A wonderful benefit of homeschooling is the ability to combine subjects to make the child’s education more cohesive. This allows you to teach subjects like history, science, and religion, and language arts concurrently. If you’ve heard of unit studies, then you have an idea of what I am talking about. With typical unit studies, you would pick a subject to study such as amphibians. The student would read books, write reports, and even pull their spelling and vocabulary words from books, counting as language arts. To add history or religion to the lesson, they may want to study a plague that involved frogs. They may even find math worksheets and exercises that include frogs just for fun.
So like unit studies, if you were going to combine history, language arts, science, and religious studies, the best approach would be to follow a history time line. Such a time line could be split up into four to six years like in classical studies, allowing the children to study each time period in depth. As they concentrate on each time period, they would study history, science discoveries and advancements, literature (with grammar), religious studies, and even art, keeping all lessons within a narrow time period. This not only makes subjects more fun and cohesive to teach, but it helps a student to deeply learn, or be immersed in a time period, giving them a fuller education experience.
For deeper understanding on how this might work, let’s look at the years 1900 to 1909. In this narrow period of time, a child could learn about the following:
President McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt (history)
History of Woman Sufferage by Susan B. Anthony (literature and history)
William Randolph Hears and Joseph Pulitzer (newspaper/literature)
The Wizard of OZ (Literature)
Call of the Wild (Literature)
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bios (literature and black history)
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (literature)
San Fransisco Earthquake (history and science)
First airplane and Model T (discoveries in science)
George Eastman and the camera (science)
Panama Canal (History and geography)
Average Weekly Pay and costs of living (social studies and math)
Frank Lloyd Wright (architecture)
Winslow Homer, Charles Russel, and Frederic Remington (art)
Baptism of Indian Warrior Geronimo and conversion of Indians to Christianity (history and religion)
C.S.Lewis, Chronicles of an Apologist (religion and literature)
As you can see the child would get a good snapshot of who the president was, what was being read, who the artists of the time were, what was going on in science, and in society as a whole. If you are not careful, it can take weeks to cover that narrow timeline, this is why time periods are typically repeated in the classical homeschool method. This way, literature and other lessons can be chosen based on age appropriateness for the child at the time.