History… Please Help Me Decide?

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  • HSMom03

    I am really on the fence with history.  I am trying to decide on something for my 1st grader (oldest) and I just can’t decide between Beautiful Feet Early American (Primary) or SCM Gen-Deut & Ancient Egypt.  I was hoping some of you with more experience might be able to give me some insight that would help me decide.  I am not really sure which time period I should start with either.  If we don’t start with Early American, I do hope that he won’t end up missing the great literature for that time period for his age.  What do you recommend for a 1st grader?  He has 2 brothers coming up behind him, they are all about 2 years apart.  Thanks!!


    We started 1st grade with creation using a combination MFW 1st grade and SCM Module 1 & part of 2, covering Old Testament.  2nd grade was New Testament, ancient Rome & Middle Ages, 3rd grade was Renaissance & Reformation, this year we are using BF & TQ for exploration and Early American history.  The BF Primary guide does seem a bit simple for our 4th grader, but more appropriate for 2nd & 3rd grade sibling & cousin so I’m combining with the BF Intermediate guide and it’s great!


    I think both SCM and BF are good programs.  It’s really up to you to determine what time period you start with.  I prefer to make 2 six rotations through history chronologically.  Some people combine Ancients and American.  I think this would be confusing for me, LOL.  If I were combining at a young age, I like Lindafaye’s plan here….  http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/2009/07/chronological-history-plan.html


    Blessings in your decision,



    Ditto to Melissa, but I like to repeat the cycle every 4 years. It really just comes down to a personal preference, IMHO, as far as where you begin.

    Personally, I like to start with Early American – there are just so many wonderful resources for the younger student in that time period, and it gives them a good foundation in our country’s history and tradition. This would be the time to teach things like the Pledge of Allegience, the national holidays, important figures to our country, etc…Things you really don’t want your child to be hearing about for the first time in 4th grade!

    If it were me, starting fresh? I would do a year of Early American, then start back to Creation the next year, going through the 4 year cycle. Just what I would do – but keep on praying and God will show you what He has planned!

    You have lots of time so no stressing!!


    It seems to me that it depends quite a bit on whether you want them to study the same topics together each year, or if you’d rather they each have their own scheduled path.  If they’ll do family style studies, they will each “miss” titles at certain ages in various time periods (unless you make books available for lower/higher reading levels.)  If you determine a path that will be followed by each of them, then you have more control over titles to include each year. 

    I hope I’m writing this in a way that makes sense.  We ran into “missed” books with family style learning.  Everyone was on the same page as far as time period to be studied, but with wide age ranges, some books never even came back around for a couple of kids.  My fault for not slipping them in during the summer, or during the “wrong” time periods. 

    Doing something like Lindfay/AO, or using SCM/BF guides independently (per child, not per family) would mean a better chance that you’d avoid this issue….at least I think so.  Others may have a way to include much more than I’ve been able to do with family studies.  Just things to talk over during prayer time.



    Hello there! I am in the same situation. With prayer, my husband and I finally made a decision. Dd 6 will be in first grade with dd3 tagging along.

    1.  We will take 2 years to complete the American history portion of Module 5 and 6. If it takes more or less time, fine.  No stressing. Your children are very young. (Saving world history for later grades).

    If we want to learn more about a person or place from the SCM spine, Stories of America series, then I will refer to my TQ American History for Young Students series for more books to read. 

    2. Geography day will be the Holling series suggested in Module 5. Wonderful books! When we finish that, we will move on to Visits to North America (2nd grade?).

    3. Bible will be OT readings straight from the bible substituting the Vos’ The Child’s Story Bible when necessary: 

    Link for OT: http://pennygardner.com/oldtest.html

    Link for NT: http://pennygardner.com/newtest.html

    We also do the Scripture Memory Box system for memorizing our verses. Works very well. 

    I do not buy a lot at a time for this age child. We buy a little, complete that, then order more once we are satisfied. Yes, I like to have it all ordered and at my house waiting for me, but that just overwhelms me so I buy bite sized pieces. Once dd3 is around 6, I suspect we will start back in Module 1 and go through the modules in order with both girls at the same time. 

    I ONLY worry about the upcoming year. I do not stress about how it will all play out in subsequent years. Do what is best and simple for your family for this one upcoming year only. At the end of the year, think about what changes you would like to make and then proceed again for the next year. 

    One year at a time. One day at a time! Keep it simple and do not overload yourself or your children. Have fun!!!!  You can always add more later. Pray over your choices and rest in the knowledge that God’s plan for your family will be perfect. Do not compare yourself to other families. 

    I hope this helps and doesn’t confuse. Have a great day! 


    Following the 4 yr. history cycle, typically the cycle is as follows:  1st-4th, 5th-8th, 9th-12th. Would you mind to share how you plan out the 4 yr. cycle with covering early American history in 1st grade instead of starting with ancients? Thanks. 🙂


    I prefer American history for the early grades (1st and 2nd) also. BUT, I have two children so it is not too difficult to “juggle” students in different time periods. Like others said, you will need to determine if you want them to be in the same time period. I own the BF Primary guide. Many of the assignments would be much for a first grader. I also do not care for the principle approach BF utilizes in its program. I love their book choices and find the guide useful for providing an order in which to read them and some of the points of discussion. Basically, we just read, narrate, and discuss our way through the books. I added in copywork, too. Just information to help you decide.

    By the way, I also prefer to use SCM as a book list to choose from as well. The selections in their curriculum guide are also well chosen. You could just read through the American history books listed for the younger years, then start with the world history in third grade or so. Someone else may have already mentioned that. Anyways, that is sort of what I am doing with my children.

    Take a deep breath, pray, and trust God’s guidance for you. 🙂

    Katrina in AK

    We are studying Module 2 this year (Greece), but I am also including TQ Early American history as well. We do Greece on two days per the SCM guide, and are slowly moving through the TQ guide another day or two during the week. My boys are 5.5 and 7.5.

    I know we’re not fully committed to one time period, but the boys don’t seem confused. The TruthQuest guide doesn’t include activities and such like BF, but we are enjoying many of the books geared for this age level.


    Thank you so much!  Lots of great info and many good things to think about here…  This is a tough one for me!  To combine or not is really stressing me out, I think.  I just don’t know what would be better.  

    I really like how MFW does a Genesis to Revelation overview in First Grade, then Early American in Second Grade.  I can’t seem to find a Gen to Rev one-year overview in a separate curriculum though.  I also like how HOD does a Creation to Present Day overview in their K/1st guide, then Early American in their 1st/2nd guide.  My oldest is probably past their K/1st guide though, so we’d probably have to start with the Early American one.  Anyway, also can’t seem to find a Creation to present day overview in a separate program.  Does anyone recommend MFW or HOD for first grade?

    Love the advice to only worry about the upcoming year!  

    Also, it sounds like it is not difficult to use 2 BF guides (2 different levels) of the same time period at the same time??

    I worry that I have looked at too much curricula to know what is right at this point!  Maybe if I just stop looking it will come to me? 🙂


    HSMom03, you will figure it out. No worries. Cool We all know how hard it is to make the decision. Maybe put it aside for awhile then come back to it all whenever you are ready. 🙂


    My only advice is to not think too much about it! 🙂 Either time period and all of the programs that have been mentioned are great resources. You really can’t make a wrong choice from the ones you’ve mentioned. Maybe just choose the one that looks the most interesting and easiest to implement for your first year of hsing and worry about later, later.

    As to missing books, it’s always fun and easy to go back and read through younger level books on a topic. As C.S. Lewis so rightly said, “Any book worth reading at the age of ten, is equally and more so worth reading at the age of 50.” (Thats a paraphrase btw!) Truly good children’s books are a joy to read any time.

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