Ms. Hobar is a fantastic writer, and I do love this curriculum for many reasons. The coverage is good. The timeline is well spaced out over the four volumes, and the text is written in an engaging manner for all ages.
However.. I do like to see illustrations. It seems to me as though illustrations and other engaging materials are missing from the text. In fact, there are no illustrations whatsoever aside from a few secondary scene cliparts (and the maps in the back of the book). What I mean is that there are enough of them to make it so the pages are not COMPLETELY lacking in pictures or illustrations of what we have read but enough so that it seems like there are "blanks" purposefully placed so that parents would have to purchase the coloring pages and the timeline figures etc., etc. in order to get the full picture. For example, in Lesson 7 we read about the Sumerians where cuneiform is explained in detail. The activity in this lesson is to make our own cuneiform tablet complete with instructions but no illustration to show us what it even looked like.
I've put off implementing our history curriculum until the fall because this curriculum is not complete. The extras are simply not optional and so the book needs to have more specific instructions for the parent as to how and when to implement it all together, like Tapestry of Grace has done.
I am wrapping up my first year of homeschooling and looking back on all my mistakes, buying this book was one of the few choices I made RIGHT on the first try!I What I love most about this course is it's flexibility. It had everything I needed when I was clueless (time line, preview, easy to read and engaging content, quizzes, review cards, activities) but isn't dependant on anything but the readings, which freed me up to easily add to it in my own way when I wanted to. I see a lot of people disappointed with the time line. ..but that's where discernment and flexibility comes in. Try it a different way, or don't do it at all. .. there are sooooo many options! For us we didn't really do it the first couple of weeks, until I found free printables. So now while I'm reading my son colors the timeline cut out. ..or plays with blocks and I color it whenever I get to it. We don't have much space so I just paste them to index cards and make it a game once a week to scramble the deck and let my son lay them out order on the living room floor. I'm still new at all of this, but one thing I learned quickly was to adjust what you can to your needs. .. not pretzel yourself to follow someone else's idea.
So if you want a chronological, multi level, scripture based, fun, flexible, clearly laid out, history curriculum that focuses on the significance of events rather than just the dates. ... This is definitely worth the investment.
History has been one of the hardest subjects for me as a home schooler of 4, ages 6-12 now. I knew I wanted to combine history and science but that is easier said then done, so for the last three years I have designed my own curriculum using All through the Ages (love that book too). That has been great but is very time consuming and so much work and then there isn't anything to follow up with. The kids would narrate, but then that was it. I would forget to go back and review and as you all know, you run out of time and energy. Also, the hardest part was finding a "main thread" of history. Well this is it. I have read reviews that say there is not a lot of depth, well that part is easy to fix, just slow down and add depth with living books. I was feeling like I didn't like this book, but when I realized, hey, I am the teacher, I don't have to finish it in one year, I loved it again. I slowed down, spend time reading aloud to the kids in living books and finding them books to read themselves that went along with the textbook. That made all the difference. I love this history book because she writes to the kids. It is different I know, but I like it. She sounds excited about what is being covered. Also, I have loved the quizzes and tests. I don't give my kids a lot of tests because I don't think that is greatest measure of understanding, but it has been a great tool, to teach them how to review, and also just take a test. I would highly recommend buying the CD where you can print the maps and quizzes and I also bought the dvd where you can print coloring pages, note booking pages and all that. You can't do it all, so don't even try. As far as the time line goes, (many of the negative reviews were about that) if it seems too complicated, don't do it that way. Use a spiral notebook if it easier,or look on line, there are many ways to do it. I just use twine, I pinned it up around my room. I use different color cardstock for people groups ex. Blue- Americans, White- Hebrews- Yellow- Ancient Civs, Pink- China and then I glue the figure onto that and paperclip it to the string.Super easy and the kids use it all the time to remember which came first. All in all, I think this is a great book to use as a thread, and she says herself, that if you want to use it all through out elementary and high school, just add more reading and activities. The only one of my kids that did any activities this year was my sixth grader. The other kids did folder books and read extra books that were their level. Hope this helps.
I absolutely love it! My kids are 11, 9, 7 and 6. I switched my whole curriculum after reading sample pages of this book because I was so excited to get started with my kids. I cannot explain how excited I am about learning history from the very beginning of the Bible and what the rest of the world was doing at the time. The kids are enjoying it and remembering what they are learning but aren't nearly as excited as I am.