The Best Literature-Based World History Curriculum

Sonlight’s high-quality books and easy-to-use teacher guide make it the best literature-based world history curriculum for grades 7-9.

Image of smiling girl with stack of history books; text overlay reads, "Literature-based world history that kids will love!"

I can still remember the first time I felt a spark of interest in world history.

One of my favorite high school teachers was teaching about the Axis and the Allies, and in that moment, my interest in World War II was born. Unfortunately, the dry history textbook did little to encourage my interest.

However, as an adult, I discovered the joy of reading the stories of history—biographies, memoirs, well-researched historical fiction, and more.

Now my kids classify me as a World War II history nerd. I love being able to pass on the stories of history to them. (Wanna learn more about Hitler, anyone?)

But it all started with reading fascinating books.

That’s why I want my kids to learn history through living books . . . a textbook that skims through the entire history of the world in one year can’t even compare!

Image of teen girl sitting on table reading a book.

I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own; I was not required to post a positive review.

The Best Literature-Based World History Curriculum

Two years ago, my daughter started the first year of Sonlight’s literature-based American history curriculum. We loved it so much that we never looked back.

After two years of American history (levels D and E), Kendra recently began using History/Bible/Literature G: World History, Year 1 of 2. This world history curriculum is every bit as good as American history ones were.

HBL G covers the story of history from Creation through the Reformation. The next level (HBL H) covers the last 500 years, completing the study of world history.

I love that Sonlight spreads out the history of the world over two years, allowing students more time to dig into the stories of each time period. After all, the stories are the key to making history come alive for students!

Image of middle school girl sitting at table and reading a history book entitled "The Shakespeare Stealer."

Why We Love Sonlight’s World History Curriculum

Engaging History Spines

Make no mistake, history spine books are NOT the same as a dry, boring textbook. Yes, they provide an overview of history, but they do so in a way that draws students in.

The history spines for History/Bible/Literature G are the first two volumes of The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. These fascinating books read like story books. Kids will hardly realize they are learning history while you read.

High-Quality Literature

I really can’t say enough about the high-quality literature that Sonlight has chosen for this level. The wide variety of books covers all of the most important people and events from the beginning of time through the 1600s.

A few of the books have been on our shelves for years, like The Golden Goblet and Hittite Warrior.

Many others are new to us: Catherine Called Birdy, Master Cornhill, and A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, just to name a few.

My daughter is currently reading The Shakespeare Stealer, a historical fiction novel by Gary Blackwood. Kendra is loving the book so much that she voluntarily read FIVE chapters this morning before I was even out of bed!

And THAT is how kids learn to love history.

Image of smiling girl with two tall stacks of history books in front of her.

Detailed Instructor’s Guide

Sonlight’s instructor guides are epic. No question.

The IG includes complete, ready-to-use lesson plans and helpful discussion questions to deepen learning. There is literally NO prep needed. Just open and go!

I can’t imagine trying to pull a literature-based curriculum together without one of these thorough guides. All the books are coordinated to be read at just the right time, and everything is clearly scheduled for a 180-day school year.

In addition, related timeline and map activities are listed right in the daily plan. It’s all right there in one convenient place.

Easy-to-Use Timeline Figures

I’m a big believer in the importance of timelines for homeschool history to tie the people and events together into a continuous story. Sonlight makes this so easy with gorgeous images printed on adhesive-backed paper.

Students simply color the pictures, cut them out, and stick them directly into their timeline notebook. No printing or gluing required!

Image of middle school girl sitting on couch with a stack of history books.

Ready to Try Sonlight’s Literature-Based History Curriculum?

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