King Alfred's English will answer all these questions, and more. Author Laurie White is a retired homeschooling mom (her children are grown up) who originally set out to write an article on the history of English. She had used notes from her college class to teach her children, but wanted to make the material suitable for younger children. The book, King Alfred's English, was born.
This book is aimed at students ages 12 and up. I did not use it with my boys, but instead read it as summer reading for myself. It is absolutely fascinating. We follow a chronological order when studying history, and I've taught this cycle twice now. I came away from reading King Alfred's English with not only a better understanding of our language, but with a better understanding of history and geography and civilizations of the past. It begins in the year 55 BC,and continues through modern day, those most of the book is focused on 1066-1611 AD (view the Table of Contents here).
I plan to fold this book into our history studies during high school. There are teacher helps, including tests and worksheets, available for free, along with additional resources (movie recommendations, links to articles, primary sources, literature suggestions, etc.) for students. By using the additional material, you can create a 1/2 credit course in history or 1/4 credit each in history and English.
I received a hardcopy of this book, and it retails for $16.95. You can also purchase this book for kindle for $5.95. King Alfred's English should be a part of every family's home library, and at this price it is a great bargain.
For more reviews of King Alfred's English, go here.