We love studying history through living books. Quality literature has the wonderful ability to make the people and events of the past become interesting and real. By reading and studying about the past, we can gain insight and understanding that can have a lasting impact. History textbooks tend to be dry and leave out a substantial amount of facts and give a very limited view.
There are a few hurdles that sometimes deter families away from using living books in their studies. They are unsure of how to put together a course of study using just living books, cost of programs that are already set-up and scheduled for you, purchasing the living books or their library system not having the needed books available.
Heritage History can be a help and solution to these hurdles. We were recently able to review a Heritage History’s British Empire Classical Curriculum. When you first visit Heritage-History.com , you may assume that it is just a collection of old, out of print books. This assumption would be a huge mistake!
Taken from the Heritage History website: The British Empire collection covers the history of the British Empire, from the earliest days of the Hanoverian dynasty to the turmoil of the First World War. It tells stories of the rise of British rule in Indian and Asia, the conflict with the French in America, the exploration and colonization of Africa, the opening of trade with China and Japan, and the discovery and settlement of Austrialia and New Zealand. Most regional histories cover pre-colonial history as well as history under British rule, so the collection provides a fairly thorough overview of world history with an emphasis on the colonial era.
The British Empire CD contains 57 classical children’s history books that cover this time period of history. Some of those books are Struggle for Sea Power, Boy’s Book of Battles, Our Island Story, Tales from Irish History, Story of Japan, War Inventions, English Literature for Boys and Girls, and so much more! These books are categorize according to three levels: green/elementary, brown/intermediate and red/advanced.
The CD offers the book in 3 formats. You can choose to read from your computer, print a PDF copy or download the books to your e-reader. The books are in MOBI and epub format so they will work on any e-reader. Such a wonderful feature to have the choice on how to access the books. While we do not have an actual e-reader we do have an e-reader app on a phone and British Empire books have worked wonderfully on it.
Contained on the Heritage History’s British Empire CD is not only 57 books but a study guide that can be printed or read on screen. This is a great resource for those who need a bit of guidance in how to make her history course of study flow. In the study guide you will find beautiful color maps, timelines, era summaries, and list of prominent characters. For those of you who may have limited printing ability, a pre-printed copy of the study guide is available for purchase or you could even chose to purchase a download copy of the study guide. We were able to review the pre-printed study guide and it was fabulous. We are limited to a black and white printer. It would have not done these beautiful maps justice. We love maps here and I can’t imagine not using these in color!
The study guide also gives a description of each book so you can easily decide which books you want your students to read. The books are divided into “core” reading and “supplemental” reading. Along with the color maps, black and white outline maps are provided to aid in map study. Accountability forms are also included to help with tracking of what your students are reading.
Our Thoughts of Heritage History’s British Empire CD and Study Guide:
I really enjoyed the British Empire CD. While you can read the books straight from the computer, the ease of reading via our e-reader app was lovely. My older girls could easily take it with us while running errands or read in bed at night. We are frequent patrons to our library system but it is getting harder and harder to find quality literature; it is being replaced by dumbed down series fiction. It is nice to have a resource in the time period we are studying and not worry about finding core or supplemental reading. It is all there and easily accessed.
I loved the printed study guide. With a busy schedule, it is nice to be able to open up and have a simple plan to follow. While it is included on the CD, I prefer having the printed, color copy of the study guide. I think the study guide is really helpful if you are new to using living books as your history curriculum. It helps you to have a base to pull from and keep you on track.
Heritage History has 5 CDs that cover World History: Young Readers, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, British Middle Ages and British Empire. Each of those has a study guide to accompany the CD. You can buy them individually for $24.99 each. Pre-printed colored study guides are $24.99. A download version of the study guide is $12.99.
You can also purchase the 5 CDs together for $99.99. This is a $25 savings!
Heritage History has a great amount of information on their website and I would highly recommend checking it out to see if this curriculum would be a valuable resource for your family. Here are a few pages I think are helpful: FAQs, User Guide(really good information), Self-Publishing, and Classical Curriculum FAQs. There is also study aids at Heritage History that provide resources for historical characters, maps, historical images and war & battles. Combining Curricula is also a great informational page to read if you are currently using another living books curriculum.
We really enjoyed the British Empire CD from Heritage History. I hope that we can add a couple more CDs as we continue our history studies. After browsing around Heritage History, please make sure to stop by TOS Review Crew. Other families reviewed varying Heritage History CDs so please see what they have to say as well!!
**Disclaimer: As a member of TOS Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of this product for the purpose of review. No compensation was made. The thoughts/opinions expressed in this post are my own.