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  1. #1

    Default Completely Secular Elementary History or SS? No SOTW.

    I am looking for an elementary appropriate secular history that doesn't present Bible as fact. Story of the World does not cut it, and no, I don't want to have to edit things. This is for early elementary but advanced student. Cut and paste history pockets not our thing. Open to suggestions of curriculum used in public schools. Plus points for being planned out with activities. Would prefer to not support publishers who have other religious agendas. Can be world or US history. TIA

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  3. #2


    What about History of U.S. by Joy Hakium?

    She has a website with information that supports her books

    Teaching Resources - joy hakim

    Other then that I have no idea for a complete curriculum. I refuse to use SOTW too.

    I have been putting it together myself, because I fee the same way. The only other resources I can offer is that I have been curating a list of resources for history, but it will still be create it yourself.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  4. #3


    We are using Hakim, I think 4th grade is prolly as young as youd want to use it.
    And it seems to be 99% secular (we have gone through 4/10 of the books so far, have found 2 instances where there was reference to bible stories as though they were history - one about exploring, one about slavery).
    And left-leaning, apologetic about our countrys bad behavior toward natives and slavery.
    Ive found, though, that if I preread the chapters then do a amazonvideo / pbs / youtube search for the subject, I can always find material to watch, and DS seems to enjoy watching a 45 minute documentary more than 20 minutes of reading the chapters.
    And Libertys Kids, and Grandma had us watch one of the American girls dolls videos - it made a nice life & times of the US revolution.
    When I do US History with DS3, I think I will go purely on video, leave Hakim for the 2nd go around.

    Oh, the Elementary versions of the Hakim teachers guide have discussion questions and little activities you can do to go along with it. It has been useful, I get them for each book.

    And I love some of Hakims personality that comes through the book. The most recent one *The first seven presidents were the Independence presidents, they helped form our country. The next eight were pretty unmemorable.*

    Im looking for world history too.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


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  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Jul 2013


    I've not used it, but I've heard good things about the Big History project.

    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  6. #5


    Have you looked at Moving Beyond the Page? It is secular. The history has more of a social studies bent in early elementary, but starts covering US and world history in mid-elementary. We've used a couple of their history units, and my 10-year-old is currently doing a unit on Slavery and the Civil War.
    Spending my days learning with DD 10 and DS 8.

  7. #6


    What does MBTP use for texts?
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


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  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    What does MBTP use for texts?
    I've used MBTP for a few unit studies. In the early years they use a book list, which you can pull from the site. No textbooks.

    ETA link:
    For example (scroll to lit)
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  9. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    What does MBTP use for texts?
    It depends on the unit. For the Slavery/Civil war unit, Hakim's 'War, Terrible War' is the main text, but there is also another book scheduled ('If you lived When There Was Slavery in America'), along with a few primary source readings that are included in the lessons.

    But I don't know that Hakim is the main text in other US History units. I think the American Revolution unit uses a different text. My daughter also did the Early Explorers Unit, which used a Betsy Maestro book and also 'Explorers Who Got Lost.' So there is a big range in the books used from unit to unit. The books scheduled are not typical textbooks, but are usually engaging kids history books.
    Spending my days learning with DD 10 and DS 8.

  10. #9


    Intellego Unit Studies?

    Build Your Own Library is secular.

    For us, regular public school textbooks from the Friends of the Library sales have been a perfect fit.

  11. #10


    If you're willing to find something else to get you through the middle ages, the third and fourth volumes of SOTW are totally secular. The second volume is a LOT closer than the first - very, very few quibbles (unlike the first, which is filled with problems for the secular user). It also is much more worldwide than any other elementary age resource I've seen. I know the anti-SOTW crowd doesn't like to hear it, but it's true. There's nothing else out there written to third or fourth graders that covers the topics it covers.

    The Hakim books are great. For younger kids, I like the Maestro books for US history. They're also totally secular. Short, but super detailed and great illustrations. Perfect spine. If only they went past the early 1800's. Hurry up and write more, Maestros!

    Gombrich's Little History is a nice potential spine for world history, but only for an advanced kid at that age. Western perspective, older book, assumes a Christian audience, but is a beloved book by many secular types. Builders of the Old World is similar - totally western-centric, vintage, assumes a western Christian audience but isn't biblical or evangelical and is well written. Both of those are very different from SOTW in that they treat social history and movements as important and have a (for their time) liberal history bent.

    Big History is great, but intended for older kids. You can adapt.

    History Odyssey and Build Your Library are secular companies. I'm pretty sure both use SOTW as a resource. But they've done the editing for you.

    I'm totally with you on the absurdity of History Pockets and other cut and paste crap. The SOTW guide has a good bit of that junk too.

    It sounds like you're just starting on this journey. My advice is to be willing to adapt things. There is no perfect resource. Also, don't overthink it. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of just doing something. You can be angry that the right thing isn't out there or you can just teach a 6 yo some history and do some cool projects and read some fun books. And don't overestimate your kid. I'm sure she or he is advanced, but an early elementary school kid is still a young kid and not ready to dive into the intricacies of primary sources and historical bias. Don't forget that and try to do college level analysis. Do the best you can and then let it go. You get a few more passes at this and each time you'll get to add depth. It'll be okay.
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Completely Secular Elementary History or SS?  No SOTW.