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Ancient History: Equal Time?


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If you were choosing a 1yr ancient hist curric (thr the fall of Rome, app), 36 weeks, can you tell me what you'd expect to see & app how much time you'd expect to see spent on it?


For ex, you could say, "Egypt, 2-10 weeks" meaning a) you expect Egypt to be there & b) you expect at least 2 weeks to be spent on it but no more than 10. LOL


You could also say, "Phoenicia isn't *that* important, but I do love them, so if they could be squished in, that would be totally cool!"


There's obviously not a right answer; I'm just trying to wrap my head around how big ea civilization is. I know Egypt, Rome, & China are the biggies, but...the Celts are interesting, &...although there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a written record, their dispersal & longevity seem to merit them *something.*


But, of course, there are only 36 weeks. (Theoretically)



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Here's a rough outline I am using with my 7th grader for Ancient World History:


Hunter/Gatherers: 2 days (previously covered)

First Civilizations (Mesopotamia): 1.5 weeks

First Empires (Assyrians & Chaldeans): 1 week

Ancient Egypt and Kush: 8 weeks

Ancient China: 5 weeks

Israel: 2 weeks

India: 1 week

Ancient Greece: 9 weeks (almost guaranteed to go longer)

Ancient Rome: 8 weeks (will also go longer)


The way I came up with the civilizations/societies to include was just taking a look at the Ancient History Important People list in the WTM, and also the suggested reading list for Ancients in there.


For Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome we are using Suzanne Strauss Art's series of books, and I am learning how long these take - adding in library books, documentaries, primary sources, etc. The other civilizations are added in following a middle school textbook's timeline and some of their chapters.


I don't actually schedule anything out very far ahead of time, and don't stick to 36 weeks, but hopefully this will give you a start. Good question, Aubrey! I look forward to see what others say I have missed!

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Have you checked out Classical House of Learning? Here's their lesson plan for the grammar stage (two weeks per lesson for a 36 week school year):




  1. Prehistory: In the Beginning by Virginia Hamilton
  2. Ancient Egypt: Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne, The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, and Temple Cat by Andrew Clements
  3. Bible Stories: Tomie dePaola's Book of Bible Stories
  4. Aesop: Aesop's Fables by Jerry Pinkney
  5. The Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh the King, The Revenge of Ishtar, and The Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman
  6. Ancient India: I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told by Jeanne Lee
  7. Ancient Africa: The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper
  8. The Aeneid: In Search of a Homeland by Penelope Lively
  9. Ancient Greece: D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
  10. Ancient Persia: King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft and The Golden Sandal by Rebecca Hickox
  11. The Odyssey: Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne (Parts 1 and 2)
  12. Ancient American Peoples: Latin American Folktales by John Bierhorst
  13. Early Rome: Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
  14. Ancient China: The Ch'i-lin Purse by Linda Fang
  15. The End of Rome: Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld
  16. The Ancient Celts: Traditional Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens


You can download their book for free! It was a great jumping-off point for us in trying to decide what to study and how. Our curriculum differs in that we spend a lot more time on Greece, Rome and China. We spend less time on ancient Africa, India and the Bible. We still cover a lot of those other civilizations with narration pages from Usborne's Encyclopedia, but it's not really an in depth study.


I think one of the great things about the trivium is that you have three rotations of the same time period for history. Even if you do end up feeling that you weren't able to cover everything you wanted to the first time around, your kids have two more years down the road to fill in the gaps. :)

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