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Using Heritage History Resources
with Other Curricula

    Combining Curriculums     Three and Four Year Programs
    Book Lists:     Ambleside     Old Fashioned Education     Living Books     Tapestry of Grace

One unusual aspect of Heritage History is that in addition to promoting our own program, we seek to provide inexpensive resources than can be used with other traditional history curriculums. Heritage History was first conceived of as a library rather than a program of study. Our objective was not to develop yet another core curriculum, but rather to provide a vast body of elective resources that motivated students might read for depth and interest.

There are many different approaches to teaching history, and most high-quality history curriculums have some features that make them especially attractive to particular families.Some provide supplemental activities and project ideas that can be helpful to instructors who like "hands-on" activities. Others provide an integrated curriculum that incorporates literature, art, and philosophy with history, and are especially good for facilitating group discussion. Some religion-based curriculums address the concerns of specific faith traditions, and some writing-based curriculums use history as a topic for teaching rhetoric.

All these specialized approaches are worthwhile. Many curriculums do a better job than Heritage Classical Curriculum at providing history related activities, teaching contemporary history, integrating civics lessons, or emphasizing particular faith traditions. No other curriculum, however, provides the breadth of resources that Heritage History makes available. The great strength of the Heritage Curriculum is its outstanding collection of traditional history books, which complement rather than compete with the best features of other curricula.

Combining Curriculums

How to best integrate history curriculums depends entirely on the learning goals of the instructor. Core reading material from another curriculum can be substituted for the Heritage Curriculum core reading. Structured activities can be done in conjunction with a learning co-operative, while independent reading can be based on the Heritage Curriculum. It is even possible to do two history curriculums simultaneously—a conventional textbook-based American History curriculum might be used during the same year that a student explores Roman History using Heritage resources. As long as a primary instructor is willing to put some thought into the best manner of integrating curriculums, the possibilities are endless.

The easiest type of curriculum to integrate with the Heritage Classical Curriculum is another "Living Books" style curriculum. In this case there is no divergence of philosophy and it is only a matter of integrating the best resources from multiple reading lists. Many reading based curriculums, including Ambleside, Old Fashioned Education, and Living Books, already recommend Heritage books or books with similar titles. A complete list of all books from the Heritage library that these and other curriculums currently recommend can be found below.

Three and Four Year Curriculums that introduce students to all of World History are also popular with homeschoolers. Tapestry of Grace, Story of the World, and Veritas/Omnibus are three well-known examples of such an approach. Most of these curriculums do recommend a great many supplemental books in addition to their core texts, and Heritage History books cover much of the same material as those currently recommended by these programs. The Heritage Curriculum is organized along civilization instead of by epoch, but it is a straight forward matter to identify Heritage libraries that correspond to epochal history units. A correspondence between the Heritage Curriculum libraries and Four Year World History curriculums can be found here.

Most curriculums that do provide supplementary reading lists confine suggestions to books currently in print but as more people adjust to the opportunities presented by electronic books, many of the Heritage titles will likely become better known. We hope that other curriculum providers will avail themselves of Heritage resources as they update their reading lists over time. In the meantime, it is usually possible to find substitutions for most common historical topics among the Heritage collection.

The idea of using electronic rather than printed resources is still a novelty for many families, but this is changing quickly. We expect that electronic readers will become less expensive, easier to use, and more widespread over the next decade. Heritage History has already done the work of sifting through thousands of classical juvenile history books to bring the best-written, most interesting texts to traditional homeschooling families. We believe that the combination of high quality, easy to reproduce electronic texts and low-cost e-Readers will prove irresistible, and we hope our resources can be used by families with diverse learning styles and worldviews. We are not trying to replace other curriculums—only to augment them with the best possible, lowest cost supplemental reading material.

Three and Four Year Programs

This section discusses the manner in which Heritage History resources can be used with three and four year world history programs, such as Tapestry of Grace, Story of the World, and Veritas Press/Omnibus. The programs considered here are all well-known and well-respected among homeschoolers, but there are several others that follow a similar pattern. Each takes the approach of teaching all of world history over a period of three to four years. Each program dedicates a year to the Ancient World, a year to the Middle Ages, and one or two years to pre-modern and modern times. It is assumed that most students will repeat the cycle at least twice during their K-12 education in order to explore historical topics in more depth as they get older.

The following table shows how several popular History curriculums map to the four year program. The exact breakpoints between programs varies, but the general division into Ancient, Mediaeval, Early Modern, and Modern eras is consistent across programs.

Four Year
1: Ancient World,    2:Middle Ages,
3: Early Modern,    4: Modern Era
Tapestry of Grace1: Creation to Fall of Rome,    2: Byzantine Empire to New World
3: Napoleon to Teddy Roosevelt,    4: 1900 to the Present Day
Story of the World 1: Earliest Nomads to Last Roman Emperor,    2: Fall of Rome to Reformation
3: Elizabeth to the Forty-Niners,    4: Victoria's Empire to Fall of USSR
Veritas 1: Greece and Rome,    2: Middle Ages to Reformation
3: Explorers to 1815,    4: 1815 to Present
Omnibus 1: Biblical and Classical Age,    2: Church Fathers through Reformation
3: Reformation to Present

Some of these programs provide their own core history sequence, while others recommend primary reading that covers the topics of interest from outside sources. Virtually all of the programs, however, include suggestions for supplementary reading. It is in this area that Heritage Classical libraries can be particularly useful. The Heritage libraries include a number of the books that these programs already recommend, but they include a great many that can be "substituted" for books with similar titles. Heritage History's collection of children's biographies, for example, are just as good or better than popular modern versions.

The Heritage Program—The Heritage Classical Curriculum is organized by civilization rather than by historical era. Even so, there are two major transitions in Western Civilization, that define the breakpoints of most three and four year programs. The first, of course, is the fall of ancient world and the rise of Christianity. The second break point was in the 18th century, when the political and philosophical upheavals of the "enlightenment" swept across Christian Europe and the Americas, and the fruits of the scientific and industrial revolution began to transform civilizations across the globe. Because of the dramatic discontinuities wrought by modern ideas and technologies, the British and European Curriculums are both divided into pre-enlightenment and early modern eras. This makes it much easier to associate Heritage libraries with common four year world history programs.

The manner in which Heritage History resources maps to these historical eras can be briefly represented in the table below:

Ancient World
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Middle Ages
Middle Ages
Early Modern
and Modern
British Empire
Modern Europe
Early America

The correspondence listed above is not perfect. Most noticeably, the history of the Spanish Empire crosses all three periods, beginning with the History of Spain under the Romans and Visigoths, and ending with the revolutions in Mexico and South America. However, many of the most notable episodes of Spanish history, including the adventures of Spanish and Portuguese explorers, and the rise of the Spanish Empire belong to the Middle Ages period. There are a few other non-conformities, but the division of Heritage libraries listed above corresponds well with most popular world history programs.

Many four year programs dedicate a whole year to the twentieth century, and Heritage History has limited resources for this era. However, our early modern histories do extend until the aftermath of the Great War so they are useful in describing the early years of twentieth century.

Non-Western Civilizations—Most of the four year world history programs mentioned above have divisions that focus on non-western cultures that existed contemporaneously with the traditional western periods they are studying. Heritage History does have a considerable number of books that relate to Moslem, Asian, Indian, African, Nordic, and Slavic history. However, we do not at this time have any complete curriculum that focus specifically on any of these civilizations. Important books on African, Asian and Indian history are included in the British Empire curriculum, which covers 18th and 19th century "World History" from a British perspective. But the majority of the books in the Heritage collection are available on our website, but are not currently presented in a compact library format.

Heritage History does a very thorough job of introducing American Indian history in both its Spanish Empire and Early America collections. When these libraries are expanded into curriculums, a comprehensive history of the indigenous people of both North and South America will be provided. Heritage History also has a large number of Indo-Asian histories that are not yet published, but the task of producing complete curriculums for most Asian cultures is still several years away.

Booklists for Living Books Programs

    Ambleside     Old Fashioned Education     Living Books     Tapestry of Grace

When surveying some of the better known Living Books programs, we see that several of these programs already integrate a number of the books in the Heritage History library into their reading lists. In other cases, the programs recommend books with similar titles or subjects and Heritage books could be substituted.


Old Fashioned Education

Living Books Curriculum

Tapestry of Grace

Tapestry of Grace currently recommends about a dozen books that are available from the Heritage History Library, but we have identified many more books in the Heritage library with similar subjects that could provide adequate substitutes.

Books Recommended by Tapestry of Grace

Books with subjects similar to those Recommended by Tapestry of Grace