Another Oxford Ancient History book post, with a twist

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  • Jennifer

    So I am LOVING my SCM history module.  I love it so much that I’ve recently told two different families about it and what an answer to prayer it has been.  They are both interested, but then I got to thinking about how difficult it is to find this spine.  What should I tell them about that part of it?  When I first started looking into SCM I just happened to have a copy of Oxford Ancient History, but after searching for a while to see if I could find a copy for my sister and her family, I am discouraged about this.  I looked at the seperate versions also, but couldn’t find any of those reasonably priced either.  So, should I make a list of topics that it covers and find a different book and try to match it up for my sister (I tend to help her with almost all her planning)?  I’d lend her mine but I need it for quite a while yet.  I’m not sure what to do.  The other family I told about SCM liked the sound of it (their child is only 5) and he was going to research it today. 

    Just feeling discouraged that this one book causes so much trouble. 

    I have the book and it is a wonderful book, that is why I am keeping it in case my daughters have children…however as is the case with many books, when they are out of print we sometimes have to find something else to fit the bill. I am not sure whether Sonya has any other suggestions to go with her course, I did not use it so cannot say – however, I would say don’t be a slave to any one book, no matter how good it is, it is not worth over spending or worrying about it. Find some other encyclopedia type book and try and adapt it to your CM needs. I have done that with many books that are not CM. You could use the Kingfisher Encyclopedia of World History, which I really like, and I adapted that nicely to a CM type history course – and there are may more like that. The Oxford book is outstanding, but there are others that could fill in rather than feeling pressured to get a copy of this out of print book. I think it is terrible that people are charging such huge amounts for a book, knowing people really want a copy – I would not buy those overpriced copies on principle, as in my opinion that is just greedy sellers, and I think that is wrong. I hope others have some ideas for you – but inho, I would not sweat it…..Linda


    Here is the list of topics covered in the Module:

    Lesson #9 – The First Settlers

    Lesson #15 – Houses and Everyday Life

    Lesson #20 – Before the Pyramids

    Lesoon #25 – Temples and Pyramids

    Lesson #45 – Oldest Ship in the World

    Lesson #50 – Cleopatra’s Needle (AKA Obelisks)

    Lesson #55 – Mummies and Tombs

    Lesson #107 – Akentaten and Religion

    Lesson #124 – Tutankhamen’s Tomb

    Lesson #129 – The Lost Toy Cupboard

    Lesson #134 – The Disappearing Queen (AKA Hetepheres)

    Lesson #139 – Paper, Ink, and Hieroglyphics

    I have been purchasing books (library sales, used books stores, yard sales) about Egypt since I found the SCM guides, so I have found some really good books that I use to help teach these topics.  What I did was take this list and get out all the books I own about Egypt.  Then I looked up all the topics in the index and wrote the name of the book and the page numbers next to the topic.  I refer to the list prior to the lesson, look up the pages and decide which one will best fill my needs that day.  It is not complicated – a little time consuming at first…but not even hard.

    My favorite one is called “Ancient Egypt” by Lorna Oakes & Lucia Gahlin (ISBN # 0-681-32324-8).  It is big and beautful with lots of explaination and actual pictures…I have found something about all these topics in this book – real pictures of actual artifacts, good explainations etc.  The next one that I really like is the Lost Civilizations book by Time Life called “Egypt: Land of the Pharaoahs” (ISBN # 0-8094-9850-2).  It compliments the Ancient Egypt book beautifully.  The section on clothing and everday life on page 135-139 was very interesting.  =)

    Others that I have include:

    In Ancient Egypt Land and People by Salima Ikram (ISBN # 977-5325-61-7). 

    The Usborne Ancient World, which I do not use as a all-inclusive resource, but it is good for illustrations (ISBN # 0-43-78503-0).   

    Gift of the Nile  An Ancient Egyptian Legend retold by Jan M. Mike  ISBN #0-8167-2814-3

    Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure Secrets of Ancient Egypt by Lila Perl  ISBN# 0-590-96226-4

    Explorer Books  Mummies by Suzanne Lord ISBN# 0-440-84423-1

    How to Make a Mummy Talk by James M. Deem ISBN# 0-440-41316-8  (Actually a very respectful and fun book about mummies and the   things people have learned about ancient cultures).

    DK Eye Wonder Pyramid ISBN# 0-7566-0287-4

    Usborne Discovery Mummies and Pyramids   ISBN# 0-439-56153-1

    Once Upon a Time In Egypt by Francis Kent Gere (OOP – 1937 copyright) from my library – Fun book similiar to Boy of the Pyramid.

    Sacred Sites of Ancient Egpyt by Lorna Oakes  ISBN#0-7548-0671-5

    I leave most of these books in the free read basket and just use the first 2 I listed.  I did read the third one I named as a family read-aloud.  I also have many of the ones that Sonya has recommended in the Module: Pyramid, Mystery of the Hierglypics, Boy of the Pyramids, The Cat of Bubastes, (available as a audiobook from, Pharaoh’s Boat, etc.  

    If you just use this list, you can easily find substitutes at the library.  I found about 25 juvenile books about Egypt when I checked our library.

    I also have a Nat. Geographic DVD found in Walmart on sale called “Unlocking the Great Pyramid” and the National Gallery of Art has free use of their DVDs on all topics.  We are watching the one called “Ancient Egyptian and Greek Art”. 

    BTW, the cost of all the used books I found was not much over $45 – and that was because I bought the Ancient Egypt one for $20 at the used book store.  I wanted to note that I have the Oxford book, but use these others to really help bring it to life.  I do not feel like my kids would be getting a less-then education by using these others.  We are enjoying it all.  =)

    HTH – maybe others will share their lists.      Sheila


    Well, I could share my list – but it is pretty boring in comparison, and not too helpful.

    We are doing Egypt in only 1 term, so are not using the modules… 

    I’m using Child’s History of the World by Hillyer as our Spine, and we read Boy of the Pyramids, and are going to read Pyramid….  🙂


    Oxford Children’s Ancient History is, I believe, the same book, just the British edition, and is available second hand through for a reasonable price (  Amazon now do currency converter, so it’s possible to buy from the UK site (or other Amazon sites, eg  using US dollars and a US postal address. Just enter your US credit card details at checkout and it asks you if yuo wish to pay in US dollars.

    Another option, is to search for the book on this website:  When you type in the ISBN it searches loads of second hand book sites and up pop all the links to sites that are selling the book you’re interested, from least to most expensive.

    Hope that’s helpful!


    Just wanted to encourage you that I found the Oxford Children’s Ancient History as well on Amazon UK for $18 USD including shipping. It is the same as the Oxford First Ancient History, but the other is the British version. So, while it can be tedious to hunt for a title, when you find it for a steal it’s the best feeling ever. 🙂 I know there were a couple other copies on Amazon UK a day or two ago and I also found a reasonably priced one (under $50 on Best to you!


    I just found a copy on Barnes and for 21.76 – looked like there was another available as well, in case anyone else wanted to nab it. =)


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