Choosing a Volume

Where do I begin?

There are many different approaches to TRISMS, and only you can decide what is best for your particular setting – home school, multi-level, co-op, school, etc.

Here are a few suggestions:

Middle School (6th – 8th)Masterminds demo download image
and/or Multi-level setting

History’s Masterminds – 3500 BC- Present

If you have students who are middle school and below, we recommend that you begin with History’s Masterminds.  The overview of World History will be a good review of the first few years of school, and will provide many opportunities to have younger children working with older children.  History’s Masterminds is a great way to introduce your students to research, independent lesson planning, and coursebook creation. 

In the second stage of Classical Education, History’s Masterminds fits in perfectly with its overview of world history and the beginnings of independent learning. 

History’s Masterminds is excellent in a multi-level setting and can easily be adapted to include younger students with its versatile reading lists.

We recommend taking two years to complete History’s Masterminds with younger students, and one year with older students. 

If you feel your students are advanced or already have a solid overview of history, we recommend beginning with Discovering the Ancient World, which is adaptable for 6th through 8th grades and allows extra time in high school for the other three volumes.

High School

Discovering the Ancient World – Pre-history to 500 BC
Expansion of Civilization – Medieval to the Renaissance
Rise of Nations – Renaissance to 1850
Age of Revolution – U.S. and World History 1850 to 1930

In high school, there are also many options available.  Although we recommend that students start at the beginning with Discovering the Ancient World, it is not wrong to do otherwise if your students have had plenty of ancient history. 

Many parents will choose to begin with Expansion of Civilization in high school in order to leave one year free for extended studies outside of TRISMS.  Although each volume builds on the previous as far as time-frames covered, the assignments are not necessarily more difficult.  Also, the entire IEW program is covered in each volume, so that students get plenty of practice.  Therefore, nothing is lost if a student starts at a different time frame.

We believe that Expansion of Civilization and Rise of Nations are imperative to the understanding of U.S. History.  In order for students to understand where we are today, it is important to see where we have come from.  If your students have not had background in studying the earlier time periods, they will have difficulty in understanding today.  We highly recommend they complete both Expansion of Civilization and Rise of Nations.

Age of Revolution is the only program we know of that has U.S. and World History side by side.  We live in a global society, and events on the other side of the world often affect events here in America.