I mentioned recently that I’m gathering resources to spend a year studying Church History with my children. The plan is to narrow down and correlate the materials I have into a 1 year curriculum, writing a curriculum guide to organize readings for the whole family for an entire year. (You did catch the part where we won’t be using everything on this list, right?) I’m still early in the gathering phase and decided to share my list of resources.
Our approach to history combines living books (both non-fiction and historical fiction) with media and hands-on activities. We will have a family read aloud going as well as reading lists for early and late elementary ages. I plan to share the curriculum guide when it’s finished. I would love to hear from you if there is a wonderful resource I’ve missed.
- Primary 5 Manual – This manual from the church is typically used to teach children age 8-11. I hope to pull stories from here and use the picture packet for some art studies.
- Doctrine and Covenants Stories – We’ve read this reader at my house before but it’s just the right level for Joseph and Emma to read themselves beginning in fall. It also will be a great read aloud for my littler learners who are tagging along. The church website also offers this in audio and video formats.
- Church History in the Fullness of Times – This is an institute manual and if we make it into the 1900’s in our study during this year of Church History then I can use this book as a resource for information through about WWII.
- The official Church History website – Pictures, primary source documents, maps, and more.
- Our Heritage – This little book is also put out by the church. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty choppy (written in sections) and won’t be a great read aloud, but I wanted to put it on the list.
- Legacy DVD – Portrays early church history.
- Mountain of the Lord DVD – This tells the story of 40 years of dedication to build the Salt Lake Temple.
- 17 Miracles DVD – Neat movie portraying the Willie Handcart Company’s journey.
- Church History Collection 3 DVD set – This has 29 videos about church history.
- A Young Folk’s History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by Nephi Anderson – This book is free on Project Gutenberg.
- The Work and the Glory series – This is a wonderful series I’ve read several times. I can’t wait to share it with my children!
- Hymns – Our music studies will focus on hymns sang or written during the early church history. The link takes you to the Church music website where you can listen, print, or download the audio files of the hymns and primary hymns.
- Our Latter-Day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages by Karen Davidson – This book will help us learn some of the history of our hymns.
- Discover the Latter-Day Prophets from Discover the Scriptures – Each of the latter-day prophets have a packet full of stories, activities, and puzzles. We’ve used this in the past and will pull from it again.
- Hands-On Church History Vol. 1: Restoration & Growth – This is also by Discover the Scriptures. It uses the Doctrine and Covenants Stories from the church and optional readings in Our Heritage and invited children to notebook and do activity pages about what they read. Vol. 2 is not yet released, but I’m hoping it becomes available by this fall.
- Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory– What child wouldn’t love to hear stories of the prophets as children? I think this one will be fun.
- I Walked to Zion by Susan Madsen – Tells 30 true stories of young pioneer children, most in their own words.
- Growing Up in Zion by Susan Madsen – Stories of children and youth growing up in Utah between 1847 and 1900.
- I Sailed to Zion by Susan Madsen – Stories of young pioneers who sailed across the ocean.
- The Friend Magazine – I’ll be searching the back issues for church history stories, puppets, and ideas. We get this in our mailbox each month bit everything is free online too!
- Mormon Channel – Oh my, this is a treasure trove of media for the whole family. Scripture Stories is a weekly radio series, designed to inspire children to come to know and love stories from the scriptures. Each episode features children sharing their insights from and favorite experiences with the scriptures, along with music and readings of great stories from the scriptures. History of Hymns, Legacy, and several other series on Mormon Channel will be wonderful additions to our studies for the whole family.
- Stories of Young Pioneers In Their Own Words by Violet Kimball – I like the setup of this book. Each chapter progressively follows life on the trail, from getting ready to leave through arriving at your destination.
- Handcarts to Zion by Leroy and Ann Hafen – This focuses on pioneers using handcarts from 1856-1860. It probably is written a bit too dry for a great read aloud but I hope to pull some stories from it when we learn about the handcart years.
Phew! Looking back at the list I think I have plenty of materials to work with. I am going to start organizing it all and planning lessons. My hope is to begin this history year in late summer and to have the entire year of plans prepared and printed before we start.
Have you ever pulled together an extensive unit study like this for your family or do you prefer to let someone else to the planning? I have done both and there are perks to each. Buying a ready-made curriculum is great when time is at a premium and money is available. Creating your own curriculum for a subject works well if time is available to organize it, if you have a passion for a topic, if nobody is selling what you need, or when money is harder to come by than preparation time.
The book that will help me get this curriculum guide written is Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education. While it is intended to help plan all subjects for the year, I’ll adapt the principles. I love how it helps me divide out resources into manageable daily amounts. I am also modeling my guide after the history guides from Simply Charlotte Mason. These include charts listing the readings for 12 weeks at a glance and then daily plans specifying what to read that day as a family and for each grade group. I have really loved the simplicity of their guide as we’ve used one this year for our Middle Ages study.