Some time ago, I read about a site called Heritage History, it must have been a discussion over on the AO list. Interested to see what they had, I visited the site and found it a valuable resource, so I added a link to it from our Charlotte Mason social network (www.charlottemasoneducation.ning.com). Then last month, Teresa Roth, the owner of Heritage History, joined the network and, having noticed the link to her site, contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their curriculum. I was very interested so she sent me their Young Readers Classical Curriculum and their Ancient Greece Classical Curriculum.
I was expecting a large box with several books to arrive, and was surprised to find two CDs and a packet of text instead. Not quite understanding what they contained, I set it on the counter for a later time.
Yesterday, I finally got around to looking at the materials and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Being an AO user, I tend to be skeptical of any other curriculum, but what I found with Heritage History is that it contains many of the very same books we use on AO, and many more to choose from within that scope of history. While it isn't a full curriculum like AO, it appears to be a comprehensive option for History. The collection there also has many international selections which may be of interest.
Here's how the curriculum works:
Each curriculum collection costs $24.99 and There are the Young Readers, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, British Middle Ages, and British Empire Collections to choose from, or you can buy the complete collection for $99.
According to Heritage, the curriculum is centered on 'living' books, and as a matter of fact, their tag line is "Putting the 'Story' Back into History". And this, coming from a woman who confesses to owning over 2,000 classical children's history-related books! She also apparently worked on many of the Baldwin Project books prior to working on her own website.
But back to the curriculum: Each collection comes with a CD containing all the e-book files in that collection in three formats: Kindle, EPUB and PDF versions, so they can be read on any e-Reader or reproduced on any printer. The User Guide I received included a section with instructions on accessing and transferring the e-text files as well as a section on reducing printing costs and binding options.
I also received a Study Guide with helpful timelines, maps, and other learning resources that are top notch. In fact, you can find many of these available for free on the Heritage History website in their Resources area.
The curriculum is flexible in that it does not map out what books to read for you. Instead, recommendations are made for core knowledge books, and then the student is encouraged to select the books along their lines of interest - all of which are marked as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. Blank schedules and accountability forms are provided, but not required. It is basically set up so that if you need direction, it's there. If you want to adapt it your way, you can.
Since all of the books contained in the curriculum are in the public domain, you could read them all for free online, and Heritage has them available on their site. But if you want the year's books all on an e-reader for your child, and by the way the images are included in the e-texts, and you want the maps, timelines, etc. printed out for you, you can save yourself the time and hassle and purchase the curriculum instead.
If you have more questions about the curriculum, you can hop on over to CME and contact Theresa through her profile there. And if you have anything to add about the curriculum, feel free to do so in the comments section below.