History is hands-down my very favorite subject to teach and learn. But, it hasn’t always been that way. When I was in school, many moons ago, history was my most dreaded subject. Why? It was boring! I had teachers who droned on and then handed out worksheets to fill out. They didn’t share amazing literature, hands-on projects, or exciting videos. It was just dull. Well, all of that has changed, my friends. This year my kids and I have had the opportunity to use History Quest- Early Times and it has been absolutely amazing. I am so excited to share with you all of the things that we have loved. So…let’s travel back in time with History Quest- Early Times!!
What is History Quest-Early Times?
My goal for the 2020/2021 school year was to teach Ancient History to my kiddos. We have never had a full history curriculum and up until this year, I have just bopped around different time periods based on my kids’ interests. I was ready for a change this year and wanting something that was more structured and had all of the groundwork ready for me. In the past I have put together a lot of our units…it is a LOT of work. So, after lots of research, I decided that History Quest- Early Times from Pandia Press was exactly what we were looking for. I reached out to them to see if they would be willing to send me a copy in exchange for a review and they so graciously said yes.
History Quest- Early Times is a full-year history curriculum geared for elementary-aged children…specifically ages 1st through 4th but is easily adaptable for older grades. The Early Times walks you through Pre-History to the Eighth Century CE. The thing that drew me to this program more than others is that it is fully SECULAR and it has a large LITERATURE component. This was huge for me. Finding an amazing secular curriculum is not an easy task…especially one that is based in literature. So to say I was totally thrilled would be an understatement!
The goal of History Quest is to combine your history curriculum with literature, hands-on activities, geography, and writing. It does that and so much more! We used the Study-Guide in conjunction with the History Quest chapter book but you could truly just use the book for a read-aloud and have a very rich history curriculum!
Let’s take a peek inside and see what History Quest is all about…
A Peek Inside History Quest-Early Times
You guys, I did a happy dance when I received these books. If you have ever created your own unit before, you know how much work can go into it. To open a package and have everything already laid out for you is just absolutely brilliant. Included in my package were the History Quest Chapter book…which is enormous and beautiful…as well as the Study Guide.
The History Quest chapter book is a well written and engaging narrative that takes you on a fun and exciting journey through history. We used this as a read-aloud but you could easily give this to your older elementary aged student for independent reading. Since we planned to our history unit together, I chose just to read it to everyone. The book has two main components. It has the regular chapters that walk you through history but it also has sections that are called History Hop! These are where you will be introduced to different people throughout history…The First Author in Sumer, The Chief Embalmer in Egypt, a Babylonian Royal! These people will tell you about their job and their life. It adds such a fun element to each lesson. It feels like you are getting a first-hand account of what life was like!
In addition to the Chapter Book, we also had the Study Guide. The Study Guide is amazing. It is laid out in a 5 day format but you could easily adjust it to fit your school schedule. We had weeks where we had to adjust and it was very easy.
The 5-day layout is divided as follows:
- Day 1- DISCOVER – read from History Quest and Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
- Day 2 – EXPLORE – read History Hop! travel component and complete log page
- Day 3 – CREATE – project day! Hands-on fun! (We ground our own wheat berries, y’all!)
- Day 4 – DEMONSTRATE – various choices to assess your students understanding
- Day 5 – ENRICH – optional videos and additional reading on the topic at hand
Everything is included. Maps, printables, supply lists, book lists…it is all here!
WHY we Love History Quest-Early Times
I wanted to wait until we had a couple of months of use under our belts before I wrote this review. I really like to know a product well before I share it. Well, it has been a couple of months and I am so thrilled with History Quest. It truly has given us everything we have been looking for. I wanted to share with you the main reasons why I adore it.
- SECULAR: this is huge. As a secular homeschool family, finding a quality secular product has NOT been the easiest task. I will say it IS getting easier but it does feel like finding a golden ticket when you find one. History Quest touches on the different religions of the time periods but it is not written from a religious standpoint at all.
- Literature Based: Also huge. As a book-loving family, having something that is presented with engaging literature is so perfect. Not only does it have the included narrative text but it offers booklists in each chapter…and y’all know how I feel about a book list.
- Engaging: not boring at all. My kids have all loved the activities, the map work, the projects, and the stories! Any time you can add cooking or art we are ALL-IN!
- Good for Multiple Ages: As a mama who homeschools 3 kiddos of varying ages, having something that I can use to teach most or all of the kids together is HUGE. Being able to gather together as a family to do our history lessons has been amazing. I have been adding some elements from History Odyssey: Ancients for my 14-year-old as History Quest is geared younger…but she has been enjoying the lessons with us. (History Odyssey review coming soon!)
- Organized: I am not the most organized human, so having something that is laid out in a very detail-oriented way is so important for me. History Quest is expertly organized, easy to follow, and even has a 5-day unit schedule at the beginning of each lesson. Swoon.
- Affordable: History Quest is a very affordable curricula, especially if you plan to use it with more than one child. You are able to choose ebook, Epub, printed, or audiobook for the Chapter book and ebook or print for the study guide. The printed material is what I received and it is absolutely amazing quality.
Something that Pandia Press has included in this curriculum that pretty much blew me away was the addition of the Hygge History weeks. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of Hygge, it is a Danish term that loosely translates to “a feeling of cozy well-being”. Snuggly blankets, candles, cocoa…BOOKS! I have read about Hygge in the past and just adored that Pandia included this.
There are 4 Hygge History weeks dispersed throughout the year. The goal of them is to to pause and enjoy great literature with your kids without the added worksheets, math, or projects. Just reading, talking, sipping warm drinks…I mean…pretty great, right? The book selections are amazing and we truly look forward to these weeks!
For me this is just icing on an already delightful cake.
For More Information
I asked over on IG if there would be interest in a flip-through IGTV video and the response was an overwhelming YES…so I will drop that link below!
But, in the meantime, for a video peek inside History Quest- Early Times you can head to Pandia Press website to watch author Lindsey Sodano share all kinds of great information. Click here.
Also, be sure to pop over to Pandia’s website. They have an amazing Try Before You Buy sample area. You can pull up portions of History Quest to take a peek inside and see what it is all about! Click here to check it out.
I want to say a huge thank you to Pandia Press for sending this to my family for review. All opinions are my own. We have absolutely LOVED History Quest- Early Times and are so excited to continue using it throughout the year. I am ecstatic to report that History Quest- Middle Times is now available as well and it looks equally amazing!!