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Anyone NOT follow a four-year, world history cycle?

Michelle T

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Who here does not follow the four-year world history cycle, repeating it each developmental stage? I can't be the only one, right?


Those doing history differently, how are you covering it? Concentrating on US (or another country) history? Concentrating on world/cultural geography? Focusing on some specific aspect of history? Or just jumping around as you and your kids see fit?


No particular reason for asking, other than I like hearing from those who are doing things differently. I'm currently focusing on US history, at the request of DS.

Michelle T

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Me. :D


For 1st we did a mish-mash of some ancients (Greece, Rome, China) mixed with Venice and the Silk Road.


From 2nd-5th we've been doing US History chronologically. It was supposed to be two years, but we've been having so much fun! This year we're doing the 20th century, so there's a lot of world history mixed in.


Next year I plan to start a 3-year World History rotation, which will bring us to high school. In high school I'd like to do 2 years of US and 2 years of World History.


My younger dd is in a different grade, but just comes along for the ride.

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We got off the four year cycle, and I don't feel any particular concern about it.


In first and second grade, my oldest did SOTW 1 at home and covered large parts of 2 and 3 through various outside classes (two years doing Master's Academy of Fine Arts where they were focusing on the Baroque and Classical periods in music and doing history that went with that, drawing largely on SOTW3; Roman Britain, the Middle Ages and Renaissance through some ongoing "living history" classes, etc)...


So when it came time for 3rd grade, I decided to spend the year doing an overview of world history. I felt like ds had all this history knowledge, but no particular framework for it. I hoped a quick year of world history would help him fit some of those pieces into place.


For 4th, we did American history.


Now, 5th, we've been doing world geography.


My plan is to start with Ancients again this fall, for 6th. (My younger dd will be in 3rd, more or less.) We may try to do world history over three years instead of 4, so I don't feel like we're left hanging when it's time to start high school studies...

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Yes we went to a 6-yr cycle. My tentative plan is to do MFW 1-6 and Omnibus 7-12.


Yes, I struggled with this last year. I still struggle with it at times. Especially the last week or two because I am planning for next year. I would love to do 3 rotations of history. But I can't find a history curriculum that I like and can afford that does it in 3.


Oh Well,


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We'll be doing 3 years (and a summer). We tried MOH Ancients this year to try and have some subject they did together. It's gone all right, but the age difference is just too much since he is only Kindergarten. There have been some fun activities that we've enjoyed. One of our best friend homeschool families is doing it as well, so we've had some get together events as well.


She'll be in 7th next year, and I wanted her to cover all of history in middle school. We'll do some this summer and finish World history in 7th, then American history in 8th. I'm going to use BJU for her, supplementing with lots of period reading and some projects.


I plan on having little brother sit in for some of it, but he obviously can't work at her grade level. I feel that these 3 years for him are going to be an "introduction" to history, then in third grade or fourth, we may do MOH again full force for just him.

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... how's that for a start? ;)


I intended to do a four-year, chronological cycle, but with a surprise 4th ds, illnesses, vacations, and just general family demands, it's getting stretched out a bit. Honestly though, I'm not going to speed through it and I've let go of any guilt I might have had.


We go at our own pace and explore the areas that interest the boys. Right now, we're taking a hiatus from Biblioplan and SOTW to focus on the life of Christ. That's important to us and the the boys are enjoying it so much.


We will finish our Ancients year over the course of two with no regrets. :)

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We will cover History only once. Ancients through Modern, including American History programs for 2 years. Right now we are doing geography and culture, including Native Americans, plus FIAR. I plan to do American history for 3rd grade and will probably take 3 semesters, after that we will do a World History overview (Sea and Sky) in 5th grade. Then we start with Ancients, and will fold religious history and prophecy into every time period. Then senior year is left for government.

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We aren't, and it's VERY complicated what happened with us. I'll try to break it down:D


2004/2005 - dd was 4 turning 5 in September. We did Kindergarten and used FIAR. Why wait right?

2005/2006 - started Ancient History using MOH. BIG MISTAKE! She was bored, she rebelled, I picked back up FIAR and decided to do another Kindergarten year.


2006/2007 - Now we're in first grade. Tried to restart MOH. Once again she hated it. I then borrowed Galloping the Globe and we had a GREAT year!!!


2007/2008 - Second grade bough VP OT/Ancient History.:001_huh: I know what you're thinking, but, yes, I thought we'd try the ancients ONE.MORE.TIME.:glare: Half way through the year, I called a friend, frustrated. She very gently compared me to the Israelites and asked me when I was going to let my poor daughter out of Egypt.:lol:


So, we borrowed Konos from her and did some Unit studies to finish our year. We did Kings and Queens, Horses and Lights.


This year, we were following Ambleside's reading schedule at the beginning of the year because we moved and that was all I could handle. It was fine, but they stay in one time period a long time and I've learned my lesson! Since Christmas, we have been doing Sonlight Core 2 (started in the middle) and she LOVES it.


After this, we are going to do American History for the next two years. If Sonlight continues to be a hit, I'll keep buying her cores and she won't do Ancient History again until 7th grade. That should give her enough time to forget all the damage I did.


Next year, I'll be doing American History with my youngest. Don't ask me about after that. It was all I could do to figure out next year:lol:




Edited by coffeefreak
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SOTW 1, went to 2, then 3, then American History. This has taken us from

2nd grade to 6th. We just really enjoy taking it chronologically but slow. There are so many cool things to read, learn and do so I decided to not stress, just enjoy it. We are working through TQ American History II right now, will finish III in the next year and then start the cycle again. My kids are real history nuts so it seems to work for us. (example: My ds and friends get together once a month here on the farm to re-enact a battle from one of the major wars. They dress to the time period, march in unison,etc. It is a big deal to them and they do it so well.)

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We did american history first, then started into world. I don't think it matters really. The big point of WTM's approach to history (besides the obvious ideas of the content) is the WRITING they build into the history time. If you do that in your history, I say pat yourself on the back and move on. If you do american till 3rd or 4th and then start world, no biggee. If you do world and don't start american till later, no biggee. It all pans out in the wash. And my dd tends to read beyond what we're studying anyway, so if we're doing american, she's reading about the romans, etc., lol.

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We cover history chronologically, but not necessarily on a four-year cycle. I just do each history period for as long as it takes. I do see great value in doing history chronologically, though. It allows you to know how everything builds on everything else and affects everything. I also have no problem adding in extra history of whatever type ds is interested in. For instance, this year we are doing the ancients, but ds is also studying maritime war history...just because he wants to.

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Our 4 year cycle turned into 6 to allow lots of following of bunny trails. We also did an "aside" year of no history, but rather world culture / geography / comparative religions focus -- wish we'd taken TWO years in middle school for that to cover more of the world! And now in high school, we're all out of order to allow the boys some input. Below is what our history path has looked like, for 2 boys one grade apart. BEST of luck in charting your family's history path! Warmly, Lori D.



grammar stage

gr. 1/2 = ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, China, Greece

gr. 2/3 = ancient Africa, India, Rome

gr. 3/4 = medieval Europe, Japan (samurai), explorers

gr. 4/5 = US history: colonial to Civil War

gr. 5/6 = US history: Civil War to modern times


logic stage

gr. 6/7 = modern world history (if I could re-do this, I'd do world geog. here too)

gr. 7/8 = world culture/geography/comparative religions (eastern hemisphere)


rhetoric stage

gr. 8/9 = ancients world (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China, India, Rome) and Great Books Lit. combo

gr. 9/10 = 20th century world and Great Books Lit. combo

***gr. 10/11 = US history and US Great Books Lit. combo, with government

***gr. 11/12 = medieval history and British Great Books Lit. combo

*** gr. 12 = tie up loose ends; maybe another geography focused year (with world great books lit.?)


*** = future school year

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Er, well.... we started out our homeschooling adventure (this year) studying the Ancients. However, instead of doing year two of SOTW I'm going to transition us into American History next year. We may go back and do "year two" after that. :D I think one of the best things about homeschooling is allowing some of your subjects to truly be delight driven. My DC are interested in Amer. History, so that's the path we're going to take.

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We (so far) do a long history cycle all the way through elementary school, including lots of extra UK and US history. We also do a year of Chinese history - ideally at the end of elementary. After that, I am going to give a lot of choice as to what history the student wants to study next.



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I am doing SOTW with my oldest an will follow it up with chronological history again.


But my youngest doesn't think that way. With her we are doing lapbooks and jumping around as her interest is peaked on a topic. We've spent a lot of time this past year reading the American Girl books and doing lapbooks on them. We've also spent time doing other historical books.


I figure we will eventually touch on everything.:001_smile:

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I started out with a year of geography with my kids. Now we're in our second year of world history which will be followed by 2 years in American history. After that, it will be Eastern Cultures. We're using Sonlight, so it's not exactly what's recommended in TWTM, but I'm totally happy with how things are going. We're getting a 4 year cycle in there, it's just sandwiched with other things. We'll probably only do 2 4-year cycles. My son already knows more about history than I ever will, so I'm not worried about getting a 3rd cycle.



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We are now, but it wasn't always that way. I didn't start any history aside from what we were learning in FIAR until my son was in 4th grade. I actually was a little opposed to chronological history, but I have since changed my mind. It took us 5 years to go through the SOTW books, and even so we did not complete the last ten chapters of Volume 4 because I wanted my son to have 2 history cycles in before graduation.


Now, we are back into ancients, and I will do at least one more cycle of history. My youngest girls will be in 8th grade when we will possibly start the cycle for a third time. I don't know what I will have them do in 8th grade. Only time will tell. It is too far away for me to have any concrete thoughts about it.



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I liked the idea, I embraced the idea, yet we are taking 2 years just for Ancients. Not because we slack on history, we just get into it too much (I mean, really, who can spend just 2 weeks on Ancient China? Or the Ancient Americas? And don't get me started on Egypt...)


And now, with our move to the South, with access to all the East Coast historical sites for a couple of years, I want to jump ahead and do a heavy focus on American history. I am thinking of just reading SOTW 2/3 (no projects or extra books) this summer to "catch up" to the Age of Exploration and going from there using American History resources, probably taking us through the Civil War before our Southern sojourne ends.


This would actually allow us to get back on a 4-year cycle when DS8 begins 5th grade. But then I wonder, how can I fit in a good year of US Government in high school?


Who knew planning history would be so hard?

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I like the idea of a 4 year cycle, but I'm more of a unit study type at heart. As a compromise, we're going through SL1/2 this year (using the old Usborne World History Encyclopedia). This is working really well, it's just enough information and the layout of the book emphasizes the chronology. I want the kids to have an overview of where things fit in time, but I also want to be able to take advantage of all the resources we have. For example, Houston is going to have a Genghis Khan exhibition and a Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition this Spring, so I'd like to spend a lot of time of China from Ancients into the Middle Ages. By reducing what I expect us to cover, I have more time to do special units when something strikes our fancy.

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We came to classical education mid-stream, when my daughter was starting her high school program. In fact, it was because she wanted to make sure that we were covering all the bases in terms of getting her into college that we re-evaluated our homeschooling and ended up making the transition to our sort-of-WTM-ish approach.


By the time we made the decision, my daughter and I had already started sketching out our history plan for that year (which, oddly enough, included combining literature and history in a way that was similar to the WTM). And we were just too much in love with our plan to completely give it up. So, that first year, we did American history, making an attempt to get on board with some of the WTM suggestions in that and other subjects.


Well, having spent a year on American history meant that we would have only three years to do a full cycle of world history, and I tweaked accordingly . . . only to have my daughter decide to skip that last year and apply to college, instead. After I had bought most of the materials and started making lists and charts . . . Grr.


My son and I forged ahead even after my daughter deserted us, because I'd already bought stuff and started planning. So, he got American history followed by a three-year world history cycle.


This year, we started over with the ancients, which was to be the beginning of a full, honest-to-goodness four-year cycle . . .


Except that the text I bought for next year goes through 1789. And I've had this idea in my head for a few years that I'd like to do a year of American history with my son that uses music as primary source material. So, it looks like this one, too, will get a three-year world history cycle (or most of it, since we'll be doing American history instead of modern world history that last year) plus a year of American.


Of course, he'll still be young at that point. He's pretty sure he wants to go to college early, too, but not as early as his sister. So, who knows? I might get another year after that to do a full-on modern world history course with him. If so, he'd end up with a five-year history cycle, which isn't by the book, either.


Ah well, it's working for us.

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Who here does not follow the four-year world history cycle, repeating it each developmental stage? I can't be the only one, right?


Those doing history differently, how are you covering it? Concentrating on US (or another country) history? Concentrating on world/cultural geography? Focusing on some specific aspect of history? Or just jumping around as you and your kids see fit?


My oldest ds has been more haphazard than I would like to admit. For K-2 he was in various traditional classrooms. They did social studies. In 3rd and 4th grade he went to a school that used VP. SO-

3rd- VP Greece and Rome

4th- VP Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation

Then he came home-

5th- VP to 1815 with SL 3 and 100 (Early American)

6th- SL 4 and 100 (Modern American)

7th- SL 5 and some 20th century world history

8th- Ancient History Omnibus 1

9th- Middle Ages History up to Renaissance

10th- World Geography

11th- CC American History/ US Govt

Next year 12th- Economics and Southern History


Middle ds-

3rd- Early American

4th- Modern American

5th- SL 5 and some 20th century world history

6th- Ancients

8th- Middle Ages

9th- Early modern up to 1900/ Govt.

10th- 20th century history

Next year 11th- US History

Year after 12th- World Geography and Cultures/ Economics


With the little guy-

Next year 1st- US History (HOD Bigger)

2nd- World Geography and Cultures (WP CATW)

3rd- World History (CHOW through HOD Preparing or SL 1+2)

4th- American History (SL 3+4)

I just don't know after that. In 5th-8th we may do a 4 year history rotation, or we may do a 3 year rotation and then do a year of American History, or we may do SL cores 5, 6, 7, 100. I just don't know. Today I'll say probably the last, because I really want the little guy to do SL5.



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Mines a bit convoluted:

1.We did SOTW 1 & 2, 1 year per book

2.We are taking 3 years for SOTW 3 & 4 bc I'm adding Truthquest AHYS 1-3. We are taking our time w/ American history and loving it!

3. Then we'll do Western Civ. 1 & 2 using the 5 packs of cards from Veritas divided into 2 sets. My children will be much older than the recommended ages so we'll do about 3 cards per week. They will fill out the tests and do the readings on the backs of the cards independently. I'll make checklists of historical fiction for them to work through also. I'm hoping to teach outlining and independent study skills during this cycle. I also want them to have the chance to read the ancient and middle ages fiction that were too advanced the first cycle.


At that point they will be in 7th and 9th grades. I'll consider Omnibus with them or I'll just incorporate some great books with a more traditional lit/history curriculum. It will still end up being 3 cycles for my oldest and 4 cycles for my youngest.

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We use mainly WinterPromise for history. Their approach to history is addressed in their FAQ page here:




Basically, it includes several one year overviews of world history, a geography/cultures year, two year segments of American history which can be repeated at different levels, and a four-year world history sequence. It's a hodge-podge, but it's all very interesting and enthralling.

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I am looking at it in 6 year cycles as well.


This is how it is going to look for my oldest son:


First "cycle" completed -

Gr 1 - Sonlight K - World Cultures

Gr 2- SOTW 1

Gr 3 - SOTW 2

Gr 4 - SOTW 3

Gr 5 - SOTW 4

Gr 6 - Canadian History


Very tentative second "cycle" -

Gr 7 - Sonlight 5 - Eastern Hemisphere

Gr 8 - Sonlight 6 - World History 1

Gr 9 - Sonlight 7 - World History 2

Gr 10 -Sonlight 200 - Church History

Gr 11 -Sonlight 300 - 20th Century World History

Gr 12 - Civics, Economics, Worldviews


My son asked to do world history over 2 years next time and he wants more 20th century history, so this is what I have planned for him. My younger daughter will be able to cover world history over 4 years on her second cycle, so it will look a bit different for her. As I said, the second cycle is still pretty tentative at this point.

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We jump around. I guess you could call it a one-year cycle. Each year we repeat:


- Ancient Greece and Rome

- some American History

- some World/European History

- some other non-European-based cultures/history

- some Geography


My son loves to read about history, so we read heavily and use the library extensively. Also watch some videos -- this year we're plowing through a lot of titles by Schlessinger Media.


We try to read one world history survey spine each year -- last year it was SOTW 1-4, this year Hillyer, next year or this spring we'll read Gombich. Also one or two main books on Ancient Greece and Rome -- this year it was Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of Rome, next year maybe the Guerber books, etc.

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My oldest two are in 5th and 4th this year. This is what I've done with them so far:


K, PK - broad overview with History For Little Pilgrims

1, K - world geography with Galloping the Globe

2, 1 - early US history with Truthquest

3, 2 - second half of US history with WP American Story 2

4, 3 - ancient history with CHOW and SOTW 1

5, 4 - We started this year doing the middle ages with SOTW 2, along with Our Island Story, but because I've been drawn to Ambleside Online for years and have always borrowed from their book list I decided to jump in and give it a try. I put my oldest in year 4 and my second in year 3. Both cover American and European history. We are going to try AO for a 12-week term and see how it goes.


If AO works well for my oldest two, I'll start my 6yo in AO year 1 in the fall, and that's what we'll stay with all the way through.


If AO is a bust, then we may give Sonlight a try. Another idea I heard of (not sure where though) was to alternate a year of world history with a year of US history all the way through school, focusing on a different aspect each year. I like this idea. It would mesh well with my desire to use Notgrass in high school.

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After much curriculum switching, I think we have found the path for us. I started DD in K with American People and Nation. I liked it well-enough but probably won't do that again with DD#2.


My plan was to go straight into a 4yr cycle with SOTW in 1st. Decided at the last minute to add in Biblioplan. Loved it. Wish I had stuck with it. But seeing as the grass is always greener...


Moved to TOG for this year. Made it through three weeks before listing it on eBay. I should have listened to everyone who told me not to get it with a 2nd grader as my oldest student!


Am now using TQ-AHYS and LOVE IT!!! It's where we should have been all along! My plan is to do TQ-AHYS 2nd-4th and then do their main series, which should take about 7 years for the 1 rotation. I absolutely refuse to look at another curriculum...ever, LOL!!!

Edited by Laurie in VA
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... I know what you're thinking, but, yes, I thought we'd try the ancients ONE.MORE.TIME.:glare: Half way through the year, I called a friend, frustrated. She very gently compared me to the Israelites and asked me when I was going to let my poor daughter out of Egypt.:lol:


I am :lol: 'Sounds like what I did - at least I'm not the only one!!!

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