algts asked me to reprint my history curriculum. Here it is - late but revised.
Human history according to the Roman Catholic Church is the record of the working out of God's Divine Plan. It began with creation and will end with the consummation of the world.
The timeline can be divided into two simple frames: the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It begins with Creation, the locus is the Incarnation, the end will be the Second Coming of Our Lord.
Ironically, for that reason as a subject History is very broad, it's focus though is narrow - God's plan for humanity and how it is being worked out.
The study of history is actually introduced very early with storybooks about Old Testament figures and Saints of the New Testament. At this level the regimen is quite relaxed since the child is only being introduced to figures whom he/she will later study as part of a whole.
Father Lovasik has given us many beautiful, orthodox and simple children's books. They are available just about anywhere and are very cheap.
There are also many excellent books on Bible history for the older young child.
For Bible picture books I liked:
The New Catholic Picture Bible
Rev. Lawrence Lovasik, S.V.D.
Catholic Book Publishing Company: 1955
Nice short lessons. Good pictures (although I had to black out the devil in one illustration as he was laid a little too bare).
Monitum: Don't confuse this with another Catholic Picture Bible which is Dutch in origin. It is absolutely heretical and should be avoided. From the outset the accuracy of the Bible is undermined.
The Children's Bible volumes 1-12 or anthology
A Golden Press/Funk&Wagnells, Inc.
Western Publishing Company:1981
Try Abebooks.com for a source. About $1 each - very cheap.
Although from a secular source and produced as a collaboration of Catholic and Hebraic scholars they are very good. The pictures are nice and big, clear and well-executed. I have found no problems with the texts.
Child's Bible History
Most Rev. F. J. Knecht. D.D.
TAN Books and Publishers
Gives a good chronology of Bible history for children. Black and white pictures. There are some videos which may augment your reading but you have to be careful. We need more Catholic productions.
Start serious history study with Bible history. Those books of the Bible which are considered historical should be included in a history timeline. Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Kings, Prophets, Judith, Machabees etc. I also include the Book of the Apocalypse because it is a summary of history as well as prophecy.
Illustrated Bible History of the Old and New Testaments
Ignatius Schuster D.D.
TAN Books and Publishers
It has lots of fascinating details such as the 10 plagues related to the worship of various demons by the Egyptians.
The Old Testament - Preparation for Christianity
Tape 1 Adam to Moses
2 Moses to David
3 David to Christ
Holy Family School Productions
38 Langarth Street East
London, ON Canada
This is a little pricey but an excellent resource for studying the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. It clearly explains how the Old Testament prepared and prefigured the New Testament. One example: King David, lamenting his son Absolom, crosses the River Hebron in sorrow and enters a garden to grieve. He is a figure of Christ who will also cross the Hebron and enters His Passion.
This is really world history - from the time of the Apostles. It's New Testament history.
The study of the history of the Church illustrates more than anything else the impeccability of the Church established by Jesus Christ.
The Story of the Church Her Founding, Mission and Progress
Rev. Johnson, Ph.D.,Rev. Hannan, Ph.D., J.C.D., Sister Dominica, O.S.U., Ph.D.
The binding is not great on my copy but it certainly describes and explains the course of the Church from the Acts of the Apostles to the 20th Century. There is a study packet available.
Christ the King, Lord of History
A Catholic World History from Ancient to Modern Times
Anne W. Carroll
TAN Books: 1994
This is a conservative Catholic resource which is not too bad. The title is one of the best parts of the book. History is given in manageable bites for Grade 6 and up. Used by Our Lady of Victory School so there is a study package available.
A Complete History of the Catholic Church to the Present Day
Rev. John Laux, M.A.
Benziger Brothers: 1930
I like this history book. Father gives us the facts of history but adds topical notes at the end which are from mainly apocraphyl sources but spice up the text. He has, for example, a representation of the signatures to the vows taken by St. Ignatius and his companions when they formed the "Company of Jesus" (p. 464). It is well worth a reissue.
Only available through second-hand sources most probably.
A History of Christendom
Warren H. Carroll
Christendom Press: 1985
distributed by: Angelus Press
Volume 1 - The Founding of Christendom to 325 AD
2 - The Building of Christendom 325 - 1100
3 - The Glory of Christendom 1100 - 1517
4 - The Cleaving of Christendom 1517 - 1748
5 - The Revolution against Christendom 1748 - 1815
6 - The Restoration of Christendom 1815 - 1914
7 - The Apostasy from Christendom 1914 -2000
I only have the first 3 volumes of this series but I would say they are a masterpiece of historical writing and are a rich addition to a history library. Although written by a conservative Catholic they are orthodox and fairly free of the usual criticism of the Church especially in regard to the Crusades. The series is distributed by Angelus Press which is an SSPX bookseller. That would make you confident of their orthodoxy. I've certainly personally been quite pleased with them. They are pricey if bought as a set so I would purchase them by the period covered. I don't know if there is a study packet but it would be an asset certainly.
Jesus of Nazareth
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Featured as a mini-series on NBC Television circa 1996
This is a Catholic version of the life of Christ - Zeffirelli was Catholic.There are a few minor problems with the portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary and details on the Passion but overall the acting is terrific - a cast of some major stars - the scenery and costumes extremely well done. It was actually a minor miracle that the life of Christ would be portrayed on national television.
Available through many outlets as a set. Mine is a copy from the original series.
The Passion of the Christ
As well as a great catechetical resource this film is also historically accurate and reminds the student of the locus of history.
Picks up where the film "Jesus of Nazareth" stops somewhat like the "Acts of the Apostles" follows the Gospels. It's well produced with some fine acting featuring stars such as Ava Gardner, James Mason. Monitum: It is heavily infused with the new idea of Charity being "love" and it gives a pleasant portrait of pagan practises but it does follow the chronology of the rise and persecution of early Christian community quite well.
The Silver Chalice
These are films about the crucifixion which deal with separate subjects. I particularly like Quo Vadis. Produced in the 1950's and 1960's they are pretty orthodox. I would avoid some movies such as Solomon and Sheba. Movies about Old Testament figures often revolve around their fornication or adultery.
History of Empires:
The study of World history can be the history of individual empires:
Roman history is usually taken in conjunction with the study of Latin:
Famous Men of Rome
John H. Haaren, LL.D.
A.B. Poland, PhD
Bite-sized portraits of the Roman founders and leaders. Used with an introduction to Latin. Study packet available through homeschool outlets.
I borrowed books from the library and any available videos but did not go into these empires to any depth. Their importance lies in their relationship to the Hebrews in the case of the Egyptians and the Christians in the case of the Romans. Since the main source for information is secular those points have to be injected into the study. Always it is the Incarnation which matters.
History of United States:
Angelus Press: 1996
Peter Chojnowski, Ph.D.
Rev. Fr. Kenneth Novak
Volume 1 1492-1770 Europe Crosses the Water
2 1771-1848 A New Constellation
3 1849-1921 Revolution for Export
4 1922-1941 The End of the Beginning
5 1942-1969 Determining the Future
This is a Catholic view of American history. It's a surprisingly neglected area of study. Theauthors make a very good bid to fill that gap and they hope that it will be a beginning for a Catholic analysis of Western history. Very readable for highschool. They need to develop a study packet for it though so you would be on your own for testing.
The Old World and America
The standard textbook for history. I have not used it - using instead the above-named resources. If someone has used this as part of their history course perhaps they can add their assessment. A study packet is available.
I have my library set up on a time-line so that I can move easily from Bible History to recent history. Interspersed are the following types of books which I consider a vital part of the historical record:
There are so many available that it is difficult to list them.
Fiction by Louis deWohl brings historical figures to life like no one else.
As the student enters an era relevent biographies can be handed him/her to read. For example: While the early Church is being studied The Spear by Louis deWohl could be followed by The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas or Saint Peter the Apostle by William Thomas Walsh.
There are biographies of important figures:
William the Conquerer by Hilaire Belloc
Fiction - characters such as Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal by Robert O'Reilly.
There are books which give the drama of a certain period in detail:
The Song at the Scaffold by Gertrude Von LeFort which describes the Carmelite Nuns who were among the last victims of M. Guillotine during the French Revolution. Absolutely riveting reading.
Characters of the Inquisition also by Hilaire Belloc.
Red Banners, White Mantel by Warren H. Carroll about the 1917 revolt in Russia.
Add to this list a history of the Popes and you have given your student an excellent grasp of world events.
The Lives and Times of the Popes
The Chevalier Artaud de Montor
Catholic Publication Society of America: 1911
Based on Vatican archives with pictures of all the Popes. These can be purchased from Abebooks.com but are pricey. You can find in these volumes details on the poisoning of Popes, their wars, their imprisonment as well as information on the anti-Popes, the teen-aged Pope, the Pope elected at 103 years of age etc. The Crusades, the Emperors, Voltaire, the French Revolution are all here. Absolutely fascinating and thrilling to read.
There are also very good individual biographies of the different Popes.
With that I will end this introduction to history but the listing of resources is by no means exhausted. It takes up a major portion of studies but plays a vital role in grounding young Catholics in the Faith. It also gives them ample reading material so overlaps literature as it provides material for book reports and critical analyses for English composition.
I hope this helps.