Virgil Hillyer’s book A Child’s History of the World has long been popular with homeschoolers, even when it was temporarily out of print and changed publishers. Many families have used it as an introduction to world history because it is written in a lively and interesting fashion that appeals to children. Some programs have incorporated the book into their curriculum and provided parents with suggestions as to how to use it. But most parents have been left to figure that out on their own.
A Workbook and Study Guide to A Child’s History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer with Answer Key helps solve that problem by providing parents with an assortment of questions to be used with most chapters. Students are provided with space to write their answers within the book. You are given permission to copy pages for your immediate family.
The workbook is written for children about third grade and above who are able to read and write independently. It might be used with younger children by having them provide oral responses.
This workbook is ideal for those pursuing a classical approach to education since most questions focus on the information in the book—the grammar of history. Many questions require brief answers, the completion of charts, or circling of either true or false. But some questions ask students to describe or explain something, and the book provides two or more blank lines for students to write out an answer. The length and number of lines indicate the length of the expected answer. Of course, parents might let children respond orally instead. Just as the amount of information varies from chapter to chapter in Hillyer’s book, the number of questions and their formats vary in the workbook.
Once in a while, a question allows students to respond with their own thoughts in a Charlotte Mason fashion. For example, a question on page 117 asks, “What do you think would be the worst thing about living under the rule of a dictator?” And the last question on page 46 asks for an artistic response: “Do your best to draw a picture of a chariot below as described in the chapter.” These types of questions are rare.
The workbook questions do not comment on Hillyer’s book or add information. This approach leaves it up to parents to provide their own commentary, opinions, or additional information.
There are one or two pages of questions for each of 87 of the 91 chapters in Hillyer’s book. The study guide skips the first two chapters since many parents skip over reading those chapters. It skips Chapter 11 on The Iliad and The Odyssey since parents pursuing a classical education will probably be studying those in-depth separately. And it skips the final chapter where Hillyer talks briefly about inventions, imagining what the future might be like.
The second half of the workbook serves as an answer key. It reproduces all of the pages of questions but with overprinted answers.
A Workbook and Study Guide to A Child’s History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer with Answer Key is a valuable resource that makes A Child’s History of the World even more useful for homeschooling families.