British history – anyone from uk substituting u.s. history for british?

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  • Joanne Downing

    Hi – I like the look of scm history modules ( and have done some of the egypt one) But if i carry on with them I would want to include british history and some british biographies rather than american presidents etc – has anyone done this? British history spans back so much longer than U.S. history – does it fit in well in the time allocated in the modules for U.S. history? Any substitutions would be greatly received. Also – has anyone tried the AO history lists? If so – which do they prefer and why AO or SCM? I have finally ‘commited’ to CM rather than curriculum hopping so am trying to tie down my ‘big’ picture of what to cover and when before they finish school. Coming in to home educating so late (they were in public school) I feel like they have missed out on so much history etc and some good books. So trying to set a plan down for their remaining school years. They are nearly 10 and 11 (boys).



    Hi Jo.   I’m not putting in UK history – I have to put in UK history…  but I can give you a few tips…

    IF Doing SCM:

    For Module 5 and 6 of the SCM guides, it is easy to take out the US History and substitute your own, as they designed it that way.  (World History and US History have a different spine, and they are scheduled a couple of days of World, a couple of days of US.) There might be a couple of US History topics you might want to add in (as important to history in the world), as I don’t think they are in the World History. 

    For the earlier modules, you would need to determine if you wanted to take out any of the other history to make room, or just add.

    Either Way, you would need to determine what UK resources you were going to use.


    UK History is actually covered fairly well (I think) in the early years.  (We are only in the first couple of years of AO).  – in fact, that tends to be a question of new AO users… “why so much UK history?”  I don’t know if this tends ot be the case in the later years or not – although I’m pretty sure that there are books about history written by Churchill schedules, so it might be covered fairly well, and only need a bit of tweaking.  (there is still a bunch of US history – so there would be space to remove a few US history resources and add in more UK though, if desired.)


    Well, that is something you need to figure out for yourself.  One of the main differences is doing things as a family, or doing things individually.  Doing things as a family didn’t work out as well for my family because it was affecting the kids.  (My oldst felt stupid….)   But, as your kids are close in age, if their skills are similar and you don’t think there would be competition between them, etc – you could put them in the same AO year.  (Note this generally isn’t recommended on the AO forums, but some AO families do it well.)   

    Both SCM and AO have great books suggested.  One difference if money is tight and you have an eReader – most of AO books are available for free in ebook formats (not always perfect ones for free) – or otherwise available online free.  The SCM people are fantastic, and I really like their resources too.

    Oh, and if you don’t have it – get “Planning your CM Education” from here – you will probably want it for planning any UK changes/additions to whatever you pick.

    hth some!

    Hi Jo, I am English living here…we used both depending on age of study.  I must confess we used more AO than SCM partly because I wanted to cover a lot more British and European history and we found that if we did not follow the schedule they have – and implemented our own using the SCM paper planner we did really well with it.  My daughters are doing college classes now online, but for history I have to say we preferred the AO history.  I like most of AO’s suggested reading, and we picked what was worthwhile and left the rest.  I always made my own history courses and readings and we did cover US history for one year, and over the years we have covered the time periods, though we have always had an emphasis on British and European history.   If your boys are into history, then I think AO will work great and the Churchill books are great when they get to those.  If they don’t enjoy history or reading you may need to pick your books a bit more carefully.  It does make sense to study British history for you as you are living there, and we hope to return one day as well.  Also the girls spent the first 12 years in Europe so it made sense to them as well…as they had visited and seen so many of the historical sights in Britain and Europe it was a no brainer for us.  Linda

    Joanne Downing

    Thanks missingtheshire, did you caome across any good biographies (that we could use instead of all the american presidents for example)?

    Joanne Downing

    Suzukimom, Thanks for all the advice. It’s so frustrating not having a homeschool community over here – I have spent a fortune in buying resources , trying them and finding them not suitable over the last 2 years – I imagine in America you can find someone relatively near so you can ‘nose around’ their books etc and get some help making these sorts of choices. I’m aware my boys are late into the rotations so I don’t want to make another wrong decision – else they won’t finish enough by the time they ‘leave’ school.Undecided I think I have the ‘planning your cm education’ ebook – I bought it when i first started researching home school 2 yrs ago, but I wasn’t brave enough to make the jump to such a different way of learning from what they (and I!) had, had. But I am now – praise the Lord! I’m a work in progressSmile Thanks again, Jo xx

    Mum In Zion

    You could check out the history suggestions at the Mater Amabilis site.

    I use suggestions from there for British and Australian History, amongst other things.

    Blessings, Michelle


    While I really appreciate what the SCM folks do, I found myself trying to tweak the SCM modules too much for various reasons (wanting to use more ebooks since we’re overseas, and wanting to condense the 3 ancients modules and stretch out mods 4-6 primarily) and was really driving myself crazy. I ended up decided to do AO instead because I liked the way that the historical time periods were spread out over the years and because so many of the books were ebooks. I also find it easier to tweak/substitute books in the AO schedule where necessary. And while we’re not British, as suzukimom pointed out there is quite a bit of British history already included in AO, so perhaps it will be an easier jumping off point for you.

    Just a few thoughts!



    AO definitely has more British literature built in. Each family’s preferences will vary, but the simplicity of combining my 4 kids into one period of history is a necessity for us. I cannot imagine running 4 different levels of AO, but yet there are those that do it successfully. A great resource is Christine Miller’s book, All Through the Ages, which is a superbly organized book list broken down by historical period. I can’t remember off-hand any specifics re. British history, but I’m certain you would find some suitable choices.




    Oh, I meant to mention – AO has a new online forum – I know there was a discussion a little while ago (a week?) about doing AO in the UK….

    btw – I just want to add that I love that the SCM forum allows people to discuss various CM options, as well as theirs.  I have been on forums where you can’t even mention a competing curriculum….



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