“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:9-11, NIV)
Using the Bible to Teach History
There are many good history curriculum available to homeschoolers today. Why write another one? One reason is that we want to use the Bible as our primary textbook when homeschooling our children. We believe that the Bible is 100% accurate and was written by our Creator; therefore, it contains the most important information that our Creator wants us to know.
History is no exception. While the Bible’s account of history varies substantially from secular accounts, we believe that only the Bible’s record is accurate and true.
ONLY THE BIBLE CONTAINS TRUE HISTORY.
There are a lot of theories in history textbooks, which try to explain the origins of our world. Some theories say that mankind had its roots in Africa. Some say that Egypt was the first great culture. Some even say that aliens from other planets came to our world and taught us how to build great empires.
Yet how can we explain how so many cultures have similar temple structures, worship the same kinds of gods, and even have similar myths of creation and a worldwide flood? If we understand that the Bible contains true, eye-witness accounts of history, then we know that Genesis explains all these things.
God says that mankind had its origins with a single set of parents, Adam and Eve, but that all their children except the godly line of Seth rebelled against God and were destroyed in a flood of water. After the flood, Noah’s three sons and their wives became the parents of all people, cultures, and nations that exist on the earth today. The reason every culture has similarities is because they all originated in the same place.
The Bible says that before people were scattered over the face of the earth, they united in Babel in defiance of God. Before God changed their languages, they had one religion and a one-world government. They built a high place there, known to us as the Tower of Babel, that became the template for temples, pyramids, and ziggurats all over the world.
Knowing what the Bible presents about the history of mankind and believing in its truth makes all the rest of history make sense. It is imperative that we teach it to our children!
BABEL (BABYLON) IS THE EMPIRE THAT HAS TRIED TO RISE UP AGAINST GOD.
Babel (Babylon) was a real place in history, where Nimrod, a real person, led a rebellion against the God of heaven. Babylon is also a world system, a philosophy, and a religion, one that continues to permeate our world to this day.
After the tower of Babel was abandoned, its world system, philosophy, and religion continued to survive all the way down to our present time. By searching for references to Babylon in the Bible and by reading what it says, we can have a much better understanding of our own Babylonian-like culture, as well as God’s plan for the future. It is imperative that we teach it to our children!
THERE ARE ONLY TWO WORLD RELIGIONS: GOD’S AND SATAN’S.
“Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against YHWH and against his Anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand all the religions in our world today. We have choices such as Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, Unitarian Universalism, and so many more.
The Bible says there are only two religions, those who follow God and those who follow this world’s system. All nations and mankind have united themselves together in their opposition against God, and the Bible calls this “Babylon.”
When we learn how the people of Babel “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:18-32), we can then easily spot the lies of Satan when they are presented to us today. It is imperative that we teach it to our children!
GOD SAYS THAT BABYLON WILL FALL.
“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he shall reign forever and ever'” (Revelation 11:15). (See also Revelation 18-19.)
Every prophecy God has made so far has come true, exactly as God has said it would. In the same way, God’s prophecy of the downfall of Babylon, this world’s system, will also come true.
Author Christine Miller has written,
“The purpose of prophecy is not to give Christians a crystal ball into future events. Its purpose, once what is prophesied has clearly been seen to come to pass, is to produce the conviction that the God of the Bible is God, thus inspiring repentance, and faith.”
One of the purposes of using God’s Word to teach history is that it instills great faith in our children. They can easily see that God always keeps His promises, which gives them the courage and strength they need to walk with God in their daily lives. It is imperative that we teach it to our children!
GOD WANTS US TO “COME OUT OF BABYLON.”
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).
Again, Christine Miller writes,
“God’s own people are portrayed as dwelling in Babylon! God calling the righteous to depart from Babylon before it gets judgment dumped on it sounds eerily familiar. Remember the two angels visiting Lot and leading him away from the city while fire rained down on it from heaven? Remember Lot’s wife, who Yeshua told us looked back on the city with longing, and was turned into a pillar of salt? We were warned not to be like Lot’s wife.”
We are to be different, from the inside out.
- First, we are to mark our children on their foreheads, by firmly planting God’s Word in their minds. We are to help them use God’s Word as a standard for all their thoughts.
- Next, we are to mark our children in their hands, by helping them do what God’s Word says, showing them how to be obedient in every way possible to God.
As you know, we accomplish these two goals by first placing God’s commands in our own hearts and then talking about them with our children all day long. This is why using the Bible to teach history in our homeschools is such a great opportunity! We have the time we need to study with our children and then to implement God’s Word (our textbook) into our entire lives. It is imperative that we teach it to our children!
As we’ve attempted to compile some lesson plans you can use as you teach history to your children, we’ve kept the following foundations in mind:
- We believe that history is simply the unfolding of “His Story.” History (as well as the future) is all in God’s view, and everything that has happened and will happen is for His glory.
- We believe that from Genesis to Revelation, God tells us about His Kingdom, why He created us, why sin is so destructive, and His amazing plan of redemption. (For more information on this, we highly recommend Myles Munroe’s book, Rediscovering the Kingdom.)
- We believe that all of history (past, present and future) has been revealed in His Word. When we study prophecy in Scripture with our children, and as we see how God is always faithful to His Word, our faith and trust in Him is confirmed (Isaiah 40:8). This is a great reason to study history!
Our goal is to present history not just as another subject in school but as another opportunity for us to be thrilled and amazed by God’s Word. There are MANY good history curriculum on the market, but if you choose to use ours, remember these things:
- The account of creation and the centuries before the flood in Genesis are accurate history. They should be taught to your children as literal, factual, and important.
- The details of the spread of civilization recorded in Genesis 10 are accurate history. Show your children how there are really just two religions: the worship of the Creator and the worship of the creation. (From Genesis 10-11, you can teach all world cultures, geography, world religions, and more.)
- Studying the Old Testament should be a priority over all other sources of ancient history. When dates disagree with God’s Word, dig in and find out why. Show your children tangible evidence why the Bible can be trusted.
One very nice feature of using Scripture to tell history is that, especially when Scripture is committed to memory, our children are provided with a mental timeline. They will be able to put all other historical and current events into their proper perspective, always seen from God’s viewpoint.
Our prayer is that, by telling all of history (from creation to modern times) from God’s perspective as written in the Bible, we will cover the most important details, the things that God most wants our children to know and understand. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey!
Our Teaching Methods
Note: This history curriculum uses our “Hear, Learn, Keep, Do” method of teaching. You should take the time to read about it here.
How to Use This Curriculum
Each “week” of lesson plans is set up so that 3 days will be spent reading aloud from the main textbooks with Mom, then 2 more days of study, projects, and review can be done relatively independently. Our goal was to allow Mom several days a week of intense study with her children, yet also give Mom a few days to accomplish housework, errands, and other responsibilities. You are always welcome to do more than the curriculum suggests.
Three days each week, this curriculum schedules a passage for Mom to read aloud to her children. You may also choose to occasionally have the students read the passage aloud.
We have also scheduled topics of discussion to go with each reading. However, don’t feel that you must limit the discussion to only these things! Mom should feel free to stop the reading at any point, to discuss things that she knows are important to her family. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn together.
Memorization is an important part of our curriculum, so that students will have a mental “handle” on which they can hang all of the other things they learn. We will be learning passages of Scripture and important dates in history. We usually introduce new memory work on read-aloud days, and we review extensively, especially on the fourth day of each “week.”
Christian and educational expert Don Potter advises using the “Hoffman Universal Memory System” to memorize Scripture (or anything else). You can read more about this method here.
You can download a list of all the Memory Work for the year, which is handy for Mom to bookmark and refer to often.
During all four years of this history curriculum, we will be constructing a timeline. We use dates that agree with biblical history, whether or not they agree with modern historians.
In our home, we purchased History Through the Ages: Timeline Figures, by Amy Pak, to paste into the Book of Centuries. Because Amy Pak includes different historical figures in her set than we include in our curriculum, we enjoy adding some of her extra figures at the appropriate time in history and sometimes scheduling one of our children to research these people or events on their own, to report back to us the following week.
We use and love Map Trek: The Complete Collection, by Terri Johnson, for map studies, as well as maps that appear in the scheduled daily readings.
While Map Trek includes a CD you can use to print out maps, we personally recommend that you have your children trace the maps for themselves. Tracing helps children learn the boundaries of maps very well. No matter which option you choose, encourage your students to color the maps and to be very neat in their creation of maps.
Use a 3-ring binder to save the maps they make, then show them off to friends and relatives, since map-making is a lot of hard work!
Once each week, we schedule a “notebooking” activity that your children can mostly do independently. Provide them with supplies, such as colored pencils, markers, pretty papers, glue, and special scissors. Younger children might want to dictate a paragraph to Mom, which she could then type and print out, to be included in their notebooks.
Some families like to have their children notebook several times a day. Other families skip notebooking altogether, just having their children “tell back” (narrate) to them what they have learned.
Some activities are simply listed as research projects, such as “Visit a public library or do research online on ancient weapons.” These could be used as notebooking activities, as writing assignments, or as parts of larger reports or projects. Do what works best for your family!
This curriculum is intended primarily for grades 4-8, but it can easily be adapted for all ages. Younger children enjoy just listening, and believe me, they pick up much more than we realize! They also enjoy memorizing, coloring maps, and making simple notebooking pages. We recommend that you make use of your local library, getting picture books that will supplement what you’re learning. (We must admit, though, that picture books for some of these topics are difficult to find!)
High school students are ready to discuss and interact with many of these topics on a much deeper level than younger students. We recommend that you take many of the weekly notebooking topics and require 2-3 pages of essays from your high school students. You may wish to pose controversial questions of your students and ask them to defend their positions.
We have included additional reading assignments for high school students. Some of these are more difficult than others, so use your discretion in what you require of your own students. Most are available for free online, but if your budget allows, consider purchasing hard-copy books, since it will be easier for your student to read, to highlight, and to take notes.
Even adults will love this curriculum – we know we did! Take every opportunity to discuss these topics throughout your days and alongside your activities. As adults, stick some of the additional books beside your bed, so you can be reading them, too. You’ll start seeing God’s hand everywhere!
Copywork of the memory work is included once each week. You can download traditional cursive examples of the memory verses and the days of Creation by clicking here. You may wish to print a copy of these to include in your student’s notebooks, to be referred to as they copy them.
Throughout this curriculum, we recommend various websites to study topics in further depth. If you don’t have access to the Internet, a local library should be able to provide you with many similar resources.
Please use discretion when using any website, including the ones we recommend, and always supervise your children when using the Internet.
Please contact us if any link does not work so that we may update it.
About From Ancient Times: Creation to Assyria
From Ancient Times: Creation to Assyria is copyright 2013 by Anne Elliott and was originally published for Foundations Press in 2012; revised 2019.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
Published by Foundations Press