I like history, and I learn best when I can see the ‘big picture.’ Today’s history reviews definitely focus on the big picture!
History helps you understand where we come from, and it helps us understand where we are going. It is a link to the past, and learning about the heroes of the past can inspire us in how we live today. These are some of the good references I have found to help me learn and teach history.
Adam’s Synchronological Chart or Map of History
This big book folds out to be 25 feet of the history of the world! Originally published in 1871, it gives a visual map of the family tree from Adam and on down through the centuries. It splits out to show different kingdoms and countries, which makes it an incredible way to tie together the context of all world history on one sheet. For me, it is interesting to just look at it and browse through different places and times. I can see that as the kids get older it will be a way to supplement other curriculum by showing them how a specific period of time that they are studying fits into the big picture of world history. We bought ours at Mardel, and you can also buy it Here. Mardel also has a free study guide to go along with it.
In The Face of Evil: Reagan’s War In Word and Deed
I love this movie.
This could be described as a documentary of how we won the Cold War, but its scope is far broader than that. It outlines the universal story of good vs evil, truth vs lies, integrity vs depravity, and freedom vs tyranny. Whether you liked Reagan or not or agreed with all of the decisions that were made, this movie provides a great way to tie together much of 20th Century’s story into a single narrative. The movie is PG13, because of the violence of the World Wars and Cold War that it documents, so it is not suitable for younger kids. But I consider it mandatory curriculum for all adults. I’m serious. Click here to find out more.
Other Good Stuff
I consider the big book and the Reagan DVD to be mandatory for every home. Not optional! : )
But if you are really interested, here are some more resources:
I had the honor of meeting Reverend Marshall several years ago when he spoke at our church. He has written several books about US History, as well as some historical fiction books. You can find some of his books here.
David Barton and Wallbuilders have put together a lot of information about our Christian heritage. Much of it is free on their website, and there are a lot of good products for sale on their website also. Wallbuilders
We own the DVD series, as well as a copy of The New England Primer, and Original Intent. I am very excited for their series of biographies for when the kids get a little older. (More on the importance of biography later!)
Newt Gingrich has put together some nice videos about America’s Christian heritage. Again, you may or may not agree with all of his personal or political decisions, but I find that the information presented is very interesting.
Thanks for going along with me on my journey through my favorite historical books, references, and videos. I hope that over time you will pick some of these up for Christmas and birthday gifts. It is crucial for us to learn both sides of our history, and these products provide a valuable perspective that is different from what you will hear in normal media and textbooks.
I’m interested – what do you think? What ideas do you have?