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, 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 prepartion for high school.  History’s Masterminds is a great way to introduce your students to research, independent lesson planning, and coursebook creation. It is flexible as a one or two year program.

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

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


Many parents will choose to begin with Discovering the Ancient World or Expansion of Civilization in high school 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 referenced in each volume.**

  • 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.  

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions about placement.  See our contact page for phone, text, and e-mail options.

** TRISMS provides assignments that guide students through the IEW curriculum by tying instruction from the program to literature assignments in TRISMS.  The TRISMS assignments can be completed without IEW, but we have found the program to be very helpful for our students.

Our volumes reference:
IEW TWSS2-D 12 DVD set with Seminar and Practicum Workbook by Andrew Pudewa

Since our most recent printings, IEW has provided an updated version of their curriculum.  It should not be hard to follow what is being taught in the new version, but please note that page numbers and titles on DVDs may be different in the newest version. The newest version is: Teaching Writing: Structure and Style®, Second Edition [Forever Streaming or DVD Video Seminar, Workbook, Premium Membership]IEW products can be purchased at