image from Beautiful Feet Books
We chose to just watch the A&E version (2 disks, at about 2.5 hours each) of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. It was not too shabby. We simply didn't have the time to read it all and we kinda touched on it prior, so it was just an intro to the study and a mini-refresher.
Then we moved right into Marco Polo (completed just yesterday) and are working through the huge The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter. I am reading this aloud (so even the 10 yr old is hearing this story) and all I ask is that she listen (and pay attention) whilst I do so. My dd will simply narrate back a bit of it so I am sure she gets it (and believe you me...uh, this woman [Jane Porter] was long-winded in some of her sentences so it is easy to start drifting off). Fun fact: the Braveheart movie was spawned from her book/story line.
Anyhoo-it is taking some time to read through but I must say that the way this was written only confirms my feelings about having good literature for our kids to read-it is a must. I wish I would have marked some of the lines that just jumped out at me because they were so eloquent and lively. We were able to imagine ourselves there with the characters and could "see" what she was describing. Most of the junk on the market is completely devoid of such things...but alas-I digress.....
It is easy with the BFB study guides to pick and choose and still walk away with a decent understanding of the era you are studying. Even when in a pinch like we are. :) So if you are looking for a different history program, I have always touted and will continue to do so, the Beautiful Feet Books line. I have used them pretty much since we started homeschooling and have thoroughly enjoyed them with the kiddos. It fits the literature/CM way to educate. The emphasis is mostly on American history but there are the Medieval and Ancient study guides too. Lots to look at on their site-I recommend heading there to see for yourself. :)
Before you think I am a total devotee-let me just say-I have also used Bright Ideas Press (All Am. History, which was a review item and my teen loved), and Sonlight (Eastern Hemisphere and 20th Century World). We will be venturing into the Heart of Dakota (Creation to Christ) for my 10 yr old as soon as I order it and have a chance to go through the guide to get acquainted with it.
It is all about using what fits our needs, the era we want to cover, and changing it up a bit to stave off boredom. :)
Hope this gives you some history program ideas! Feel free to ask questions about the above curriculum (except HOD b/cuz we haven't started using it so I am new to it)....I will do my best to answer them before you make a purchase for your family :).