Sample Four Year History Sequence

This list is a starting point for thinking about your own history sequence. Much has been omitted – I think students are best off studying fewer topics in depth, so I’ve limited this to nine or ten topics a year. If there’s an area you’re particularly interested in, by all means include it. When combined with a good library, blackline maps, and plenty of writing and thinking about history, this can be the spine of a complete history curriculum. For younger children, stories, myths, simple maps, and the Dorling Kindersley books make a great start. For middle schoolers, add in a bit of history text and popular histories for adults. For high school, look to original historic material, popular histories for adults, and college-level historians’ books, with a textbook such as Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s The World. Download the PDF version.

Developing Civilizations (to 500 CE)


  • Becoming human
  • Human migrations / hunter gatherers
  • Early farming
  • Ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia / Egypt / China / India
  • Mediterranean 2000 – 800 BCE
  • Mediterranean 800 BCE – 500 CE
  • Beginnings and spread of global religions: Hinduism / Confucianism / Buddhism / Judaism / Christianity
  • Han China
  • Your ancestors

Mobile vs. Sedentary Nations

(500-1600 CE)


  • Ancient civilizations Americas
  • Ancient civilizations Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Nomadic tribes invade Europe
  • Origins and spread of Islam
  • Christian empires / Crusades /  Protestantism
  • Tang / Song China
  • Nomadic tribes invade Asia / Yuan / Ming China
  • European countries invade Americas (“Columbian Exchange”)
  • Your ancestors

Europeans vs. the World (1600-1850)


  • Sea trade & warfare: beginnings of a global world
  • Qing China
  • Mughal India
  • European colonialism
  • European/American slave trade
  • US Revolution / Constitution
  • French Revolution / Napoleonic Wars
  • Industrial Revolution Europe
  • Japanese Isolationism
  • Your national history


The Global World (1850-2000)


  • US Slavery / Civil War
  • Social effects of industry
  • World War I
  • Economics: Capitalism and Communism (Great Depression / Ukraine Famines)
  • World War II
  • Cold War
  • Middle East
  • Latin America
  • Cultural Changes: liberalism / fundamentalism
  • Your national history

Download the PDF version

Excerpt from Homeschool Teacher
© Kate Laird
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