Charlotte Mason recommends that you study history by studying the men and women who lived during that certain period of time. Sounds fantastic, but where do you find all the books to do that? For years and years (okay, four) I've done search after search, spending hours and hours reading reviews and booklists and suggestions. I've made spreadsheets and tables and all sorts of technical sounding stuff trying to find the BEST LIVING BOOKS for a certain time period. And I did a pretty great job....until the third kid was born....and the third kid entered 'school'....
I finally decided to give Truthquest History a try since the whole homeschooling community loved it. I found some older versions on eBay and snagged those up and spent the next week or so reading. I liked it. I might even love it.
Basically it's a book of books. Or a list of books. Or something like that. There is commentary to help you navigate your way from one part of the world to another or to put things in a more Biblical framework. I read that for my benefit mostly. If I do talk with the boys about it I paraphrase.
What I love it for those is those lists though. All done for me. No more going to bed at 3am.
I purchased (new) the American History for Younger Students (all 3 years). It was completely overwhelming. I went to my favorite Charlotte Mason site (Simply Charlotte Mason) and took their book recommendations and marked them my Truthquest books. This helped me quickly narrow things down. Next I went through the guides to see if there were any time periods I specifically wanted to cover and found book suggestions there. Within an hour or so I had history mapped out for the year. Can you hear the angels singing?
It is very, extremely, hugely possible to get lost in the guides because so many books are listed for so many subjects. I made myself be selective. One book is okay for some time periods. Others I felt needed two or three books. Some I just skipped altogether. I loved having the SCM site to help me limit those choices.
Things I love about Truthquest:
1. Tons of books for almost every subject under the sun
2. All pretty darn Charlotte Mason friendly (and somewhat pre-screened for a Biblical world view)
3. Solid commentary to help me figure out what was going on other places (
Things I don't love:
1. Can be easily overwhelming
2. There are only a few reviews of the books, mostly it's just lists and commentary
3. A lot of the books are out of print making it harder to locate "gems"
4. No hands-on activities recommended
5. The covers of my new books are already ripping off (it's spiral bound)
Overall I'm very pleased with Truthquest and will continue to use it. By fitting it within a different framework I find it much easier to manage. My kids are loving the books we've read and that's really what it's all about.