Heritage History offers a collection of CD-ROMs each of which is loaded with narrative histories, biographies, military histories, mythology, legends, historical fiction, complete literary works, and adapted literary works. Genres vary from CD to CD. For example “mythology” on the Ancient Greece CD is replaced by “legends and literature” on Ancient Rome. And the category of “social history” shows up on Early America.
Five Heritage History Classical Curriculum CD-ROMs that each include a collection of books plus a curriculum guide and study aids are available. Titles are:
Young Readers (an introduction to Western Civilization for children at the grammar stage)
British Middle Ages
In addition to these five CDs, there are an additional four Classical Library CDs that include literary works, a curriculum guide, but not no study aids. Titles of these four CDs are:
As you can see, even using both types of CDs, this series does not provide complete coverage of history since extensive collections of these types of literary works are not available for all countries and time periods. Modern history works are not yet in the public domain.
Each CD has an explanation of the living books (real books) approach to learning that stresses the primary importance of reading. Book Selection Register and Weekly Reading Register forms are included to help keep track of which books a student plans to read and which actually get read. Students should use narration to tell parents or teachers something about what they have read. Parents and teachers generally find it helpful to require some written work by students both to help students retain information and to provide the teacher with some evidence that students have comprehended what they have read. To that end, each CD in the first set (Classical Curriculum) also has a section of study aids, many of which can be used to create a student notebook. Study aids include a brief overview of the era being studied, timeline events that students might enter onto their own timeline or use as a study tool, brief descriptions of major characters in chart form, descriptions and information on critical battles, summaries of shorter time periods within the era being studied, a collection of images from the original book illustrations (some in color and some in black and white), and a large collection of maps in both outline and detail formats. While there are brief instructions on notebooking, parents unfamiliar with this learning technique might need more help from other resources to understand how to best utilize the resources in the study aids. Heritage History sells preprinted collections of the study aids as a Study Guide if you prefer not to print them yourself.
Books on the CDs may be read on the computer, printed out, or downloaded to any e-book reader at no extra cost. Instructions for downloading to e-readers are included.
Books are arranged by genres and are color-coded to indicate age level. One section on the CD includes paragraph-long descriptions of each book to make it easier for parents or students to select among the many choices. A “recommended reading” section lists and explains core selections for students at each level.
As you can see these CDs offer far more than a collection of out-of-print books. The CDs have been organized in a way that makes it easy for even inexperienced parents or teachers to find exactly what they need. Even the CDs without study aids can be used to create complete history courses for children from about third grade through high school.
These CDs might also be used alongside programs like Tapestry of Grace, Story of the World, and Omnibus—classically oriented approaches that require students to read books such as those in these libraries.
Many of the books included are among those reprinted and sold widely in the home education marketplace. They include works by authors such as Helene Guerber, M. B. Synge, Edward Eggleston, John Haaren, John Lang, Padraic Colum, and Alfred J. Church.
Both the Classical Curriculum and Classical Library CDs offer an inexpensive way to create customized, living books courses that can serve students at most grade levels.