We will be starting our second year of CC next year, and we love it! I’ve been thinking ahead about what books I want to read with my kids while we study Cycle 1. Out of curiosity, I decided to research curriculum that lines up (at least mostly) with what we will be studying. Note that some people use CC as a stand-alone curriculum. I like to add more to the curriculum to make sure it is full and complete. And besides, I really enjoy reading aloud with my kids. In all of my researching, this is what I found!
I personally really enjoy the way Sonlight is set up. If you like a curriculum that tells you exactly what to do every single day, Sonlight is for you! I like that you can choose a 4 or 5 day schedule. I think a 4 day schedule would be a necessity for a CC family, since we spend 1 day per week at community. I think Sonlight chooses great read-alouds and I feel like the schedules are doable.
History/Literature/Bible Level B, World History 1 This package is for 6-8 year olds and will cover history from Creation to the Fall of Rome. History readings include V.M. Hillyer’s A Child’s History of the World, (which is one of my favorite read-aloud early history books), The Usborne Time Traveler, and others. I went through Sonlight B/C (a combo package of 2 years) with my kids and enjoyed it.
History/Literature/Bible Level G, World History 1 This package is for 11-13 year olds and covers history from Creation to the Reformation. The history spines used in this curriculum are Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World Volume 1 and The Story of the World Volume 2.
Tapestry of Grace
Tapestry of Grace Year 1 is a perfect fit for Cycle 1. Tapestry of Grace covers all ages and grades and is a comprehensive, full curriculum! Our family went through Tapestry of Grace Year 1 several years ago and really enjoyed it. There are many history and literature suggestions within TOG, which is a unique and beautiful thing about the program. Just like in CC, you, mom, are the teacher, and you alone get to decide what’s best for your students. If you don’t like making decisions & you prefer a curriculum publisher to decide everything for you and to have clear, cut-and-dry lists for you, Tapestry of Grace might not be the best fit. I’ve found that I do spend quite a bit of time researching books, putting them on hold at the library, and planning with TOG. I still really enjoy the thoroughness and all of the fun activities. I feel like it makes history come alive for my kids. The homeschool years my kids remember most were the ones we did Tapestry of Grace.
My Father’s World
I have not used My Father’s World, because when I compared their curriculum to Sonlight, Sonlight seemed more comprehensive to me. Now that we are a part of CC, with a full day at community and a list of memory work (and Essentials work for my 10 year old), My Father’s World might fit the schedule a little better and be just “enough.” I am considering purchasing My Father’s World to use with my girls this coming school year.
Creation to Greeks is for grades 4 through 8, and for 2nd and 3rd grade siblings of 4th-8th graders. The history spines in this curriculum include Streams of Civilization Volume 1, and Usborne’s Ancient World book. I am personally not crazy about either of these selections, unfortunately. I bought Sreams of Civilization once and found it to be a bit dry. The version that they have listed looks more colorful, so I am willing to give it a try this coming year. I try to avoid Usborne books, although I know they are crazy-popular. I have found some to be downright inappropriate (showing drawings of naked tribal women, etc.); favoring the Muslim religion and not giving fair space or credit to Christianity, and indoctrinating an evolutionary mindset. Sonight also uses Usborne books, and I really don’t like them. I’ve sold most of my Usborne books because I have been so disappointed by them.
If you have younger kids, this is what I’d pick for CC Cycle 1:
- Voyage of Discovery for 4 year olds
- God’s Creation from A to Z for Kindergarten
- Learning God’s Story for Grade 1
Another option, if your family has already gone through Creation to Greeks, would be to use the curriculum Exploring Countries and Cultures, which is for grades 3 to 8, and their 2nd grade siblings.
Seventh Grade Curriculum Kit This curriculum might be suitable for an 11, 12 or 13 year old who isn’t yet ready for Challenge A. The main history book included is Mystery of History Volume 1, which is a chronological history book covering ancient civilizations through the time of Christ.
Old Testament, Ancient Egypt Self-Paced Literature Kit This is not a complete curriculum, but simply a history & literature curriculum. There are 2 different kits, designed for students in grades 2 through 6.
Old Testament Ancient Egypt Self-Paced Course This is a fun option if you do not enjoy reading history aloud to your kids. We have friends who enjoyed multiple years of the Veritas Press Self-Paced History courses. I personally love reading history aloud (I think it is my very favorite subject!), so this curriculum is not a great fit for me. These history videos and online games are well done! If you’re looking for an impressive online history curriculum, this is it.
Simply Charlotte Mason
This is a History, Bible and Geography curriculum. If you’d like to add other subjects, there is a “Build Your Own Curriculum” page on Simply Charlotte Mason. The history curriculum is designed to work with the entire family, grades 1-12. This curriculum includes several history and literature titles that look great. The curriculum I would choose to go along with Classical Conversations Cycle 1 is: Genesis Through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt and Joshua through Malachi and Ancient Greece.
Beautiful Feet Books
I used Beautiful Feet Books a couple of years ago. My boys used the Jr. High pack of Medieval History. I thought it was a pretty nice curriculum. It isn’t as robust as an all-subject curriculum like Sonlight, but for a literature/history curriculum it is a great pick. The Ancient History Intermediate Pack goes along with CC’s Cycle 1 the best, and it is for students in grades 4 to 8.
Heart of Dakota
I have used 3 different Heart of Dakota packages over the years. I enjoy how it is set up & enjoyed the variety of books. I have acquired many homeschooling books over the years, and it’s hard to approach a history topic without at least some of my kids saying “I’ve read that already.” Bummer, it was my next read-aloud choice. 😉 It’s refreshing to come across a curriculum that uses some different books that my kids haven’t read yet! The Heart of Dakota packages for younger students tend to focus on American history. If you’re interested in their program, these are the options I would choose to go along with CC Cycle 1:
- Preparing Hearts for His Glory, for ages 8 to 10 with an extension for ages 11 and 12
- Creation to Christ, for ages 9 to 11 with an extension for ages 12 and 13
What will I choose for this coming year?
There are so many great options! And yet, in my mind, nothing fits quite perfectly. I want to read books that line up exactly with CC’s history sentences, as well as with the science sentences and experiments. I also want geography that lines up with CC’s geography…I think I might need to invent it myself! Seriously, right now I am deciding between trying My Father’s World and inventing my very own reading plan for Cycle 1! If I follow through and create a perfect plan, I will let you know!