea about what area they would like to concentrate on more in-depth through the high school years and beyond.  

 

I'm shocked that my DD has revealed (because of this year's science alone) that she wants to concentrate more on the sciences; especially Chemistry and Physics!  I always thought she was more of a humanities girl, not STEM.  However, just by letting her freely choose her courses has revealed aspects of her interests neither of us ever would have thought of before.

 



#25 Aurelia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:04 PM

I think middle school is an excellent time to go "off sequence" and explore topics your child/ren is/are interested in. Or even just doing something other than the world history sequence again. We ended up doing US history (K12 A History of US, condensed version), history of science (Build Your Library 8), and next year will be doing the middle ages with a focus on British history during that time (A Picturesque Tale of Progress and Galore Park's Medieval Realms and Making of the UK). We will probably follow the standard high school sequence - World Geography (9th), World History (10th), US History (11th), US Government & Economics (12th). DD isn't really passionate about anything academic, though she likes to read, so I'm aiming for mostly get-'er-done type stuff with some extra reading thrown in. You could easily pick it back up in 9th and do the 4 year rotation again, or do 2 years of world history (maybe 11th and 12th grades), 1 of US and goverment/econ (it seems most colleges want at least a year of US history, and a semester each of economics and US government. 


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#26 winterbaby

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:30 PM

We're starting history in 5th, coming out of PS. I'm planning to do both world and American history continuously. For world I'm planning to use Classical House of Learning Literature, starting in grammar level 2 which is what's appropriate for us right now, transitioning to logic level whenever it seems appropriate, and finding something similar for after CHOLL, which is unfortunately incomplete, peters out in logic level early modern. At the same time I'll be coming up with my own four year sequence of American history, roughly a century per year (pre)-1600 - 2000. I feel that American history is undertaught, certainly in the public schools (they haven't even mentioned it in the four years she's been there) but I also have a philosophical difference with the classical history approach that seems to treat the history of one's own country as just one among many. (In fact it seems strange to call that "classical" since in classical times I'm pretty sure they would have been focused on the history and lore of their own people.) I feel like ongoing attention is needed to get the command of the subject you need to be an informed citizen.

 

Oh, and once we get the hang of it there is also some material about a couple other countries that are important in our family history that I need to work in, so maybe that's more like two and a half streams.

 

I would really like to repeat those cycles in high school at much greater depth, but who knows what the future holds. Of course at a century a year the pace of American history would be gentler, a "half credit" or however one would handle that, and allow plenty of space for social/cultural history.



#27 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 08:53 AM

I have never followed a specific sequence for history. We study whatever we want any given yr. My current 12th grader's transcript has 9th: Western Civ, 10th: Russian history; Communism in the 20th Century, 11th: none, 12th: American history; American gov't. But they are also listed under social science which also includes macro and microeconomics. She also read French history in French, but it is under her French credit.

Basically, histories are wide open to a variety of options. You'll find some colleges specifying certain courses. American history, world history, and Econ are some of more commonly recommended or required courses.

#28 kbutton

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Posted Yesterday, 06:22 PM

How religious are the Notgrass books?

 

More than SOTW. Probably less than something like A Beka.

 

If you use the world history for middle school (From Adam to Us), it's probably the most religious one and incorporates some church history.