History Year 1: Quick Start

Welcome to The Good and the Beautiful History Year 1

History Year 1 Course Set
Course Book, Big Book of History Stories, Keys of History Board Game. Included in the Course Book: Access to Student Explorer PDF Downloads (all four levels) and Audio Dramatizations.

Before You Begin History Year 1

We are excited for your family to begin History Year 1

All of our history courses are thoughtfully designed to be open-and-go! You do not need to read or prepare anything on a daily basis.

It is, however, extremely useful to spend a few minutes getting an overview of the course. Here are a few highlights to help you have a successful start.

Please note: The physical materials for this course are permanently sold out. PDF downloads of the Course Book, The Big Book of History Stories, Timeline, and Stickers are still available for purchase. Student Explorers and Audio Dramatizations will be supported into the foreseeable future.

The information given on this page pertains to both physical and digital versions of the course. If you have any questions, please contact our friendly customer support team at [email protected].

The Good and the Beautiful is in the process of creating new versions of the History Years 1–4 course sets. This is an intensive, multi-year process including development and piloting. New editions will not be released before the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year. As more information becomes available, we will share it in upcoming YouTube videos.

Required Items Needed for This Course

The History Year 1 Course Set includes the three items listed below.

The course can be successfully completed without the game which is sold out and does not have a digital version.

Digital Items Needed for This Course

Front Cover History Year 1 Student Explorer

With purchase of the course set, you receive access to two digital items: Student Explorers (PDFs) and Audio Dramatizations (MP4s). Both items can be found here. The access code is located in the About This Course pages in the front of the course book.

How This Course Works

Course Pacing

This family-style course is broken into four units for a total of 60 lessons, each about 60 minutes long. This includes 20 minutes for a family read-aloud book of your choice. History is a subject that commonly leads to discussion. This may make your lesson times vary. We encourage you to discuss and explore the topics that spark interest in your family. 

If you complete two lessons per week, it will take one school year to complete a course. We recommend completing three lessons a week if you are teaching children in grades 6 and above.

Four-Year Outline

All history courses (years 1–4) cover ancient times to modern history; each course stops in different places and periods to explore in depth. Thus, children see the whole sweep of history and how it fits together during each course. Each of the four history courses places an emphasis on US history, the Founding Fathers, and principles of freedom.

Download the Four-Year Outline here.

History 1- homeschool history curriculum course book


There are a few lessons that require additional items. We suggest that you look ahead a few lessons to gather the items. 

Bold text indicates instructions to you. Regular text is what you read to children. [Text within brackets are the answers to questions you ask the children.]

The Big Book of History Stories for History 1- a Christian homeschool history curriculum

The Big Book of History Stories

The Big Book of History Stories includes maps and color images referred to in the course book as well as 21 illustrated stories that correspond with the lessons. Lessons indicate when to read the stories.

History Year 1 Student Explorers

Student Explorers

The lesson indicate when to use the Student Explorers. Not all lessons use them, and in some lessons the older children use the Student Explorers while younger children do not.

Print a Student Explorer for each child (based on their grade level), and place each Student Explorer in a 3-ring binder. For how to access the Student Explorers, read the About This Course pages in the front of the course book.

Read More

Four Student Explorer PDFs are included with the course set:

  • Lower Elementary: Grades 1–3
  • Upper Elementary: Grades 4–6
  • Intermediate: Grades 7–9
  • High School: Grades 10–12. 

Each Student Explorer includes assignments specifically designed for the targeted grade levels. They increase in complexity for the higher grades.

History Year 1 Audio Dramatizations

Audio Dramatizations

The password for the audio dramatizations page is in the About This Course section at the beginning of your history course book. Once you open the audio online, you can stream the audio or download it. To download, right-click and choose “Save As.”

Read More

Dramatized audio recordings are included in about half the lessons. These engaging audio recordings bring history to life and add variety and power to the course.

These dramatizations include much of the main historical content, and we suggest that families do not skip these audio recordings. Alternatively, you can download the script if you would rather read it. 

The Keys of History Board Game

The Keys of History board game helps children review important information about key historical figures and events in a fun way. It also adds variety and family or class interaction. The course indicates when to play this game. In addition, we also suggest that you play this game occasionally during the Year 2, Year 3, and Year 4 history courses, again providing a wonderful review of key information learned in the Year 1 course. An instruction card is included with the game along with the following items:

  • 10” x 10” game board
  • 8 player pieces
  • 22 black tokens
  • 22 game cards
  • 2 instruction cards
  • 1 die

The game may be played by 1–8 students.

Graphic Older Sprout

Teaching Older Children

Students in grades 7–12 create a history notebook from loose leaf paper that students put in a binder. The course book and student explorers guide students through creating this notebook.

The Grades 10–12 Student Explorers contain in-depth reading assignments and activities that students complete independently to prepare them for college-level learning.

Graphic Content for Younger Children

Teaching Younger Children

Occasionally, in a big box under the lesson heading, you will see a message that suggests you skip the lesson if you are teaching only children in younger grades. All lesson material is appropriate for all ages, but these particular lessons may be too complex for younger children.

If you have both older and younger children, it is suggested you do all the lessons and let younger children participate to the degree you choose.

As part of the course, you are encouraged to select and read four books to your children, one for each of the four units in the course. For a list of suggestions, click on this link Read-Aloud Suggestions

Reading engaging books with high literary, moral, and educational value is a powerful way to teach and instill a love of history. Twenty minutes is allotted in most lessons for the teacher read-aloud, but to finish a book by the end of the unit, most read-aloud books require that you read outside of lesson time as well.

All history read-aloud book packs are permanently sold out.

History Year 1 Read-Aloud Book Pack

History Year 1 Read-Aloud Book Pack

New History Updates

See all the latest information about the updates for History Years 1–4. If you have our current editions, you will still be able to access all the digital extras on the website as described in the About This Course pages in the front of the course book.

Click here to see the latest updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Visit our History FAQs page where you will find answers to frequently asked questions, helpful videos, and other resources.

How to Download Files

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For help with downloading or printing digital files, click below.

Email Customer Support

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Do you have more questions? Email our friendly customer support team, and we will be happy to help you further!

Emails are answered Monday–Saturday throughout the day. Most emails are answered within 1 business day (Monday–Friday).

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