Of the workshops I was able to attend at the homeschool conference, Diana Waring’s was by far my favorite. There were maybe a twenty of us, and went through all of the ins and outs of how her curriculum came to be written, and how it is put together, and used. I was enthralled listening to her as she gave a sample history lesson about Jonah going to Ninevah. I’ve read the Bible, I’ve studied, and I have never heard it told in such an engaging way. She has so much background information, and I could tell that she is what anyone would call a true history buff.
Diana’s curriculum has always been something I’ve admired from afar. I have read probably every review I could get my hands on about it. I wanted, I coveted, but I could never put it into my brain how it would work with younger kids. It seemed so… over their heads. There are three volumes, each covering a section of history in chronological order:
- Ancient Civilizations and the Bible: Creation to Jesus Christ
- Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries: Resurrection to Revolution
- World Empires, World Missions, World Wars: Napoleon to Korea
The first time I met Diana was last year, in the vendor hall at our local homeschool conference. My husband and I stood there and listened to Diana and her husband talk about their program, and my husband kept nudging me and saying “You should really look at this.” I actually walked away from him and left him there talking to Mr. Waring! Yes, I wanted it. But since when does my husband kick in his two cents on curriculum decisions? NEVER. Not once has he ever offered any opinion at all. I didn’t think he knew what he was talking about, really, and didn’t listen to him.
This year, it all came back to me. I think I stopped by the Waring’s booth at least six times. I listened to Mr. Waring, picked up the materials, coveted, and drooled. Then I put them down and walked away. I did take a price list with me however, to discover that their self-published books were all 70% off. Oh MY. Then I started comparing old versus new. More stops to their booth, more listening and asking questions, and a couple of calls to my husband- who wasn’t there this year.
Attending Diana’s workshop was the clincher for me. She went through the entire program, explained how to teach a lesson from beginning to end, and it just made so much SENSE. Listen to Diana’s wonderful stories (who wouldn’t love that?!) and then just follow along through many varied activities. There’s also a student book for younger children, which makes it attainable for them also. I love it. I was the last one out of the workshop. I stayed after and asked her questions. She is a lovely woman, and her heart for homeschoolers, for families, and for history is just so… refreshing.
I bought the whole Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries package, from their clearanced, self-published materials. It came with all the new audio CDs, which is nice. My husband will probably steal borrow those from me any time now. I love history, and I want my kids to love history. I am excited! Now to just restrain myself from beginning this in May after we get back from our break. Think I can do it? =)