Lindsey Sodano, author of the History Quest series, details six reasons to bring your Build Your Library student on a History Quest.
You might have heard that the secular, Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool curriculum Build Your Library now includes History Quest from Pandia Press in its Level 1 and Level 2 offerings. Families using Level 1 will learn about the Paleolithic Era all the way to the rise of Islam in History Quest: Early Times. In Build Your Library Level 2, you’ll continue with the rise of the Islamic Empire and move forward through the early 17th century using History Quest: Middle Times. Here are six reasons to look forward to studying ancient and medieval history with History Quest and Build Your Library. To learn more about what parents who have used History Quest are saying, click here.
#1 History Quest uses narrative storytelling, the best way to introduce young learners to history.
Contrary to what many of us experienced in our own educations, the point of learning history is not to be able to memorize and rattle off long lists of names, dates, and battles. The story of humankind deserves better! History Quest uses sensory-rich, engaging storytelling to spark your child’s imagination. When we bring history to life through a narrative storytelling approach, we raise children who are passionate about history, who make connections across cultures and eras, and who are hungry to learn even more.
#2 History Quest lets your child “hop” right into the action.
When you dive into History Quest, you will probably notice the most unique part of the books—and many readers’ favorite part—is the History Hop that comes at the end of every chapter. Each History Hop is an immersive, imaginary time-travel journey that sends the reader back in time to interact with someone from the culture they just learned about in the main chapter. You’ll meet everyday folks such as stonemasons, temple dancers, and toolmakers. You’ll also meet mighty leaders such as the female pharaoh Hatshepsut and the elegant Eleanor of Aquitaine.
History Hops aren’t just for fun, though. They are designed to foster a strong connection between your child and the cultures and figures they are studying, which helps immensely with internalizing and recalling details. History Hops are also a creative way to shine the spotlight on historical figures who have been marginalized in the past, including historical women.
The History Quest books are full of History Hops, or stories that put your child right in the action. In History Quest: Early Times, you will meet Enheduanna, the first known author to sign her name to her work.
#3 History Quest includes the history of religion without promoting or privileging any particular belief system.
There’s no question that religion has had an enormous impact on history. A history book that leaves religion out altogether would be a farce. History Quest is a truly secular book, covering all the major world religions without promoting one or denigrating another. In fact, our goal in general when writing History Quest books is to keep them as “agenda-free” as possible. One of the best parts of homeschooling is that you, the parent, get to decide the best way to address social or religious topics with your children. You are in essence the teacher, principal, and superintendent of your own school! We’ll supply you with the facts, stories, causes, and effects of history, but the interpretation is up to you.
#4 History Quest travels outside the typical “Western Civilization” focus and features cultures from around the globe.
We hear all the time from parents who are disappointed with the lack of diversity in the historical education they received as children and who want to do better for their own kids. With History Quest, of course you’ll learn about ancient Egypt, the Odyssey, and the Magna Carta, but you’ll also investigate the mysterious Nazca geoglyphs of southern Peru, discuss advances in plumbing with a city planner in Mohenjo-daro, and navigate the Pacific with a Polynesian wayfinder. By the time your children reach the fateful year of 1492, they won’t get the mistaken idea that Columbus “discovered” America because they will already have a strong base of knowledge of many of the cultures that flourished in the Americas pre-contact.
Learn about the thriving city of Cahokia, located approximately where St. Louis, MO is found today, in History Quest: Middle Times, and design your own city based on what you laern about Cahokia city planners.
#5 History Quest is deeply-researched, thoughtfully written, and academically rigorous.
The History Quest team includes historians, educators, researchers, historical illustrators, cultural sensitivity reviewers, designers, and several others all working together to provide a high-quality experience for readers. Most members of the team are also homeschooling parents with years of experience serving as their own children’s guides through history. Our team’s unique experience helps us craft a program that prepares students for further study of history in middle school, high school, and beyond. In addition, our books often cover cultures that have been historically glossed over, and it’s very important for us to get it right. That’s why we consult with experienced, respected cultural representatives for many of our chapters to make sure the information we are presenting is factually correct and culturally sensitive.
#6 The audiobook version gives you a break without sacrificing quality.
One of the best features of Build Your Library is the absolute privilege of enjoying great literature together with your children. But that doesn’t mean you personally have to do all the reading. On days when you want to give your voice a break, you can relax and let History Quest’s fantastic audiobook reader, Sonja Field, do the work for you! The audiobook option also makes it easy to take your studies on the road. The audiobook download comes with a printable pdf of all the maps and illustrations from the physical book so you won’t miss out on anything. If you’re wondering whether the audiobook might be the best option for you, you can check out short samples here, or much longer samples at the History Quest Teacher’s Lounge on Facebook.
Still not sure if History Quest is the right choice for your child’s education? It’s important to feel confident in your purchase, so Pandia Press generously offers “Try Before You Buy” samples of History Quest: Early Times and History Quest: Middle Times on its website. You can test-drive a few chapters with your child before making a commitment. If you have any questions about History Quest, a great place to connect with parents already using the curriculum—and author Lindsey Sodano—is the History Quest Teacher’s Lounge on Facebook.
Lindsey Sodano is a writer, editor, and mom of three who lives in Mason, Ohio. She has degrees in English and education from Boston College, where she focused her studies in English on children’s literature and feminist literary criticism and her education studies on alternative forms of education such as homeschooling and gender-specific schools. Lindsey is the author of the upcoming History Quest: United States, as well as History Quest: Middle Times and the History Quest: Middle Times Study Guide, and the author/editor of History Quest: Early Times and its study guide.