Heritage History

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.

Purchasing Information:

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!

And it is the perfect time to buy! Heritage History is having a Spring Sale! Buy 2 cds and get a third cd free!

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 & battlesCombining 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.


WonderMaps – Bright Ideas Press

Bright Ideas Press publishes many wonderful products such as Mystery of History, All American History, A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers and more. They have recently added another product that will enhance your geography and history studies!

WonderMaps is a completely customizable program of over 350 maps. With this customization, WonderMaps gives you the ability to enrich your child’s studies whether it is geography, history, literature or Bible. Being able to see  a map and place where events happened and people lived brings to life the lessons we are learning.

WonderMaps is easy to navigate. You have several ways to find exactly what you need. You can choose World maps, USA maps, Historical maps or Thematic Maps. Once you select which area you want, you are then given a menu to select and customize.

By clicking on the text, you can select the area you would like to view and see the detailed map.

On the left hand side, you can customize your map. From rivers, river names, capital cities, land forms and more, you can create a map that fits your needs.

You can see above the extent to which you can customize. From simple black and white to a full color map with rivers, land forms and more!

If you are a Mystery of History or All American History user, WonderMaps includes all the maps used in those programs. However, WonderMaps is not limited to those curricula! It could simply be used for memorization of geographical information or any map study.



We have thoroughly enjoyed WonderMaps. We use a history curriculum not sold by Bright Ideas Press but WonderMaps has worked beautifully. I love the customization and that I can use it for reference, for fill in maps and maps skills. Honestly, I have just had fun playing with the maps!

If you use maps at all in your homeschool, WonderMaps would be a great resource. Maybe you have been looking for maps to supplement your studies. I suggest you look at WonderMaps and see if it would work for your needs. Here is a video tutorial of all the features of WonderMaps:


How much does WonderMaps cost?

There are two ways to purchase WonderMaps. You can purchase a DVD or a download of the product. Either option is $49.95. It is also compatible for Windows and Mac.

Just a quick review of what you get!

60+ maps of the world

60+ maps of the USA

125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps

Complete maps sets for Mystery of History and All American History

Black and white or color

Include features like rivers, landforms, boundaries and more

And more!

We are thrilled to have this product! I hope you will head over to the Crew to see what others are saying about WonderMaps!

**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. All thoughts/opinions/experiences expressed in this post are my own.

Beginning Geography – Timberdoodle

We recently joined up with Timberdoodle to review some of their fantastic products. Since our homeschool journey began, I have loved Timberdoodle!

When asked if I was interested in reviewing Evan-Moor’s Beginning Geography for K-2, I knew it would be perfect for my 5 and 7  year old daughters.

What is Evan-Moor Beginning Geography?

Beginning Geography is a three unit reporducible workbook available from Timberdoodle for $10.75. You are allowed to reproduce the copies you need for your family. As a homeschoolimg mom of 7, I love it being reproducible. It makes workbooks like Beginning Geography affordable for our family.

The three units cover map skills, landforms & bodies of water, and continents & oceans. There is a fourth section that shows the animals of the world. The animals of the world maps serve as a type of early atlas for young learners.

Each unit is independent from the others so you can work through them together or separately. The directions are clear and concise. My 7 year old loved being able to read the directions for her younger sister! The activities are simple yet engaging. I know my children love to cut and paste! There is a matching game to learn your landforms vocabulary which children can cut out and color all on their own.

Also included in Evan Moor’s Beginning Geography from Timberdoodle were two full color maps. Answers for all the worksheets are included in the back of the book for easy checking. I did it along with my children as my 7 year old is a new reader. However, for a fluent reader, this would be a great independent activity. Review and assessment sheets are included as well.

Overall Thoughts:

My girls and I both loved Beginning Geography. It is a great introduction to geography that teaches excellent skills and is simple and short. Perfect for the K-2nd grade crowd. It is one of my girls’ favorite parts of the day. They are always asking if it is time for geography.

Head on over to Timberdoodle to take a peek at the Beginning Geography workbook. Be sure to take a look around and see what other wonderful resources Timberdoodle has to offer. You will be so glad you did!

**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product from Timberdoodle for the purpose of review. No compensation was made. The thoughts/opinions expressed in this post are my own.