Teach history chronologically?

I’m putting together our own curriculum for my daughter’s 1st grade year. I’m undecided as to how to approach history. I’ve seen many recommendations for teaching it chronologically. We have and will continue to use themes and have just been teaching history as it corresponds to each theme. I plan on using Expedition Earth for geography. Would a chronological study beginning with creation make sense along with EE or would it make more sense to let our history correspond with what we are learning in EE? I hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions!

I debated on this as well. My kids are going into 4th grade next year. What I finally decided on was to do Something like EE and study the cultures of the different countries. Then the next year we will start History from the beginning and stick with that for a couple years. I am probably going to use MFW creaction to the Greeks with Mystery of History unless I come up with something else.

Hello - I don’t have any wonderful advice in this situation, especially because we don’t teach creation. I have taught 1st-5th, and as long as we use a timeline of some sort (usually just a notebook), we don’t stick to chronological order from one year to another. In the given grade we are in, we do teach chronologically. For example, this year (first grade) I began with dinosaurs, then ice age, then ancient Mesopotamia, then Ancient Egypt, etc - in order of what happened when. Next year, in second grade, we may add times, places, events that happened between what we learned this time. We just add it to the timeline and discuss its place in history (oh - this event happened after the ice age, but before ancient Egypt). I hope this makes sense. I don’t think there is any definitive right/wrong answer for this, Whatever works and makes sense for you. Good luck! :smile:

1 Like

@Rarasmama I think it would depend how much of your faith you want to bring into history. Starting at creation is of course the beginning, like mystery of history does. But story of the world, also chronological, does not start there. I think it’s personal preference where you start:) chronological makes the most sense to us, so we will study history that way.

My question is more along the lines of: if you teach history next year, how much time are you going to be able to put into it? For 1st grade, you will be at least teaching the basics skills of reading, writing and math.
How much time each week are you spending on Expedition Earth?
How much time will you put into science, art or music?
My 1st grade schedule focusses on reading, writing and math in the morning. In the afternoon, we will do 30 minutes of EE 2 times a week; 30 minutes of science 2 times a week, and 30 minutes of art 1 time a week.
I have the Story of the World audio book for listening in the car, but if you do not have a program you are excited about, where are you going to fit history into your time structure?
Even if you try to tie some history into the theme of a country, you are going through 1 country each week, how would you cover the history of China in one week?

We do it chronologically and repeat it 3 times. Elementary, middle, and high school each get their own swing through history starting with the oldest civilizations on to our baby country of the USA. I think it is confusing to start with the community and go backwards. Also, I have noticed people like to spend tons and tons of time on USA history (which is only a couple hundred years old) and just skim the rest of the world.

I don’t think everything necessarily has to coordinate. We are doing US history for 3rd and 4th and also doing Roadtrip USA. They don’t match up, but they are all about the states that make up the US, so I figure it works.

1 Like

Yes. I would just base your history around each country that you are covering.
When I taught EE in a co op class a few years ago, I would go to the library and get a bunch of books on that country. In class I used them to show pictures and go over a few key facts. At home I would try to get into them a little further with my son. There was a lot of history information on those books, so even though I was using EE as a geography curriculum, I was really hitting a lot of history with it.


I’m only replying to say that I really wanted to make it work out that way for us as well but it just hasn’t.
The plan is to use EE next year while studying American history, and Road Trip USA the first year of our World history studies. I know, backwards, right? It’s just the way it is going to work for out for us… :wink: I’ve decided to plan according to what we can do and how or when we can do it, instead of fighting it. Besides, I figured it really isn’t that confusing, especially if you know how to separate the two and if you use a timeline. Then it all comes together in their minds, and mine.

We did not teach it chronologically. We use Heart of Dakota and they start with a broad overview from creation forward for K/1 and touch on a few important characters in history… Very biographical approacha tohistory. We then move into American history and the pilgrims from there for a few years. The idea with this Charlotte Mason approach is that little ones are not being exposed to cultures that have conflicting faith and idolatry, which may confuse them.

My thought is…if you are teaching geography, do you really need to add history to it next year? Especially for a first grader? I’d enjoy your geography course, focus on the 3 r’s, get some great read-alouds, do some music or art units…I don’t think I’d add in history too. Most people I know study one social studies topic (such as geography or history etc…). But, I haven’t looked at Expedition Earth…


I had the same thought! My son is going into third and we still aren’t planning an in-depth history study. Not planning to start world history at all until maybe 6th grade. We want him to have a strong appreciation of American history before we tackle the world. I agree with @Merry - enjoy the geography!

Thank you @khollow @triton17 @Luvmyboys @dragonflyer @jeremmy @ kathleennj @GC123 @Merry @michelletown @My3beauties Thank you all for takking the time to reply. There is so much to take away from here. While I spefically mentioned for Ist grade, I agree that covering too much at this age would be overwhelming. I still plan on using EE and beggining history that would span through all her elementary grades. I think I may just touch on some of the historical events and figures that correspond with EE and just continue with Bible stories. We live in one if the strictest states for homeschooling and I misinterepreted the law to mean that each subject needs to be covered every year. After browsing some of the boards here, I realized that I just need to cover each during elementary years. Thanks to you all, I have a better idea of what i want to do. :smile:


I agree that 1st grade might be a little young to add too much stuff…However, I will say that we use Mystery of History (2nd and 6th) and it is chronological with a time line. My kids love it. We don’t over do it, but they really enjoy the time line, stories and activities.