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We have found that outlining the Kingfisher History of the World to be very chaotic. It has been very difficult for the kids to make connections and follow the logical pattern of history.  I have stumbled across http://www.classicalhistorian.com/ The Classical Historian.  Has anyone used this before??  We have a 4th and two 6th graders and are working on the Medieval/Early Renaissance period.  Let me know if anyone has any experience with this! Thanks!!

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We used it this past year for Ancient History and are using it again next year for the Middle Ages.  We love it!  Here is what I think a potential user needs to know about it (the good and the bad):

1.  The author emphasizes religious influence, but in such as way that this could be used in public schools.  In other words, the influence religion had on ancient history, not preaching Jesus.  I am not sure this is true for Middle Ages because we've not gotten there yet, but it was true for the Ancients.  This may just be because most of the major religions were birthed then, and this may or may not bother you.  If it bothers you, you will not be able to use this program because religion's role in the development of civilizations is central in this book. 

 

2.  The essays are very well taught and require thought and research (at the appropriate grade level, of course).  The essay writing can be adapted to a beginner (1 paragraph) or a more advanced student (5 paragraphs).

 

3.  The DVD support/teacher CD looks like it was produced on a shoestring budget and is very basic, but also very useful and the teaching support is fantastic.

 

4.  The accompanying book (World History Detective) covers most aspects of ancient civilizations, but not all are covered in as much detail as the essays.  The essays focus on high points and important issues, while WHD also covers more minor issues you wouldn't need to spend a few weeks on.

 

5.  You will need a substantial spine to supplement the WHD readings because the WHD is focused on the proverbial "Close reading of text".  We used Oxford's First Ancient History as a spine.  It worked well with WHD and was a good age level and interesting for my DD.  WHD is packed full of relevant facts that will flesh out your spine nicely, though. 

   

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We used it this past year for Ancient History and are using it again next year for the Middle Ages.  We love it!  Here is what I think a potential user needs to know about it (the good and the bad):

 

1.  The author emphasizes religious influence, but in such as way that this could be used in public schools.  In other words, the influence religion had on ancient history, not preaching Jesus.  I am not sure this is true for Middle Ages because we've not gotten there yet, but it was true for the Ancients.  This may just be because most of the major religions were birthed then, and this may or may not bother you.  If it bothers you, you will not be able to use this program because religion's role in the development of civilizations is central in this book. 

 

2.  The essays are very well taught and require thought and research (at the appropriate grade level, of course).  The essay writing can be adapted to a beginner (1 paragraph) or a more advanced student (5 paragraphs).

 

3.  The DVD support/teacher CD looks like it was produced on a shoestring budget and is very basic, but also very useful and the teaching support is fantastic.

 

4.  The accompanying book (World History Detective) covers most aspects of ancient civilizations, but not all are covered in as much detail as the essays.  The essays focus on high points and important issues, while WHD also covers more minor issues you wouldn't need to spend a few weeks on.

 

5.  You will need a substantial spine to supplement the WHD readings because the WHD is focused on the proverbial "Close reading of text".  We used Oxford's First Ancient History as a spine.  It worked well with WHD and was a good age level and interesting for my DD.  WHD is packed full of relevant facts that will flesh out your spine nicely, though. 

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you experience! this sounds like a good fit as it sounds like it is not biased towards one religion or another, simply showing how different religions impacted history. It also sounds like there is quality teaching included.  I had a couple of questions:

1.  What ages have you used this with?

2. Does the teaching of lessons seem chronological, or at least make sense as you go through the book.  My one big complaint in simply going through KFE is that we jump from topic to topic with no flow.  

3. This curriculum seems VERY heavy on writing.  We are using Writing with Skill and I don't want to overload them with writing.  Does this attempt to take the place of a writing curriculum as well as a history curriculum?

 

TIA!

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Yes, that's exactly what this curriculum does - showcases all of the world's major religions, rather than push one over the other (the author is a conservative Christian himself).

 

1.  I've used this with my 6th grade daughter only.  She is verbally adept, but I do think 6th grade is the lower limit for using it because of the focused, source-based research reports that are the centerpiece.  I would not attempt it with younger than that.  The Classical Historian website mentions that also.  I have a son who will be in 4th grade next year, and I have to find something for him to use.  Just curious, what do you use for history for your 4thg grader?

 

2.  Absolutely chronological, although because some historical periods span a long amount of time, other cultures/lessons may overlap say, a lesson on Ancient Greece.  But very logically laid out, even when that happens.  I don't like KSE for history, nor KSE for science, because I can't stand that skim-the-surface disjointedness.

 

3.  We must have the same tastes; my DD also uses Writing With Skill I.  I do not think that this curriculum should/would take the place of writing for English.  It is really not that much writing, because with a 6th grader, you would focus on 1 paragraph essays only, not really long essays.  The heavy work with this is in the thinking, in researching the essays, in learning about things like cause and effect/primary source value/evaluating historical evidence, and in learning to compose a coherent essay.  It dovetails very nicely with WWSI because it reinforces many of the skills learned in WWSI. 

 

To give you an idea of what we are doing academically and how it fits with this history program:  We are out of the house for co-op 2 days/week for a half day each with those co-op enrichment classes, so we really only school 3-4 days total.  Writing consists of WWSI, Write Shop I (3-year slow plan), and MCT Paragraph Town.  Yes, 3 writing curricula.  We also do the Classical Historian.  However, I don't write much across the curriculum yet because my daughter needs help with certain aspects of writing and I am trying to remediate that from her public school days. She can write a top-notch essay as far as thought and organization goes, but her grammar, punctuation, and mechanics needed lots of work at the beginning of the year.  Write Shop is for that.  She didn't know diddly about how to outline or organize a research paper, so WWS I is for that.  Both seem to have done their job.  I'll probably drop MCT Essay Voyage for next year because it's likely overkill, but I am not sure.  Once basic skills are in place, I plan to introduce more writing across the curriculum, but at the moment, Classical Historian is the only non-English curricular writing we do.

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you experience! this sounds like a good fit as it sounds like it is not biased towards one religion or another, simply showing how different religions impacted history. It also sounds like there is quality teaching included.  I had a couple of questions:

1.  What ages have you used this with?

2. Does the teaching of lessons seem chronological, or at least make sense as you go through the book.  My one big complaint in simply going through KFE is that we jump from topic to topic with no flow.  

3. This curriculum seems VERY heavy on writing.  We are using Writing with Skill and I don't want to overload them with writing.  Does this attempt to take the place of a writing curriculum as well as a history curriculum?

 

TIA!

 

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