Christ the King, Lord of History
Christ and the Americas both by Anne Carrol
While these books are effective as “textbooks” for lack of a better word, I think they bridge the gap really well between reading history through living books and an actual textbook. I’ve not used them as a “history course” per se, but as another amazing resource book to complement and clarify what we are reading together.
I’ve done that in two ways. One is to just look up topically whatever we are reading about and read those sections, paragraphs or chapters, that go along with our novel. The other is just to read five minutes of the book, covering the chapters I’ve chosen to use, covering the “before and after” of an era or event to set the stage and provide some context and food for thought (for example, if we were studying the American Revolution, I’d probably read the sections from early settlement to post-war developments, such as the setting up of a government and the French Revolution). If we were covering a larger time period, such as the Middle Ages, I’d probably read several chapters, for five minutes a day, right before whatever literature we are reading for the whole year. Again, I’d cover some “before and after” information, such as the Fall of Rome to the beginnings of the Renaissance.
They have review questions and projects, at the end of each chapter which can be helpful to build discussion, but I’ve also used them for developing essay topics with high schoolers.
Five minutes a day. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Both of these books have become supplementary reading for my older kids, as well. Because we want to draw the whole family into a study, I supplement up and down as needed. So I give a section for olders to read so they can go a little deeper. I also choose story books that draw the youngers into a study. They take in what they can. The story books often create context so that even the littlest understand a higher level book more thoroughly.
And here is one of the resources that I’ve used extensively. It is a list of history resources ordered chronologically and cross referenced with other great resources. Wow. I’m not even gonna talk about it, just LOOK at it:
Reading Your Way Through History
I always print this resource out, and mark out my additional resources and keep them in a binder. I add in audio tapes, movies, novels, articles…anything that fits and I love.
I’ve had a chronological list of saints from the first century to present day that I printed years ago, and is apparently not available any longer. But in searching for it, I found this list, it’s bigger, it’s better:
Again, this is something I would print out, for handy reference.
For Saint information, great biographies and links, I have used SPQN extensively.
If I think of any not-to-be-missed resources, I will add them to this little series.