Looking for a Classical, Hands-On Approach to Ancient History for Elementary Kids?

When I was in school, the school’s approach to history was not a classical one. We spent the majority of our time on American history, covering the same ground year after year. I don’t recall any world history until high school. And then I loved it! But it was only for a year or two, and it seemed as if we breezed through any ancient history and then hit all of the more modern wars. I definitely wanted more ancient history.

And then I began homeschooling. For most of our homeschooling career, we’ve used a classical approach to studying history- beginning with the ancients and cycling through to modern times. We haven’t dwelt on American history very much until this past year. Instead, we took a look at American history in relation to the bigger picture of world history. Studying history this way has sparked my love for the subject even more. And I’ve found that I especially love ancient history.

Ancient history for homeschool

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Disclosure: I received a free copy of this curriculum in exchange for review. All opinions are always my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

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I was excited to see the new Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History from Amy Puetz. I’ve reviewed materials from AmyPuetz.com several times before, and I’ve always loved the style of her materials and the focus on providing good reading material as well as hands-on activities. Because I’m going to hit ancient history in my cycle with my younger girls- 5th and 6th grade- next year, I was especially glad to see this ancient history curriculum come around.

What’s included?

The Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History curriculum can be purchased as a print curriculum or as a digital version. I received the digital version for review. The files include:

  • Two main lesson books
  • Ancient history skits
  • Listen to ancient history mp3s
  • Sing ancient history mp3s
  • An additional file with a variety of materials such as timelines, quizzes, craft printables, maps, and historical art
  • A bonus ancient history coloring book
Homeschool history curriculum
I prefer to read from the lesson materials without printing the books. The printable activities for the kids can then be printed as needed.
Ancient history curriculum

How does it work?

There are thirty weeks of lessons, with one lesson to be read each day. The first book contains fifteen lessons and covers time from Creation to Alexander the Great. The second book contains the remaining fifteen lessons and covers the Hellenistic Period through the Dark Ages.
Homeschool history curricuoum
Each day’s lesson has two different versions to be read. The first can be used for grades 1-2, the second for grades 3-6. In a few of the lessons, there is an alternative reading selection because the stories may be graphic or scary.
Biblically based history curriculum

Biblical history curriculum
After the reading for each day, there are questions and then suggested activities. Some of the activities include crafts, map work, writing, and examining historical art. There is also a Bible memory verse for each week. The extra materials – skits, music, listening mp3s, and the additional materials file- are referenced in the lesson when these materials are needed.
Hands-on history curriculum
At the end of each book are recommended resources- reading and DVDs- as well as answer keys to the daily questions.

What do I think?

I love that the curriculum is written from a Christian worldview. It unapologetically begins with the Biblical history of Creation, and throughout the curriculum the Bible is treated as a true and to be believed history book.
It is great to have a choice of activities. There is something for everyone here- kids who love to write, kids who love hands-on activities, kids who are auditory and love listening to stories or music. This curriculum touches on many of the learning styles.
I love that it is a curriculum that multiple ages can use. If you have children in 6th grade or younger, you can adapt the curriculum to be used with the whole family. By choosing which sections to read and which activities to use, you can make this work with multiple ages easily.
The recommended books at the end of each lesson book are also nice. I love teaching history by reading real, living books, and it is nice to be able to use Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History as a spine while also reading some great living books about the time period.
If you are looking for an ancient history curriculum that has a classical feel and a great variety of activities, check out Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History. 

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